Bank codes explained: IBAN Number and SWIFT Code
If you have ever made or about to make an international money transfer, you will probably be familiar with terms like IBAN number and SWIFT Code. These terms are highly essential and are used to transfer funds between financial institutions. But what do these terms mean?
This article will explain what IBAN and SWIFT code is and how to use them.
What Is an IBAN?
IBAN is an acronym for the International Bank Account Number. This number is internationally standardized and recognized. IBAN ensures that international payments are transferred to the correct recipient account. Also, facilitates the processing and communication of cross-border transactions.
What Does an IBAN Look Like?
The structure of an IBAN can vary from country to country, but in the UK all IBANs follow a similar format, that is:
- The first two characters are the letters representing the country code, such as GB.
- The next two numbers are the unique check digits that are different for every person.
- The next four characters are the bank code, in the case of HSBC UK Bank PLC, the bank code is HBUK.
- The next 6 digits are sort code which for all HSBC customers is 401276.
- The final 8 digits are the customer’s bank account number.
When all the above information is put together, the IBAN would look like this: GBxxHBUK401276xxxxxxxx
How Can I Find My IBAN?
Typically, the IBAN can be found on the bank statements or by logging into your bank’s online account or mobile application.
Make sure you always provide the correct IBAN, so the funds do not get to the wrong account and the transfer is processed successfully. Get the correct number by checking in with your bank, if you are not sure about it.
What Is a SWIFT Code?
Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication or SWIFT Code is a unique code that helps in identifying banks and financial institutions globally. Also, help them to communicate securely. The SWIFT codes are important because they make international transfers convenient by ensuring that they arrive at the correct bank and branch. Unlike IBANs, SWIFT codes only contain bank information. It’s a unique number and can have 8 or 11 characters, which all represent a specific bank detail.
What Does a SWIFT Code Look Like?
Roughly, all SWIFT codes follow the same format, such as:
- The first four characters are the bank code, in the case of HSBC, the bank code is HBUK.
- The next two characters are the letters representing the country code, such as GB.
- Then comes a location code which is a combination of numbers and letters. HSBC’s location code is 4B.
- Optionally, the SWIFT code may also have a three-character branch code in the end.
When all the above information is put together, HSBC’s SWIFT code would look like HBUKGB4Bxxx
How Can I Find My Swift Code?
Typically, the SWIFT code can be found on the bank’s website, personal bank statement, bank’s mobile application, or online account.
Like this information? Read more: How Wire Transfers Work: Sending and Receiving Funds
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