CUSIP keeps crown as US standard for securities identification

The CUSIP identifier will remain the American national standard for unique securities identification after its accreditation renewal was issued by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Since the American Bankers Association launched the CUSIP identifier in 1968, it’s been relied upon to provide universally recognized identifiers for financial instruments issued by corporations, municipalities and government agencies around the world.

Scott Preiss, managing director and global head of CUSIP Global Services, said in a statement: “We see it as our responsibility to the marketplace to maintain the world’s most reliable, accessible and transparent security and entity identification standards that improve the efficiency and accuracy of trading, trade processing, settlement, risk management and recordkeeping in global financial markets. This recognition by ANSI and X9 is a welcome affirmation of that mission and a testament to our sustained investment in the CUSIP system.”

Rob Nichols, ABA president and CEO, said in a statement: “CUSIP’s strong commitment to investment and innovation has cemented its standing as the industry’s most efficient security identifier for more than 50 years, and will help it retain that role well into the future. CUSIP is central to the efficient operation of our financial markets and we are proud to be a part of this historic industry-wide initiative.”

“The CUSIP system is recognized as the trusted beacon of efficiency and transparency in US financial markets,” said Ann Marie Bria, executive director in Asset Services at The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), in a statement. “Having this common, standardized language makes it possible for market participants around the world to execute, process and settle trades with increased confidence and consistency.”

The CUSIP is a nine-character alphanumeric security identifier that captures the unique attributes of issuers and their financial instruments throughout the US and Canada. For over five decades, the CUSIP system has been widely recognized as the standard identifier for US securities. To date, more than 62.8 million CUSIP identifiers have been assigned to financial instruments, irrespective of trading venue, across a broad range of asset classes, at least 9.4 million of which are active today.

ANSI is a private, non-profit organization that administers and coordinates the US voluntary standards and conformity assessment system, through its Accredited Standards Committee X9 (X9). The next accreditation renewal of the CUSIP standard will occur in 2025.

In a separate announcement, a recent report showed that CUSIP request volume surged in December 2020, ending the year above 2019 levels for corporates and municipals. Gerard Faulkner, director of Operations for CGS, said in a statement: “While it has clearly not been a straight path to this point, overall CUSIP request volume across nearly every major asset class ended 2020 considerably higher than last year…Month-to-month results showed significant volatility throughout the year, but when the dust settled, we ended the year with a 10% increase in municipal request volume and a 7% increase in corporate request volumes, which is a real testament to the efficiency of our financial markets during a period of extreme uncertainty.”


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