The acronym CUSIP historically refers to the Committee on Uniform Security Identification Procedures, which was founded in 1964, during the paper crunch in Wall Street. This 9-character alphanumeric
Alphanumeric is a combination of alphabetic and numeric characters, and is used to describe the collection of Latin letters and Arabic digits or a text constructed from this collection. There are either 36 or 62 alphanumeric characters. The alphanumeric character set consists of the numbers 0 to...

 code identifies any North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

n security
Security (finance)
A security is generally a fungible, negotiable financial instrument representing financial value. Securities are broadly categorized into:* debt securities ,* equity securities, e.g., common stocks; and,...

 for the purposes of facilitating clearing
Clearing (finance)
In banking and finance, clearing denotes all activities from the time a commitment is made for a transaction until it is settled. Clearing is necessary because the speed of trades is much faster than the cycle time for completing the underlying transaction....

 and settlement
Settlement (finance)
Settlement of securities is a business process whereby securities or interests in securities are delivered, usually against payment of money, to fulfill contractual obligations, such as those arising under securities trades....

 of trades. The CUSIP distribution system is owned by the American Bankers Association
American Bankers Association
The American Bankers Association is an industry trade group and professional association representing the United States' banking industry...

 and is operated by Standard & Poor's
Standard & Poor's
Standard & Poor's is a United States-based financial services company. It is a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies that publishes financial research and analysis on stocks and bonds. It is well known for its stock-market indices, the US-based S&P 500, the Australian S&P/ASX 200, the Canadian...

. The CUSIP Service Bureau acts as the National Numbering Association (NNA
NNA is a three-letter abbreviation with several meanings:* Kenitra Airport the IATA code for this Moroccan airport* National Newspaper Association, an American organization for community newspapers...

) for North America, and the CUSIP serves as the National Securities Identification Number
A National Securities Identifying Number or NSIN is a generic nine-digit alpha numeric code which identifies a fungible security. The NSIN is issued by a national numbering agency designated for that country. Regional substitute NNAs have been allocated the task of functioning as NNAs in those...

 for products issued from both the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...


In the 1980s there was an attempt to expand the CUSIP system for international securities as well. The resulting CINS (CUSIP International Numbering System) has seen little use as it was introduced at about the same time as the truly international ISIN system. CINS identifiers do appear in the ISIDPlus
ISIDPlus is a comprehensive database of global security identifiers, cross-referencing more than one million issues. The database is co-produced by Standard & Poor's and SIX Telekurs....

 directory, however.


The first six characters are known as the base (or CUSIP-6), and uniquely identify the issuer. Issuer codes are assigned alphabetically from a series that includes deliberate built-in "gaps" for future expansion. The 7th and 8th digit identify the exact issue. The 9th digit is an automatically generated checksum (some clearing bodies ignore or truncate the last digit). The last three characters of the issuer code can be letters, in order to provide more room for expansion.

Issuer numbers 990 to 999 and 99A to 99Z in each group of 1,000 numbers are reserved for internal use. This permits a user to assign an issuer number to any issuer which might be relevant to his holdings but which does not qualify for coverage under the CUSIP numbering system. Other issuer numbers (990000 to 999999 and 99000A to 99999Z) are also reserved for the user so that they may be assigned to non-security assets or to number miscellaneous internal assets.

The 7th and 8th digit identify the exact issue, the format being dependent on the type of security. In general, numbers are used for equities and letters are used for fixed income. For commercial paper the first issue character is generated by taking the letter code of the maturity month, the second issue character is the day of the maturity date, with letters used for numbers over 9. The first security issued by any particular issuer is numbered "10". Newer issues are numbered by adding ten to the last used number up to 80, at which point the next issue is "88" and then goes down by tens. The issue number "01" is used to label all options on equities from that issuer.

Fixed income issues are labeled using a similar fashion, but due to there being so many of them they use letters instead of digits. The first issue is labeled "AA", the next "A2", then "2A" and onto "A3". To avoid confusion, the letters I and O are not used since they might be mistaken for the digits 1 and 0.

The 9th digit is an automatically generated check digit
Check digit
A check digit is a form of redundancy check used for error detection, the decimal equivalent of a binary checksum. It consists of a single digit computed from the other digits in the message....

 using the "Modulus 10 Double Add Double" technique. To calculate the check digit every second digit is multiplied by two. Letters are converted to numbers based on their ordinal position in the alphabet.

Check digit pseudocode

algorithm Cusip-Check-Digit(cusip) is
Input: an 8-character CUSIP
Output: the check digit for that CUSIP

sum := 0
for 1 ≤ i ≤ 8 do
c := the ith character of cusip
if c is a digit then
v := numeric value of the digit c
else if c is a letter then
p := ordinal position of c in the alphabet (A=1, B=2...)
v := p + 9
else if c = "*" then
v := 36
else if c = "@" then
v := 37
else if c = "#" then
v := 38
end if

if i is even then
v := v × 2
end if

sum := sum + v div 10 + v mod 10

return (10 - (sum mod 10)) mod 10
end function

Check digit Pseudocode (VBA)

Public Function CUSIP(ByVal CUSIPCode As String) As Integer

Dim sumof As Integer
Dim s As String
Dim v as Integer

If Len(CUSIPCode) <> 8 Then Exit Function

For i = 1 To 8
s = Mid(CUSIPCode, i, 1)
If s >= "0" And s <= "9" Then
v = CInt(s)
ElseIf s >= "A" And s <= "Z" Then
v = CInt(Asc(s) - 55)
ElseIf s = "*" Then
v = 36
ElseIf s = "@" Then
v = 37
ElseIf s = "#" Then
v = 38
End If

If i Mod 2 = 0 Then
v = v * 2
End If

sumof = sumof + WorksheetFunction.Quotient(v, 10) + (v Mod 10)

Next i

CUSIP = (10 - (sumof Mod 10)) Mod 10

End Function

Antitrust Review

In November 2009, ten months after launching an investigation, the European Commission formally charged Standard & Poor’s with abusing its position as the sole provider of CUSIP international securities identification codes for U.S. securities by requiring European financial firms and data vendors to pay licensing fees for their use. “This behavior amounts to unfair pricing,” the European Commission said in its statement of objections which lays the groundwork for an adverse finding against S&P. “The (numbers) are indispensable for a number of operations that financial institutions carry out – for instance, reporting to authorities or clearing and settlement – and cannot be substituted.”

S&P has run the CUSIP Service Bureau, the only ISIN issuer in the US, on behalf of the American Bankers Association. In its formal statement of objections, the European Commission alleges that S&P is abusing this monopoly position by forcing financial services companies and information service providers to pay licence fees for the use of US ISINs. It claims that comparable agencies elsewhere in the world either do not charge fees at all, or do so on the basis of distribution cost, rather than usage.

See also

  • Central Index Key
    Central Index Key
    A Central Index Key or CIK number is a number given to an individual or company by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The number is used to identify the filings of a company, person, or entity in several online databases, including EDGAR.The numbers are ten digits in...

  • International Securities Identifying Number (ISIN)
  • ISO 10383
    ISO 10383
    ISO 10383 is an ISO standard which "specifies a universal method of identifying exchanges, trading platforms and regulated or non-regulated markets as sources of prices and related information in order to facilitate automated processing." The codes defined by the standard are known as Market...

  • ISO 10962
    ISO 10962
    ISO 10962 is the CFI code maintained by the International Organization for Standardization . It is an alphabetical code consisting of 6 letters. The first letter is the category, the second is the group, and the remaining letters show special attributes of the group...

  • ISO 6166
    ISO 6166
    ISO 6166 defines the structure of an International Securities Identifying Number . An ISIN uniquely identifies a fungible security. Securities with which ISINs can be used are Equities, Fixed income & ETF's only....

  • NSIN
    A National Securities Identifying Number or NSIN is a generic nine-digit alpha numeric code which identifies a fungible security. The NSIN is issued by a national numbering agency designated for that country. Regional substitute NNAs have been allocated the task of functioning as NNAs in those...

  • Ticker symbol
    Ticker symbol
    A stock symbol or ticker symbol is a short abbreviation used to uniquely identify publicly traded shares of a particular stock on a particular stock market. A stock symbol may consist of letters, numbers or a combination of both. "Ticker symbol" refers to the symbols that were printed on the ticker...

  • Option symbol
    Option symbol
    An option symbol is a code by which options are identified on a futures exchange.-:This article is obsolete, as of February 12th, 2010 when the five-character ticker format described in this article stopped being used in the US and Canada.New standard is now fully in place, as in the first few...

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.