General Principles of CFI Allocation

A CFI code reflects material characteristics that are defined when a financial instrument is issued and that, as a rule, remain unchanged during its entire lifetime.

The CFI may change during the lifetime of the financial instrument in the following cases:

  • Determination of certain parameters of the financial instrument in the course of its offering, following its offering, or upon occurrence of any other events provided for by the issue-related documents, as a result of which the characters 'X' in the CFI, which mean 'undefined', are replaced by applicable values; or
  • As a result of a corporate action event and issuer's decisions resulting in changes in material characteristics of the financial instrument (e.g., changes in the voting right or imposition of ownership/transfer restrictions, etc.).

CFIs are allocated in accordance with the rules set out in the international standard ISO 10962.

One of the essential rules of the CFI concept, as set out in ISO 10962, is that the classification of financial instruments is determined by the intrinsic characteristics of the respective financial instruments and not by the instrument names and terms prevailing in a given country. This principle avoids confusion as the CFI code unambiguously classifies the financial instrument by its material characteristics. The CFI code is not unique but, as it reflects the key information about the financial instrument, it is a significant addition to the ISIN which, in its turn, unambiguously identifies the financial instrument.

A CFI code consists of six Latin alphabetical characters:

The first character indicates the highest level of classification and differentiates between categories.

Categories ISO 10962: 2001 ISO 10962: 2015
E Equities
C Collective investment vehicles
D Debt instruments
R Rights/Entitlements
T Referential instruments
and others*      

The second character indicates specific groups within each category.

For the category 'Equities':

Groups ISO 10962: 2001 ISO 10962: 2015
S Common/ordinary shares
P Preferred shares
R Preference shares
C Common/ordinary convertible shares
F Preferred convertible shares
V Preference convertible shares
D Depositary receipts on equities
and others*      

For the category 'Debt instruments':

Groups ISO 10962: 2001 ISO 10962: 2015
B Bonds
C Convertible bonds
T Medium-term notes
Y Money market instruments
G Mortgage-backed securities
A Asset-backed securities
N Municipal bonds
D Depositary receipts on debt instruments
and others*      

The third to sixth characters indicate the most relevant attributes applicable to each group.

E.g., for equities, the following information applies:

  • Existence (non-existence) of the voting right;
  • Ownership/transfer restrictions;
  • Payment status;
  • Issue form.

With respect to other financial instruments, other characteristics apply. If the information is unknown, not available or applicable for a particular financial instrument category or group at the time of assignment, the character ‘X’ is used for the respective attribute.

* The detailed information on classification of financial instruments using CFI codes is available in the international standard ISO 10962.