SWIFT code / ISO 9362 : Bank Identifier Code

SWIFT code / ISO 9362 : Bank Identifier Code

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What is SWIFT code ?

ISO 9362 (also known as SWIFT-BIC, BIC code or SWIFT code) is a standard format of Bank Identifier Codes approved by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). It is the unique identification code of a particular bank. 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.
The overlapping issue between ISO 9362 and ISO 13616 is discussed in the article International Bank Account Number.
The SWIFT code is 8 or 11 characters, made up of:
* 4 characters - bank code (only letters)
* 2 characters - ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code (only letters)
* 2 characters - location code (letters and digits) (if the second character is '1', then it denotes a passive participant in the SWIFT network)
* 3 characters - branch code, optional ('XXX' for primary office) (letters and digits)
Where an 8-digit code is given, it may be assumed that it refers to the primary office.
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) handles the registration of these codes. For this reason, Bank Identifier Codes (BICs) are often called SWIFT addresses or codes.
There are over 7,500 "live" codes (for partners actively connected to the BIC network) and an estimated 10,000 additional BIC codes which can be used for manual transactions.
As an example, Deutsche Bank is an international bank; its head office is based in Frankfurt, Germany. Its SWIFT code for its primary office is DEUTDEFF:
* DEUT identifies Deutsche Bank
* DE is the country code for Germany
* FF is the code for Frankfurt
Using an extended code of 11 digits (if the receiving bank has assigned branches or processing areas individual extended codes) allows the payment to be directed to a specific office. For example, DEUTDEFF500 would direct the payment to an office of Deutsche Bank in Bad Homburg.

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