Investors can search by CUSIP number on Fidelity Investments' website and return a company's ticker symbol. The Committee on Uniform Securities Identification Procedures issues numbers worldwide to identify financial instruments and reference standard data sets associated with them, according to CUSIP Global Services. Stocks traded in the United States or Canada have CUSIP numbers that act as unique identifiers, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
CUSIP identifies financial instruments such as company stocks, commercial paper and government bonds, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. A CUSIP number is nine characters long and made up of numbers and letters. Outside of the United States and Canada, CUSIP issues CINS numbers rather than CUSIP numbers. CINS numbers begin with a letter identifying the financial instrument's region or country of origin.
Exchange traded funds, mutual funds, derivatives and corporate bonds are among the financial instruments that may be specified by a CUSIP or CINS number, states CUSIP Global Services. CUSIP numbers identify more than 26 million unique financial instruments. CINS numbers identify over 9 million instruments. CUSIP links each of the 8 million securities identified by its numbers in the United States and Canada with as many as 60 attributes. CUSIP uses a standard system, the Classification of Financial Instruments, to describe each instrument.