International business in financial instruments needs a universal way of identification and the international securities identification number (ISIN) does just that. The ISO standard that defines the ISIN and its related descriptive elements has recently been updated.
ISO 6166, Financial services – International securities identification number (ISIN), provides a uniform structure for the identification of financial instruments as well as referential instruments. Since it was last revised in 2013, the scope of the standard has expanded to include many types of financial instruments, not just securities.
In addition, the Registration Authority for ISO 6166, which has the requisite infrastructure for ensuring the effective use of the standard, has relied on the work of national numbering agencies (NNAs) which play an integral role in the implementation of the standard. Therefore, care has been taken to leverage the national systems to the maximum possible extent to facilitate the adoption of the worldwide system.
The main changes compared to the previous edition include the addition of new instrument types, for example OTC derivatives, baskets, emission allowances and carbon credits, to which the ISIN code can be allocated, as well as the introduction of new minimum descriptive elements.
ISO 6166 was published by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 68, Financial services, subcommittee SC 8, Reference data for financial services, whose secretariat is held by SNV, ISO’s member for Switzerland.