Are You Reporting The Right Product Identifiers for EMIR and MiFID II? An Examination of CFI & ISIN Requirements

Reporting of a wider range of identification and classification codes is one of the major changes introduced through MiFID II and the revised EMIR RTS. The range of product identifier codes required by the reporting regimes includes:

  • – International Securities Identification Number (“ISIN”); and
  • – Classification of Financial Instruments (“CFI”).

Use the decision tree below to help to determine which product identifiers you should be reporting.

Product identifiers decision tree

1. EMIR Reporting

 Under the revised EMIR RTS, the CFI and ISIN will need to be submitted with transaction reports.

      (a) Product classification – reporting of CFI

‘Product Classification’ is a mandatory field in EMIR transaction reports under the revised EMIR RTS. Until the introduction of an ESMA endorsed Unique Product Identifier (“UPI”) framework, the CFI code is the only option for classifying an instrument in a transaction report.

Thus far, ESMA have not endorsed a UPI and seem unlikely to in the near future:

“ESMA did not yet receive any formal request to endorse a UPI or UTI framework and there are no details yet on how these will look like”. [1]

       (b) Replacement of Aii with ISIN

Use of Aii codes in the ‘Product Identification’ field were discontinued after the adoption of MiFIR Reference Data (3rd Jan 2018). From this point onwards, the ISIN will be the only method available for identifying instruments in EMIR transaction reports.


2. MiFID II/MiFIR Reporting

The ISIN is required to be reported for MiFIR reporting. Where an ISIN is not available, you will be required to report a CFI and possibly other information.

      (a) Reporting of ISIN

Where an ISIN code for an instrument is available, it must be used to identify the instrument in a MiFID II/MiFIR transaction report. In this instance, a CFI is not required.

Use of the ISIN is to be expanded to identify financial product traded on venue or by a Systematic Internaliser (SI) in line with the requirement of MiFIR RTS 23 relating to Reference Data:

“Prior to the commencement of trading in a financial instrument in a trading venue or systematic internaliser, the trading venue or systematic internaliser concerned shall obtain the ISO 6166 International Securities Identifying Number (“ISIN”) code for the financial instrument”. – Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/585 of 14 July 2016

      (b) Identifying information to be reported where ISIN is not available

Where there is no ISIN available (meaning that the instrument is not traded on a trading venue or with an investment firm acting as a systematic internaliser), additional fields are required to identify the instrument including the full name of the instrument, a CFI code classifying the instrument and an ISIN identifying the underlying instrument.

3. What is an ISIN?

An ISIN is a unique code that is used to identify a fungible security. Its structure is defined in International Securities Identification Number (ISO 6166).  ISO 6166 is an international standard promulgated by the International Standards Organisation and has worldwide application.

4. What is the CFI and how is it used to classify products?

The CFI is a 6 character code used to classify a financial instrument, as defined in ISO 10962.

First character Highest level of category to which the instrument belongs – e.g. Equities (E), Debt (D), Options (O), Futures (F), Forwards (J) etc.
Second character Specific groups within each category. E.g. Financial Futures (FF) Commodity Futures (FC).
Third to Sixth characters Refer to each group’s main features or attributes.
N.B. The letter X always means Not Applicable/Undefined

By way of example if we look at the similarities and differences between a CFD and spread-bet on an equity instrument.

The CFI code for a CFD on an equity is JESXCC

J Forward
E Equity
S Single Stock
X Not applicable/Undefined
C Contract for difference
C Cash Settled

The CFI code for a spread-bet on an equity is JESXSC

J Forward
E Equity
S Single Stock
X Not applicable/Undefined
S Spread-bet
C Cash Settled

Both instruments are classed as Forwards (J) and have the same underlying instrument so they share the same group and 1st attribute. They are both cash settled so they only difference is the 5th character which relates to the differing ‘return or payout trigger’ (the 3rd attribute for forwards).

5. The Identifier FrameworkTransaction reporting identifiers: LEI, UTI, TRN, CFI and ISIN

The adjacent infographic shows where different identifiers fit in to the reporting framework in many jurisdictions around the world.  Any trade will have counterparties, take a particular transaction form and involve certain products or instruments.  The Legal Entity Identifier (“LEI”), Unique Trade Identifier (“UTI”) for EMIR and Transaction Reference Number (“TRN”) for MiFIR and combinations of CFIs & ISINs respectively are used to identify these elements so that a trade can be holistically defined.

If you would like to discuss the above or learn how it may apply to you, get in touch with TRAction Fintech.

Emma Ladlow

Emma works in our Sydney office. At TRAction, she works on implementing changes to regulations, improving and expanding our regulatory reporting services and helping with new business initiatives. She has over 7 years’ experience in the finance industry with more than 5 years’ experience specialised in transaction reporting. She worked for one of the largest financial services organisations in the UK and then moved to Australia in November 2018 to join TRAction.