Search Options
Home Media Explainers Research & Publications Statistics Monetary Policy The €uro Payments & Markets Careers
Sort by

National identifier in the case of foreign branches

  • Question ID: 2018/0022
  • Date of publication: 24/01/2018
  • Subject matter: LEI and national identifiers, Special categories of counterparties, Counterparty reference data
  • AnaCredit Manual: Part II
  • Data attribute: Counterparty identifier, Legal Entity Identifier (LEI), National identifier


The national identifier is a country-specific identifier – typically a trade register number or a tax number. According to the AnaCredit Reporting Manual, this should be provided where there is no LEI code. Does the national identifier relate to the foreign branch, rather than the legal entity?

How should we fill in the fields “LEI code” and “national ID” for foreign branches in the following cases?

Head office/legal entity has an LEI code – Should the head office’s LEI code be used for the foreign branches? Would that not mean that a number of different counterparties will have the same LEI code?

Head office/legal entity has a register identifier, rather than an LEI code – Should individual branches have their own register identifiers, or should they use the legal entity’s? If a German company without an LEI code has a branch in Denmark, should the branch have a Danish CVR code or FT number and use this as the national identifier?


A national identifier is a commonly used identification code which enables the unambiguous identification of a counterparty or the legal entity of which that counterparty forms part within its country of residence. Where a counterparty is a foreign branch, the national identifier refers to the foreign branch; where a counterparty is not a foreign branch, the national identifier refers to the legal entity.

First example

In this context, we understand “head office” as referring to the legal entity. The LEI code of the legal entity should not be reported where the counterparty is a foreign branch. In that case, a distinction needs to be made between the reference data for the counterparty itself and the reference data for the legal entity to which the foreign branch belongs. If the counterparty (i.e. the foreign branch) has its own LEI code – which will become possible in the near future – that LEI code should be reported. If it has no LEI code, a national identifier identifying that foreign branch should be reported, using the published list of country-specific national identifiers. It is also necessary to report the counterparty identifier of the legal entity to which that foreign branch belongs (via the “head office undertaking identifier” data attribute). When reporting reference data for the legal entity itself, either the LEI code or a national identifier should be reported, depending on their availability.

Second example

As indicated above, the foreign branch and the legal entity to which the foreign branch belongs are regarded as two distinct counterparties in AnaCredit, each with its own reference data record (and its own counterparty identifier). In this example, the Danish foreign branch will have a Danish national identifier (a CVR code or an FT number), while the legal entity to which that foreign branch belongs might have a German national identifier or an LEI code.

Again, the information on that Danish foreign branch will also include the counterparty identifier for the legal entity in Germany to which that branch belongs (via the “head office undertaking identifier” data attribute).

Related questions

See also Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) and national identifier


European Central Bank

Directorate General Communications

Reproduction is permitted provided that the source is acknowledged.

Media contacts