Classification of Financial Instruments standard (ISO 10962) moves to DIS ballot

Classification of Financial Instruments standard (ISO 10962) moves to DIS ballot

The Classification of Financial Instruments standard ISO 10962, commonly known as the “CFI” or the “CFI code”, has moved to the Draft International Standard balloting phase.  The ballot will close October 12, 2020.  The ISO/TC 68/SC 8/WG 1 working group, led by convener Mr. Corby Dear of the US, completed their work in April of this year, submitting the revised draft standard and maintenance agency guidelines. Read more....

Current Revision – For Ballot

The revision of the CFI maintains backward compatibility with the current standard ISO 10962:2019 standard. The changes in the CFI standard are around how the standard is represented and how it will be managed in the future.

The draft standard moves the code set of categories, groups, and their attributes to a machine readable external document separate from the ISO standard. Separating the code set from the standard document itself, allows for more timely updating of the code values in response to financial industry needs.

Migration to semantic representation

The revised draft represents the first ISO TC68 standard that is represented using semantic technology within an ISO standard itself. The ISO 17442 Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) standard is available in multiple semantic representations already via the work of the Global LEI Foundation (“GLEIF”) outside of the ISO standard. The advantages of semantics technology are the ability to more precisely define the metadata (definitions) of the code set and the ability to integrate this metadata and the code set within larger semantic models. Implementation recommendations are to provide the code set in other formats such as a CSV file, JSON file, or spreadsheet, to ease integration of the code set by the financial services industry.

Going Forward with the New CFI Maintenance Agency

A previous ISO study group – ISO/TC 68/SC 8/SG1 - recommended that the CFI code set become an external code set so it could be maintained on a timely basis. The study group also recommended that the codes be maintained by an ISO Maintenance Agency (“MA”) within ISO/TC 68/SC 8. The study group developed an initial set of maintenance agency guidelines which were used by the working group as a starting point.

Until the maintenance agency is functional, ISO/TC 68/SC 8 chose to create an advisory group, ISO/TC 68/SC 8/AG 1 (“CFI Advisory Group”), led by Mr. Robert Stowsky of the US. The CFI Advisory Group has been addressing work that was identified, but deferred by WG1, specifically, on the expansion of the CFI code for derivative financial instruments and an approach for the support of digital assets. This work will be transferred into the CFI Maintenance Agency once the MA is operational.

Maintenance Agency Secretariat (MAS)

The Swiss national standards body (SNV), holding the SC 8 secretariat, chose to be the MAS for ISO 10962. SNV entered into an agreement with SIX Group to perform the day to day operation of the MAS role. The SIX group already has experience as the MAS for the ISO 4217 Currency code standard.

Information on the status of ISO 10962 draft can be found at:

The ISO 10962:2019 standard can be found at:


Background - What is CFI

The CFI code is a 6 character code to identify a financial instrument type using a one character category, broadly mapped to an asset class. Categories are further divided into one character groups, which in turn may have up to four attributes. Here is an example shared from the draft standard:


CFI Code: E S V U F R



















Fully paid





The CFI code ESVUFR can be used for multiple equity securities from various issuers. An example of a financial instrument associated with this CFI code example follows:





Issuer or

ordinary shares



Business Machines
(IBM) Corp




Common/ordinary shares




Free (unrestricted)


Fully paid




The CFI was developed originally to help manage the allocation of financial instrument identifiers complying with the International Security Identifier Number (ISIN), ISO 6166. The use of the CFI was expanded to encompass additional financial instrument types in the ISO 10962:2015 revision, this previous work was led by convener Ms. Emma Kalliomaki of the Association of National Numbering Agencies (“ANNA”). Further revisions were provided in the ISO 10962:2019 revision of the standard that was completed by the current working group.