This document defines and describes the structure for the codes for an internationally valid system to classify financial instruments. The classification system applies to financial instruments negotiated internationally as well as to domestic instruments. The term 'financial instruments' refers not only to classical securities and derivatives but also covers the innovative financial products that have emerged in different markets (a trend that is expected to continue in the future).
This document is intended for use in any application in the trading and administration of financial instruments in the international securities business. Insofar as the trading and administration of securities do not affect other countries, the application of this document remains at the discretion of the responsible national bodies, such as stock exchanges, banks, brokers, regulatory bodies and other institutions active in the securities field.
In principle, the CFI code reflects characteristics that are defined when a financial instrument is issued and that remain unchanged during its entire lifetime. However, a few events that can lead to a new CFI code for the same instrument are anticipated, such as the changing of voting rights or ownership restrictions by a stockholders' meeting.