Swift code or also commonly known as BIC Code is a standard format to uniquely identify a bank, financial institution and non-financial institution. This standard approved by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). BIC stands for Business Identifier Codes.
The codes are widely used when transferring money between banks, particularly for international wire transfers or telegraphic transfer. Other uses include to transmit messages between financial institutions and banks.
The Swift code can be either 8 or 11 characters long, and 8 digits code refers to the primary office. The code consists of 4 separate section, and the format arrange in the following manner;
AAAA BB CC DDD
Currently, there are over 40,000 “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 50,000 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.
Deutsche Bank is an international bank, with its head office in Frankfurt, Germany. The SWIFT code for its primary office is
Deutsche Bank uses an extended code of 11 characters and has assigned branches or processing areas individual extended codes. This 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.
Nedbank is a primarily South African bank, with its head office in Johannesburg. The SWIFT code for its primary office is
Nedbank has not implemented the extended code of 11 characters and all SWIFT transfers to its accounts are directed to the primary office for processing. Those transfer interfaces that require an 11 digit code would enter
Danske Bank is a primarily Danish bank, with its head office in Copenhagen. The SWIFT code for its primary office is
UniCredit Banca is a primarily Italian bank with its head office in Milan. The SWIFT code for its primary office is
Dah Sing Bank is a bank based in Hong Kong that has five branches in mainland China (primary mainland China branch in Shenzhen). The SWIFT code for the branch in Shanghai is
It uses the 11-digit extended code, and SHA identifies the Shanghai branch.
BDO Unibank is the biggest bank in the Philippines, with its head office in Makati. The SWIFT Code for BDO is
BNORPHMM. All BDO branches have the same SWIFT Code.
Note that one bank can seem to have more than one bank identifier in a given country for separation purposes. Bank of East Asia separates its representative branch in the US and its US-based operations for local customers into BEASUS33xxx (following the code used in its home country) and BEAKUS33xxx respectively. This differs from its local mainland China operations which are also BEASCNxxxxx following Hong Kong rather than having a separate identifier code.
BOFAUS3N. The SWIFT code for wires sent in foreign currency (non-U.S. dollars) to Bank of America in the United States is
In the past, SEPA payments required both BIC and IBAN. Since 2016-02-01 only the IBAN is needed inside the SEPA (European Union and some more countries).
In Sri Lanka Swift codes consist of 8-11 digits. This example is a swift code for Sampath Bank: