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What is SWIFT code?


    What is SWIFT code?

    The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) (also known as ISO 9362, SWIFT-BIC, BIC code, SWIFT ID or SWIFT code) is a standard format of Business Identifier Codes approved by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). It is a unique identification code for both financial and non-financial institutions. (When assigned to a non-financial institution, a code may also be known as a Business Entity Identifier or BEI.) These codes are used when transferring money between banks, particularly for international wire transfers, and also for the exchange of other messages between banks. The codes can sometimes be found on account statements. SWIFT and BIC codes are basically the same.
    The SWIFT code is 8 or 11 characters,
    Example: BBBBUS3MXXX
    • First 4 characters - bank code (only letters)
    • Next 2 characters - ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code (only letters)
    • Next 2 characters - location code (letters and digits) (passive participant will have "1" in the second character)
    • Last 3 characters - branch code, optional ('XXX' for primary office) (letters and digits)
    Currently, there are over 7,500 “live” SWIFT codes. The "live" codes are for the partners who are actively connected to the SWIFT network. On top of that, there are more than 10,000 additional codes, which are used for manual transactions. These additional codes are for the passive participants.


    The registrations of SWIFT Codes are handled by Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (“SWIFT”) and their headquarters is located in La Hulpe, Belgium.


    SWIFT is the registered trademarks of S.W.I.F.T. SCRL with a registered address at Avenue Adèle 1, B-1310 La Hulpe, Belgium.