What Are Bond CUSIP Numbers, and How Do You Look Them Up?

What Are Bond CUSIP Numbers, and How Do You Look Them Up?

Bond CUSIP numbers serve to uniquely identify a bond and its issuer, and they can be looked up on Standard & Poor?s online database and its CUSIP Directory, LexisNexis explains. Alternative resources include directories and publications available from LexisNexis Academic Business and SEC filings databases.

Publications that list CUSIPs include WorldScope Company Profiles, Nelson?s Public Company Profiles, Standard & Poor?s Corporate Descriptions, America?s Corporate Finance Directory and Vickers Security Reports, LexisNexis states. Some websites, including QuantumOnline.com, also publish CUSIP look-up tools.

A CUSIP consists of nine characters that may be letters or number, CUSIP Global Services states. The first six characters identify the issuer of the security; this may be a government agency, a municipality or a company. The seventh and eighth character identify whether the security is a stock or a bond. The last character is used to express the result of a formula that verifies the accuracy of the other characters.

The American Bankers Association is the owner of the CUSIP system, while Standard & Poor?s operates it, the Securities and Exchange Commission notes. A CUSIP number is assigned to U.S. federal and municipal bonds and all Canadian and U.S. stocks. The CUSIP International Numbering System is used for non-U.S. and non-Canadian securities.