A routing number is the term for bank codes in Canada. Routing numbers consist of eight numerical digits with a dash between the fifth and sixth digit for paper financial documents encoded with magnetic ink character recognition and nine numerical digits without dashes for electronic funds transfers. Routing numbers are regulated by Payments Canada, formerly known as the Canadian Payments Association, to allow easy identification of the branch location and financial institution associated with an account.
A routing number consists of a five digit transit number (also called branch number) identifying the branch where an account is held and a three digit financial institution number corresponding to the financial institution. The number is given as one of the following forms, where XXXXX is the transit number and YYY is the financial institution number:
A leading zero is used when formatting a routing number for electronic payments.
The symbol that delimits a routing number on MICR-encoded paper documents is the E-13B transit character (Unicode value U+2446): ⑆
Each branch in a financial institution is assigned a unique transit number for identification. The format of the transit number may vary by institution.
Most institutions use the transit number and branch number synonymously. TD and Bank of Montreal use four-digit branch numbers, reserving the final digit of the transit number for the geographical location of the branch.
While there is variation between institutions, most transit numbers encode geographic region into the last digit using a pattern like:
XXXX0for British Columbia and Yukon
XXXX1for western Quebec, including Montreal. Some institutions include Gatineau here, others group it with
XXXX2for most of Ontario, including Toronto and Southern Ontario
XXXX3for Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island. Some institutions list Newfoundland or Labrador here.[b]
XXXX4for New Brunswick
XXXX5for eastern Quebec including Quebec City
XXXX6for Ottawa and its surrounding area.
XXXX7for Manitoba and north-western Ontario, including Thunder Bay.
XXXX9for Alberta, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut
In this pattern, the first branch of the first national bank (Banque de Montréal, 119, rue Saint Jacques, Montréal) would be branch 0001, institution 001, in western Québec yielding MICR code
BMO and TD do not consider the fifth digit of the transit number to be part of the branch number and will not create five-digit codes for different branches which differ only in the final, fifth digit.[c] If Montreal is
00011-001 then the next site (First Canadian Place Toronto) is
00012-001 remaining permanently unassigned.
RBC also uses four-digit branch numbers, but these include the last digit, with the transit numbers instead being padded with leading zeroes.[d] While some older branches happen to adhere to the pattern above, it has been abandoned for many newer RBC branches, apparently to limit RBC's branch transit numbers to four digits.
Desjardins uses all five digits as significant with no region coding in the fifth digit.[e]
Most small local credit unions use the institution number to indicate a "Credit Union Central" organisation for a specific province; the transit number indicates a specific branch of a specific member institution. As transit numbers are issued arbitrarily or sequentially, multiple branches of the same credit union typically do not get assigned a contiguous block of numbers. While the province may be embedded in the transit number, the info is superfluous; a small Ontario credit union will be
XXXX2-828 regardless of its location in-province.
"Institution number" redirects here. For other uses, see Institution number (disambiguation).
A selection of institution numbers for major Canadian financial institutions is below.[f]
|Bank Name||Institution Number|
|Bank of Montreal (operating as BMO)||001|
|Bank of Nova Scotia (operating as Scotiabank)||002|
|Royal Bank of Canada (operating as RBC)||003|
|Toronto-Dominion Bank (operating as TD Canada Trust)||004|
|National Bank of Canada||006|
|Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC includes Simplii Financial)||010|
|Canadian Western Bank||030|
|Laurentian Bank of Canada||039|
|Government of Canada[g]||117[h]|
|Canada Post[g] (money orders)||127|
|Bank of Canada (Canadian central bank)||177|
|Canada Savings Bond[g] (redemptions)||187|
|MUFG Bank, Canada Branch||245|
|Mega International Commercial Bank Canada||269|
|JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (Toronto Branch)||270|
|Bank of China (Canada)||308|
|Vancity Community Investment Bank [i]||309|
|First Nations Bank of Canada||310|
|CTBC Bank (Canada)||315|
|President's Choice Bank[j]||320|
|Canadian Tire Bank||338|
|ICICI Bank Canada||340|
|Digital Commerce Bank||352|
|Canada Trust Company (for accounts opened prior to the TD Canada Trust merger)[k]||509|
|Tangerine Bank (formerly ING Direct Canada)||614|
|Equitable Bank (includes EQ Bank)||623|
|Central 1 Credit Union member institutions in British Columbia||809|
|Caisses Desjardins du Québec||815|
|Caisse Populaire financial group (Manitoba)||819|
|Central 1 Credit Union member institutions in Ontario||828|
|Caisses populaires Desjardins de l'Ontario||829|
|Meridian Credit Union[l][m]||837|
|Atlantic Central member institutions[n]||839|
|Alterna Savings and Credit Union[o]||842|
|Atlantic Central (Brunswick Credit Union Federation)||849|
|Caisses populaires acadiennes (New Brunswick)||865|
|Central 1 (former Credit Union Central of Canada)[p]||869|
|Credit Union Central of Manitoba member institutions||879|
|Credit Union Central of Saskatchewan (SaskCentral) member institutions||889|
|Credit Union Central of Alberta member institutions||899|
Payments Canada maintains the Financial Institutions File (FIF), an electronic directory of routing numbers for all financial institutions in Canada. The FIF is updated weekly and is operated as a fee-based subscription service to member institutions of Payments Canada.
A companion free-of-charge directory, the Financial Institutions Branch Directory (FIBD), is also operated by Payments Canada for occasional referencing by the general public. The FIBD is only available in PDF format and cannot be imported into business applications.
XXXX1(western Quebec) vs
XXXX6(Ottawa) for branches in Gatineau varies between institutions and often between branches. Bank of Montreal and Scotiabank will often assign "6" suffixes in Hull and Gatineau to match the rest of Ottawa, although Quebec's "1" will sometimes appear. National Bank and Laurentian Bank consistently use western Quebec's "1" suffix for the Outaouais region.
XXXX3. TD places Newfoundland in
XXXX3and Labrador in
XXXX5. Bank of Montreal places the entire province in
XXXXX-815or Desjardins Ontario
00XXX-829will be assigned to the same region. Nonetheless, all five digits are required to identify an individual local caisse in this system.
177is a member and a direct clearer, but Government of Canada
117, Canada Post money orders
127and Canada Savings Bond redemptions
187are non-member codes. There are also a few privately-owned institutions listed before Payment Association membership was required to obtain new institution numbers; they have been allowed to keep those existing codes.
509. Credit unions and caisses populaires are normally assigned in the 800 range, while trust and loan institution numbers are typically in the 500's or low 600's. Vancity appears as a Central 1 BC member credit union which owns a captive, branchless bank. The subsidiary has its own rarely-used institution number
175X0-309. The individual Vancity branches are listed not there but under Central 1's
XXXX0-809code as the Vancouver City Savings credit union.
010institution number. Following the end of PC Financial and CIBC's joint venture, all PC Financial consumer bank accounts were transferred to Simplii Financial. (All Simplii accounts are coded as CIBC branch
11392-509; TD had its own branch
01392-004. Post-merger closures of duplicate branches pointed both codes (and some others in TD's 004 range, flagged as "Sub to 01392") to the former Canada Trust building. On paper, Canada Trust and its pre-merger depositor accounts still exist, but all new accounts are being assigned TD numbers. If a branch network no longer exists (such as National Trust, after a takeover by Scotiabank) the routing code may be in the table but redirected in some manner. National Trust's former 353 Bay Street Toronto main branch
059000012is listed with Scotiabank MICR code
34272-002(the bank's 392 Bay Street branch). Expect more of the same where an institution is a going concern but is aggressively closing branches; routing codes for defunct CIBC branches in Tamworth and Deseronto point to a Greater Napanee Area branch which is still open. Sometimes the table lists the original street address (even if there's nothing there now) or the location of the nearest functional cashpoint, sometimes it lists the address of the branch to which the accounts were transferred, sometimes it lists "Sub to" and the destination branch's transit or routing number. Even if a branch no longer exists, the client list is commercially valuable so an attempt is usually made to point the code somewhere.
239revoked. Where an institution no longer exists (not even as a subsidiary of another firm), the code is normally expected to be shut down within a year - allowing time for items currently in the system to be processed - and then reserved for at least ten years before being issued to anyone else, if they're reissued at all.
XXXX2-837replaced Hepcoe Credit Union (#837) and Niagara Credit Union (not a member) in 2005 while Alterna
XXXX2-842replaced CS-Coop (Civil Service Co-operative Credit Society, #842) and Metro Credit Union (not a member) in 2005. Normally, membership in the Payments Association is revoked when a firm disappears due to a merger or becomes a member of a credit union central. As an exception, these two respective codes remain active at the request of Central 1, which is a member of the payments association and is legally responsible for their operation. (Different rules apply if an institution is acquired as a subsidiary, legally Alterna Bank is separate from its owner Alterna Savings, retaining its own payments association membership and institution number.)
XXXX3-839code also includes member institutions in Newfoundland, Labrador and Prince Edward Island as Atlantic Central is the product of a merger which included credit union central groups in New Brunswick
XXXX4-849and Prince Edward Island. PEI's
813code has been retired, but 849 has been left active indefinitely for Atlantic Central members in New Brunswick.
842is a credit union which owns the direct-banking operation Alterna Bank
608. There are no branches (other than the Ottawa headquarters) assigned to either of these codes, as all of Alterna's branches are listed in
XXXX2-828as Central 1 member Ontario credit unions. As Ontario's credit unions historically were small offices founded by tiny local groups with a common bond, such as the workers at one specific workplace, the large institutions like Alterna and Meridian tend to be the product of ongoing acquisitions, mergers and takeovers. The handling of existing routing codes after a credit union is taken over varies; Alterna will leave the existing
828code intact (if present), Meridian will assign its own
837institution code to the acquired branch, Kawartha CU will renumber every account in the acquired institution to a new account number in
06322-828, its Hunter Street corporate headquarters in Peterborough - forcing members to obtain new cheques, acquire new ATM cards and lose the ability to view any transactions from before the takeover on Member Direct's online banking site.
XXXX2-828. It has also assumed the clearing group position formerly held by the national Credit Union Central organisation. Central 1
869is one of two group clearers providing access to the payments system for other credit union groups, the other being Desjardins
815. While the largest banks (and the central bank) are direct clearers, it is not uncommon for smaller institutions to rely on one of the big banks or on an organisation like Central 1
869for some or all access to the system. As these clients (or provincial groups) hold their own respective institution codes, that code (and not 869) appears on their cheques and individual items;
869is only used internally in routing table entries.