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BICs / SWIFT Codes Key facts and information

Key facts and information

BICs / SWIFT Codes whats in a name?

BICs (Business Identifier Codes) are also known as SWIFT Codes ISO 9362 BEIs (Business Entity Identifiers) SWIFT-BICs SWIFT IDs

For the purpose of this presentation we will refer to them as BICs

Key facts and information

BICs a brief history

A BIC is the unique identification code of a particular bank.

BICs are used to transfer money between banks, particularly for international wire transfers, and also for the exchange of other messages between banks.

BICs are approved by The ISO (International Organisation for Standardization), who appointed SWIFT as the registration authority for the assignment of BICs. For this reason, they are sometimes referred to as SWIFT Codes.

Key facts and information

BIC formats
BICs are written and printed as a string without spaces.

There are two types of BIC: BIC8 an 8-character BIC. Identifies a financial or non-financial institution in a country or a location. BIC11 - an 11-character BIC. Identifies the institution's branch. Note: Where an 8-digit code is given you should assume that it refers to the primary office.

Key facts and information

8-characer BICs
The structure of an 8 character BIC is as follows:
Institution code 4 alphabetic characters identifying the institution. For example, BNPA for BNP-Paribas.

Country code 2 alphabetic characters identifying the country where the institution is located. For example, FR for France.
Location code 2 alphabetic or numerical characters that give additional location information within a country (such as a city or region). For example, PP for Paris.

Key facts and information

11-character BICs
An 8-character BIC can be extended to an 11-character BIC by adding a branch code.

Branch code 3 alphabetic characters. The branch code identifies the physical branch of an institution; or its department or type of business.

Key facts and information

Connected and unconnected BICs

BICs identify both financial and non-financial institutions, connected and not connected to the SWIFT network.

A BIC for an institution connected to the SWIFT network has a location code ending with a character other than a 1. These BICs are sometimes called a connected BIC or a SWIFT BIC.

Not Connected
The BIC of an institution not connected to the SWIFT network has the location code ending in 1. These BICs are sometimes called a non-SWIFT BIC, or a BIC1.

Note: Only a SWIFT BIC can appear in the header of a SWIFT message.

Key facts and information

Example BICs - the big 5 banks

To date, SWIFT has issued up to 90,000 BICs worldwide!

Here are the BICs of the big 5 major UK banks:

Barclays - BARCGB22 HSBC MIDLGB22 Lloyds Banking Group - LOYDGB2L RBS RBOSGB2L Standard Chartered - SCBLGB2L

Key facts and information

SWIFT & AccessPay

To find out more about SWIFT, read the AccessPay slideshare presentation: SWIFT secure financial messaging services - key facts and information

The AccessPay SWIFT Payments Module will help you leverage the power of the SWIFT network, and benefit from faster, more efficient global payments.
Read more about The AccessPay SWIFT Payments Module here.

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