What Is a Financial Institution Number? Roles, 7 Facts

A financial institution number (FIN) is a unique identifier used in the United States by banks and other regulated financial institutions. In this article, we will explain in detail what a Financial Institution Number is, its purpose, and why you should know it.

What Is a Financial Institution Number?

A financial institution number is a type of number that makes it possible to identify a specific bank or other type of financial institution during the process of conducting some type of interbank financial transaction.

In many nations, the financial institution number is an integral part of what is known as the routing transit number, a series of characters that helps to identify not only the actual institution but the branch location where the customer account is housed.

What Is a Financial Institution Number?

The purpose of these numbers is to simplify the process of processing transactions between banks, allowing deposits and withdrawals to be managed in a timely manner.

Structure of a Financial Institution Number

The length of a financial institution number will vary, depending on banking standards used in a given nation. In many countries, this number will be no more than three digits.

The placement of the bank number within the longer routing transit number (RTN) will also vary from one country to the next.

For example, the number normally appears at the beginning of the longer RTN for institutions based in the United States. By contrast, in Canada the number will normally appear after the check number and the portion of the transit number that identifies the specific branch.

Role Of a Financial Institution Number

One of the benefits of using a financial institution number approach is that banks can readily identify the institution from which funds will be received or that are slated to receive payments of some type.

The combination of the number sequence identifying the institution combined with the sequence that identifies the branch location helps to focus the completion of the transaction by identifying where in the institution’s network the transfer must occur.

When the actual customer account number is added, processing the appropriate series of debits and credits can be managed with a minimum of effort.

The efficiency of using the institution number in tandem with other relevant identification numbers is apparent when processing wire transfer and other forms of electronic funds transfers between institutions.

In order to manage transactions such as paying bills online, it is important to include the institution number along with other identifying information.

What Is a Financial Institution Number?

Failure to do so means the transaction will ultimately fail, with the recipient never receiving the funds and the sender never seeing the amount of the payment deducted from the bank account.

In terms of printed checks, the financial institution number appears as part of the routing number, making it easy to discern the series of digits that identify the institution and make sure the check is processed properly.

How do I find my institution and/or transit number?

Finding your Institution or Transit Number

To send and receive payments to and from your Canadian bank account, you’ll need three account details: Financial Institution Number (three digits), Branch Transit Number (five digits), and Account Number (nine digits) (5-12 digits). These information assist Wise in transferring and withdrawing payments to the correct account.

Option 1: Look at your checkbook

If you have your checkbook to hand, have a look at the illustration below for how to find these details.

What Is a Financial Institution Number?

Option 2: Log into your internet banking

Typically, you may get this information by signing in to your online bank. The account number of the account you want to use, the institution number of the bank, and the branch’s transit number should be readily accessible from there.

Option 3: Find the Institution number in the list below

Please note that these statistics are correct to the best of our knowledge, but if you have any doubts, you should always contact the recipient’s bank to confirm. These numbers should only be used to corroborate existing information.

Option 4: Routing Number

Occasionally, a bank’s institution and transit numbers serve as its routing number. A routing number for electronic payments has a leading zero, a three-digit financial institution number, and a five-digit branch number.

Routing number format:

YYY – institution number
XXXXX – transit number

For example, if Bank’s routing number is 026011242, the institution number is 260, and the transit number is 11242.

What Is a Financial Institution Number?

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If you do not have cheques or cannot locate the indicated numbers, you must contact your bank.

If you need assistance accessing your account information, the following is a list of important Canadian financial institutions along with their institution numbers and phone lines.

Bank of Montreal: 001

Phone: 1-800-363-9992

The Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank): 002

Phone: 1-800-267-1234

Royal Bank of Canada: 003

Phone: 1-800-769-2555

Toronto-Dominion Canada Trust: 004

Phone: 1-866-222-3456

Banque Nationale du Canada (National Bank of Canada): 006

Phone: 1-888-483-5628

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce: 010

Phone: 1-800-465-2422

Simplii Financial (formerly President’s Choice Financial): 010

Phone: 1-888-723-8881

How can I find my routing number?

The U.S. Bank Mobile App provides two options for locating your routing number.The most straightforward method is to launch the app and pick U.S. Bank Smart AssistantTM. Then, inquire, “What is my checking account’s routing number?”

Also available by following these directions:

  1. Sign in and then pick the appropriate account.
  2. Click the Account settings link (below the available balance).
  3. Choose Account details
  4. You will see the final four digits of your account number, which are linked to your entire account number and routing number.

By login into online banking and choosing the relevant account, you may get your routing number. The account moniker, the last four digits of the account number, and the routing number are shown in the top box. If you also want the whole account number, just click the link for the last four digits.

Your bank’s routing number is located in the top right corner of your monthly statement. With electronic statements, you can ensure that you always have access to your monthly statement.

The routing number is the nine-digit number printed in the lower left-hand corner of each check. The second set of numbers written on the bottom of your cheques is your account number. Check number is the number located furthest to the right.

What Is a Financial Institution Number?

U.S. Bank has hundreds of routing numbers, each of which corresponds to a certain location in which we do business. Your routing number will reflect the location where you started your account. View our complete directory of states and regions below.

State Routing number













California – Northern






California – Southern






Colorado – Aspen*






Colorado – all other areas












Illinois – Northern






Illinois – Southern












Iowa – Council Bluffs






Iowa – Council Bluffs












Kentucky – Northern






Kentucky – Western






Minnesota – East Grand Forks*






Minnesota – Moorhead






Minnesota – all other areas












Missouri – Western












Nebraska (+ Council Bluffs, IA)












New Mexico






North Carolina






North Dakota (+ Moorhead, MN)






Ohio – Cleveland






Ohio – all other areas












South Dakota




































All other states





When do I need my routing number?

In the United States, banking institutions utilize your routing number for every financial transaction. You’ll often be asked for it when:

  • Set up direct deposit
  • Bills may be paid online or by phone
  • Conduct a wire transfer

How to write a check

What Is a Financial Institution Number?

Having trouble writing a check? You’re not alone. This is how:

  1. The check should be dated on the line in the upper right corner.
  2. On the Pay to the order line, indicate the person or organization the cheque is for.
  3. Input the monetary amount in decimal format in the box next to the Pay to the order line.
  4. Enter the monetary amount in words on the next line. When writing out cents, the cents above 100 should be expressed as a fraction. For example, $10.25 should be written as “$10 and 25/100.”
  5. If you’d like, you may add a note.
  6. Inscribe your whole name on the line in the bottom right corner.


A financial institution number (FIN) is a unique identifying number used by banks and credit unions to identify their institution. FINs are not numbers used by your financial institution, but numbers used to identify your financial institution.

Your FIN is created for you by your bank when you open an account. Your FIN can be found on any check or deposit slip, as well as on your credit card or ATM statement. If you have questions about your financial institution’s FIN, it is probably best to contact them directly.

Financial institutions do not like to change their FIN. Most financial institutions do not change their FIN. They are simply too expensive to change.


The institution number is a unique three-digit code assigned to a certain bank or financial institution to identify them. A transit number is made up of five-digits and together with the institution number they form a routing number. The institution number – three digits – identifies your bank.
While the routing number identifies the financial institution’s name, the account number—usually between eight and 12 digits—identifies your account. If you hold two accounts at the same bank, the routing numbers will, in most cases, be the same, but your account numbers will be different.
If you look at a cheque for your financial institution account, you will see your Financial Institution Number, Branch/Transit Number and Account Number shown at the bottom. See: Identifying Financial Institution Account Information 
The first number listed on the bottom of your checks is a routing number, also called a bank number or transit number. A bank/transit number identifies your bank so when an institution receives a check it knows the institution to which it belongs.
Giving someone your bank account number is typically safe. There’s always a risk when handing out this number, so only give it to people you trust completely. If you don’t trust the person that’s asking for the number, try to pay cash instead of giving them the number.
Your account number is located along the bottom of your check, to the right of the routing number and to the left of the check number.
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