IBAN stands for International Bank Account Number. The IBAN is a globally recognised system used to identify bank accounts across geographic country and regional borders. IBANs greatly reduce errors and speed up international money payments and transactions.
This short guide will provide you with practical information about IBANs so you can transfer money easily, every time.
Your IBAN is a unique code used to identify your bank account for the purpose of cross-border payments. Using the wrong IBAN could result in a payment being returned or even sent to the wrong account altogether.
Your IBAN does not replace your sort code and bank account number. It's simply an additional number with extra information to help overseas banks identify your account for payments.
Make sure you (or the sender) have the following information to hand when you're sending or receiving funds overseas.
When sending money overseas you will need to have the recipient's:
You may also be asked for:
Payments to the UK and European Economic Area (EEA) countries will also require the Bank Identifier Code (BIC). BICs are sometimes also known as SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) codes.
If you think you may have entered an incorrect IBAN, contact your bank immediately for help with recovering the transferred funds. The sooner you alert the bank to the problem, the easier it is to fix.
When receiving money from overseas, make sure the bank sending the payment has:
If money is received in a different currency to the one your account is held in, your bank will convert it using the most up-to-date exchange rate before crediting it to your account.
The US, Canada, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand are a few of the countries that recognise the IBAN system but use SWIFT codes for international transfers instead.
You can usually find your IBAN and BIC on paper bank statements and in your online banking or mobile banking app.
When sending money, there are IBAN calculators online that will generate an IBAN for you if you have the beneficiary's basic bank account number details. But this is not necessarily guaranteed.
The best way to make sure you have the correct IBAN is to get in touch with your bank or ask the beneficiary for it directly. That way, you can be sure that your money will arrive safely when sending it abroad.
IBANs can vary from country to country. They are unique because the alphanumeric code is connected to only one account. The IBAN includes all the information needed for a successful transfer: the country code, check digits, bank code, branch code and account number.
IBANs will have up to 34 alphanumeric characters, consisting of a:
If you put in the wrong IBAN and there is no corresponding account with that IBAN, the payment will be rejected. However, if you enter an IBAN that matches an account at that bank, the transfer will likely go through even if the recipient's name is incorrect. You won't be able to reverse the transfer without the recipient's permission, which could cause financial loss. Learn more about sending money overseas to see how we can help you.
We can tell you the best way for you to apply for an overseas account. Simply select your current location and where you would like to open an account. We'll then walk you through the steps.
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