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How do you access a CUSIP directory?

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Individuals can access the complete Committee on Uniform Security Identification Procedures directory by subscribing to the CUSIP database via Standard and Poor's, reports About.com. They can look up CUSIP numbers through financial institutions that allow free access to their CUSIP databases, such as Sallie Mae and Fidelity Investment. Some universities allow business students access to the CUSIP database, and people looking for CUSIP numbers of specific stocks can check the websites of the companies that offer the stocks, adds WiseGeek.

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Full Answer

Nine-digit CUSIP numbers identify financial instruments, such as U.S. municipal and government bonds, commercial paper, and registered U.S. and Canadian company stocks, states the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission. They also cover hedge funds, derivatives, syndicated loans, and equity and debt issues, according to the American Bankers Association. They enable brokers and analysts to quickly locate and access relevant data, enhance communication on securities transactions, and facilitate management of stored data.

Standard and Poor's Capital IQ manages CUSIP Global Services, or CGS, which assigns CUSIP numbers, explains the American Bankers Association. CGS organizes its database services in a number of different formats. The nine-character numbers identify specific characteristics of the financial instruments, notes CGS. The first six characters stand for the company or agency name, the next two characters pinpoint the type of financial instrument, and the last character is an accuracy check for the previous eight characters.

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