FAQ

FAQ
Glossary

General

1. How can I become a member/partner of ANNA?

Only National Numbering Agencies (NNAs) appointed by their local supervisory body are entitled to become as first step ANNA partner and after 2 years transition to full member status in ANNA. Further details see: Membership.

2. How do I get access to ANNA’s members’/partners’ area (login)?

Only NNAs that are members or partners of ANNA can get access to this restricted area. Requests for access of other interested parties have to be refused.

3. How do I get more information on ANNA’s services and products?

Consult the website of the ANNA Service Bureau (ASB), www.annaservice.com. There you can also find the contact details.

 

Standards

ISIN (International Securities Identification Number: ISO 6166)

4. Why should I use ISIN as a method of financial instrument identification?

ISO 6166 (ISIN) is the only internationally recognised standard for the unique identification of a financial instrument. Used globally as a means of identifying financial instruments, it is a key data field for cross border trading and recognised by many regulators as a mandatory data field for transaction reporting.

 5. How do I get an ISIN?

ISINs are allocated by the National Numbering Agencies (NNAs) in whose jurisdiction the issuer is registered or domiciled. For debt securities the NNA who issues the ISIN is either one of the International securities clearing organisations or the responsible NNA according to the ISO standard 6166. To view a list of the NNAs with contact details click here.

6. I have two ISINs for the same issue which is the correct one?

The only valid ISIN would be the one issued according to ISO 6166 rules by the responsible National Numbering Agency or recognised Substitute National Numbering Agencies who are usually members or partners of ANNA. Your local National Numbering Agency should be contacted and asked to investigate.

7. Where can I look up ISINs?

Go to the free ANNA ISIN Lookup Service (bottom) register, and then ISINs with basic information can be looked up for free. A limited number of records can be downloaded.

8. Where can I look up ISINs for OTC Derivatives?

ISINs for OTC derivatives can be looked up through the DSB web interface.

9. What other information can be found under the Free Lookup Service?

CFI (Classification of Financial Instruments) according to ISO 10962:2015 and FISN (Financial Instrument Short Name) according to ISO 18774 are among the information that is freely available.

10. Are new ISINs issued following various types of event, such as corporate actions or change of securities form?

The ISIN guidelines provide rules according to which ISINs are issued, replaced or deleted following corporate actions and other events.

11. Are ISINs issued for unlisted and grey market securities?

The vast majority of the ANNA member NNAs has signed a Letter of Understanding in which their obligation to cover all types of financial instruments in their jurisdiction is mentioned. However, we assume that the coverage is less than 100% in some areas.

 12. At what stage are ISINs issued for financial instruments applying for listing, i.e. does it depend on whether the security has started trading?

See ISIN guidelines. In addition, ANNA has published the ISIN Quality Management Guidelines according to which the ISINs should be allocated and publish in a timely manner, i.e. according to the market requirements.

13. What are the turnaround times on requests for allocation of ISINs to new securities and minimum data required before an ISIN will be issued, i.e. is it the minimum data specified by ISO 6166 and ANNA Guidelines or is additional information required?

The ISIN Quality Management Guidelines state that the NNAs should allocate ISINs within 24 hours following the request and also making the ISIN available to users at the same time. The minimum set of data necessary for allocation may depend on the individual NNAs and on the type of financial instrument involved. Details on documentation to be provided when applying for an ISIN are outlined in the ISIN Guidelines.

 14. Who should allocate ISINs to securities that are subject to Rule 144A and Regulation S, i.e. to avoid duplicate ISIN being allocated due to ambiguous interpretation?

A specific ISIN Guideline outlines this item on the ANNA website.

 15. What kind of ISINs are those whose first two letters are not a country code but beginning with XA, XB, XC and XD?

ISINs with such prefixes are not dummy ISINs but official ones. The prefixes have been assigned for use by the substitute agencies, (i.e. WM Datenservice, CUSIP Global Services, SIX Financial Information and The National Securities Depository, Russia) to cover cases where a NNA exists in the responsible assigning country, but is not able to allocate the ISIN for that specific instrument.

 16. What are the allocation rules stipulating which Numbering Agencies should allocate ISINs to instruments issued by an overseas branch?

ISIN Guideline 2.2.8 regulates warrants issued by foreign branches of banks as follows: “When such branches have no separate legal entity the ISIN-prefix will be the one of the headquarters country. If the branch is a separate legal entity (i.e. within a specific local market), the country of the branch should be considered for the allocation and the prefix accordingly (e.g. warrants issued by foreign bank branches).” The same principle applies to other financial instruments.

17. Can ISIN Codes be re-used?

As a general rule ISINs should never be re-used. This rule applies to all kinds of financial instrument.

18. How to handle issuer names that have letters that do not conform to the Roman alphabet?

Issuer names should always have letters that conform to the Roman alphabet. This will enable users to load these securities into their systems.

19. How to handle solicitations from third parties to obtain and maintain ISINs?

The Association of National Numbering Agencies (ANNA) confirms that only official National Numbering Agencies (NNAs) can issue valid ISINs (International Securities Identification Numbers). The majority of NNAs do not charge for ISIN allocation and fees are not levied for maintenance/renewal of allocated ISINs. In the few instances where fees are charged for ISIN allocation, this is done on a cost-recovery basis only, in accordance with ANNA’s ISO 6166 ISIN Registration Authority obligations. The same applies for CFI (Classification of Financial Instruments) according to ISO 10962.2015 and FISN (Financial Instrument Short Name) according to ISO 18774.2015.

ANNA and its member NNAs have no dealings or affiliation with any third parties offering commercial services for assisting to obtain or maintain ISINs. Similarly, any threats from these organizations to purge a valid ISIN from certain systems, if “maintenance fees” or other monies are not paid, should be viewed with scepticism and challenged. To avoid incurring unnecessary costs, we strongly recommend all market participants request ISIN, CFI, and FISN identifiers only from an official NNA source. The process is very straightforward.

 

CFI (Classification of Financial Instruments: ISO 10962:2015)

20. How do I get a CFI code?

The National Numbering Agencies responsible for allocating the ISIN also allocates the companion. CFIs associated with an ISIN are the official CFIs. CFIs could be looked up through the ANNA ISIN Lookup Service (bottom)

 21. Can I compile CFI codes myself?

Yes, you could but only CFI codes issued by National Numbering Agencies are considered official.

 

FISN (Financial Instrument Short Name: ISO 18774)

22. How do I get a FISN?

The National Numbering Agencies allocate the FISN code together with the ISIN. Only the NNAs are entitled to issue official FISNs. FISNs could be looked up through the ANNA ISIN Lookup Service (bottom).