DEFINITION of 'Check Routing Symbol'

A set of numbers appearing as the denominator of a fraction that is printed in the upper right corner of any check that is paid through the federal reserve system. The check routing symbol contains three or four digits and provides three pieces of information: the district of the paying bank, the facility that processed the check and the funds' availability status assigned by the Fed. The upper number in the numerical fraction is the ABA transit number.

BREAKING DOWN 'Check Routing Symbol'

Any check that the Fed deems immediately available is given a check routing number that ends in 0. They are payable the same day as they are presented at any federal reserve bank. A check with a routing symbol that ends in any other number is referred to as a deferred availability check.

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