The Financial Instrument Global Identifier (FIGI) is an established global standard issued under the guidelines of the Object Management Group (OMG.org, an international, non-profit standards organization), founded in 1989.
It is a 12 character, alphanumeric, randomly generated ID covering hundreds of millions of active and inactive instruments. In total, there are over 300 trillion potential identifiers available. The identifier itself acts as a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) to link to a set of metadata that uniquely and clearly describes the instrument.
This method of constructing symbols was chosen to satisfy the majority of client feedback, which demonstrated the need for a random sequence that produces a unique, non-changing symbol.
FIGI closes the gap in existing symbology systems. Providing coverage across all global asset classes, real-time availability, and flexibility for use in multiple functions, firms are able to tie together disparate and fragmented symbologies, eliminate redundant mapping processes, streamline the trade workflow and reduce operational risk. FIGI also fills in the gap for asset classes that do not normally have a global identifier, including loans, futures and options.
The first three positions are always filled with ‘BBG’. The 'BB' is to identify the Registration Authority of the FIGI, Bloomberg LP. The 'G" is to identify the FIGI as a global identifier.
These positions are filled with randomly chosen digits and characters (but no vowels).
This position is filled with a single digit, which serves as a check digit so the complete symbol can be validated.