When it comes to numbers associated with your bank account, there are several you need to know to conduct certain transactions. These include numbers unique to your account, and numbers associated directly with your bank, such as a bank institution number.
You can find the institution number on your cheque at the bottom along with a string of other numbers.
What is a bank institution number?
A bank institution number is a three-digit number that refers to a specific bank. Every bank in Canada is identified by its own unique institution number. You need to know this number when you set up direct deposits and automatic withdrawals in your bank account.
The three digits of the bank institution number, combined with a five-digit transit number, make up the routing number. These numbers are used to process bank transactions, such as wire transfers, direct deposits and automatic bill and loan payments.
List of Canadian bank institution numbers
Here are examples of what institution numbers look like for some of Canada’s larges banks, credit unions and online-only banks. This is not an exhaustive list.
|Canadian Bank or Financial Institution||Institution Number|
|Bank of Montreal||001|
|Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)||002|
|Royal Bank of Canada||003|
|National Bank of Canada||006|
|Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce||010|
|HSBC Bank Canada||016|
|Canadian Western Bank||030|
|Laurentian Bank of Canada||039|
|Bank of Canada (Canada’s central bank)||177|
|Amex Bank of Canada||303|
|Manulife Bank of Canada||540|
|Alterna Savings and Credit Union Ltd.||842|
How to find the bank institution number on a cheque
The easiest place to find your three-digit institution number is on a cheque. It’s located at the bottom of the cheque between the transit number (five digits) and the account number (seven to 12 digits).
Other ways to find a bank institution number
If you don’t have a cheque handy, a quick web search can help you figure out your institution number. You can also go to your online banking portal and see a copy of a void cheque associated with your account or get in touch with your local bank branch and they will help you out.