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Canadian Bank Institution Numbers

    Canadian Bank Institution Numbers are codes assigned to financial institutions operating in Canada by the Canadian Payments Association (CPA). These numbers are used to identify the institutions involved in electronic transactions and to ensure that these transactions are processed correctly.

    The Institution Numbers are 9-digit codes that are unique to each financial institution. They are used to identify the originating and recipient banks in electronic fund transfers, direct deposits, bill payments, and other types of transactions. This helps to ensure that the transactions are processed efficiently and accurately.

    Here is a table of some of the largest Canadian banks and their Institution Numbers:

    BankInstitution Number
    Royal Bank of Canada003
    TD Canada Trust004
    Bank of Montreal001
    National Bank of Canada030
    HSBC Bank Canada016

    Here are some unique and interesting facts about Canadian Bank Institution Numbers:

    1. According to the Canadian Payments Association (CPA), there are over 500 financial institutions in Canada that are assigned Institution Numbers.
    2. The Institution Numbers were first introduced in Canada in the 1970s as part of the move towards a national electronic payments system.
    3. In 2020, the CPA introduced a new system for assigning Institution Numbers, which includes a unique identifier for each financial institution that is distinct from its business number. (Source: Canadian Payments Association)

    The use of Institution Numbers has helped to improve the efficiency and accuracy of electronic transactions in Canada. By providing a unique identifier for each financial institution, it is easier to track and process transactions and to resolve any issues that may arise.

    For example, when an individual writes a cheque and it is processed electronically, the recipient bank will use the Institution Number to identify the originating bank and to ensure that the funds are transferred correctly. This helps to prevent errors and to ensure that the funds are credited to the correct account.

    Looking ahead, the use of Institution Numbers is likely to become even more important as the trend towards digital and mobile banking continues to grow. With more transactions being conducted electronically, the need for accurate and efficient identification of financial institutions will only increase.

    Canadian Bank Institution Numbers play a crucial role in the functioning of the Canadian financial system. They help to ensure the accurate and efficient processing of electronic transactions, and their importance is only set to grow as technology continues to shape the way that we manage our money.


    Christopher - BSc, MBA

    With over two decades of combined Big 5 Banking and Agency experience, Christopher launched Underbanked® to cut through the noise and complexity of financial information. Christopher has an MBA degree from McMaster University and BSc. from Western University in Canada.

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