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What is a Swift code?

swift code

A Swift Code or BIC (Bank Identifier Code) is the international equivalent of a sort code. It is part of an international payment instruction which routes a payment through the international system, to the correct country and local bank.


How do I find my Swift Code or BIC?

Your bank, or tha bank you are sending money to, will be able to provide this, or it should be on your overseas bank statement if you are sending money to your own account. Since most banks in most countries are well known to currency companies, your UK currency broker may well be able to provide this code for you. The Swift/BIC are not usually detailed down to branch level (since branch information is contained within the IBAN), so a bank will usually have one code which will work for all its branches in one country.


What is the format for a Swift Code or BIC?

Codes are always 8-11 characters long, and will include the country code, which is always the 5th and 6th characters. These will be standard for the country, so for payments to Spain, 'ES' will always be the 5th and 6th characters, and 'GB' for the UK. Again, your currency transfer company will be able to help ensure you have the right code for your payment.


I have been given 2 Swift Codes. Why is that?

Sometimes, payments are routed through one bank to another; for example when sending money to the Caribbean which is routed via the USA. In these cases, there may be a final Swift code for the destination bank, and a routing Swift code for the bank who are handling the transfer as an intermediary. Again, speak to a currency company for advice if you are unsure. If you would like to be put in touch with a UK-based, regulated currency payment specialist, fill in your details at the top of the page.