CFI (ISO 10962)

FAQ
Glossary

CFI: Classification of Financial Instruments

Important update:  Since 1 July 2017, the revised CFI (ISO 10962) and the FISN (ISO 18774 – Financial Instrument Short Name) are globally assigned with the ISIN at the time of issuance of a new financial instrument.

NEW: ANNA ISIN/CFI Lookup Service available now (link see “Read more”)

The CFI code has been developed to address a number of problems which have concerned the financial community on the past years. Among others the following problems have affected the financial community:

  • Lack of consistent and uniform approach to grouping financial instruments
  • Use of similar terminology for instruments having significantly different features in the different countries
  • Inability to group securities in a consistent manner leading to reports of holdings being categorized differently.

The benefits of the code are:

  • Definition and description for an internationally valid system to classify financial instruments
  • Provision of a set of codes to be used by all market participants in an EDP environment and permission of electronic communication between participants
  • Improved understanding of the characteristics of financial instruments will lead to a better understanding by investors.

The structure of the CFI code:

  • The CFI reflects characteristics that are defined when a financial instrument is issued, but may change as new information becomes available or due to certain events that can lead to a revised CFI code for the same instrument, such as the changing of voting rights or ownership restrictions by a stockholders’ meeting or replacing a previously unknown/unavailable attribute (X character)
  • The CFI consists of six alphabetical characters
  • The first character indicates the highest level of classification (categories).

Categories:

  • Equities (E)
  • Collective investment vehicles (C)
  • Debt instruments (D)
  • Entitlement (rights) (R)
  • Listed options (O)
  • Futures (F)
  • Swaps (S)
  • Non-listed and complex listed options (H)
  • Spot (I)
  • Forwards (J)
  • Strategies (K)
  • Financing (L)
  • Referential instruments (T)
  • Others (miscellaneous) (M)

The second character indicates specific groups within each category:

Groups e.g. for equities:

  • Common/ordinary shares
  • Preferred/preference shares
  • Common/ordinary convertible shares
  • Preferred/preference convertible shares
  • Limited partnership units
  • Depositary receipts on equities
  • Structured instruments (participation)
  • Others (miscellaneous)

The third to sixth character indicate the most important attributes to each group:

Attributes e.g. for equities:

  • Voting right
  • Ownership/transfer restrictions
  • Payment status
  • Form

X – Not applicable/undefined: the character ‘X’ can be used for any respective Attribute if the informationis unknown, not available or applicable at the time of assignment, regardless of whether it is stated as an available character for the Attribute and should be updated to reflect the respective Attribute as soon as it is known or available.

 


Report on CFI developments

Requests from some countries (such as the US and Switzerland as well as from some industry organizations) required ISO TC68/SC4/WG6 to reconvene and discuss these requests for a possible revision of ISO Standard 10962.

The new version of ISO 10962 that includes significant enhancements, e.g. for OTC derivatives, was published in September 2015. The date for global implementation of the new version was 1 July 2017.

ISO 10962:2021 was published in May 2021 with the Maintenance Agency (MA) taking up its formal role. Electronic versions of the CFI code list are now available  on the website of SIX Financial as the MA – https://www.six-group.com/en/products-services/financial-information/data-standards.html#scrollTo=cfi