How to Find Out the Bank’s SWIFT Code?
A SWIFT code is something that will be requested whenever you want to transfer money internationally. For example, if you have an account at JPMorgan Chase in the U.S. and want to send money to an HSBC account in the UK, you will need the code of the HSBC branch you are wiring the money to.
This article will show you how to identify the codes for either your banking provider or an external one.
What Does a SWIFT Code Look Like?
Before we get into this, note that “SWIFT” stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications, a messaging system that banks use to send instructions to each other. Each bank has a unique number similar to how each individual has a distinctive phone number if you need to contact them. It is between 8 and 11 characters in this format — AAAABBCCXXX:
- AAAA is 4 digits assigned to your banking provider. It is usually an abbreviation of the bank’s name.
- BB identifies the country where the financial institution is located.
- CC is two digits that identify the institution’s head office.
- XXX is the digits for a specific branch of the banking institution.
For example, here is the code for an HSBC bank in the UK: HBUKGB4BXXX.
Why Do I Need a SWIFT Code?
As we mentioned, SWIFT is a standard messaging system that banks use to communicate with each other. When sending money internationally, your banking institution uses this code to verify the identity of the recipient bank and ensure they send it to the right account. Without it, they wouldn’t be able to communicate with the appropriate bank that the money is destined for.
SWIFT isn’t the only system for moving funds internationally, although it is the most popular. There are alternatives like Russia’s SPFS and China’s CIPS, but they lack the widespread reach of the SWIFT network.
How to Find Out the SWIFT Code of Your Bank
Check Bank Statements
A statement of account is a document that shows all the transactions that occurred on your account over a specific period, and you are free to request it at any time. You will normally find your banking firm’s code in this document.
You can check your financial institution’s website to see if they have posted their respective codes. Look for the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section or the page for foreign transfers. You can also use the search box to check.
Contact the Bank
You can get in touch with your institution via telephone, live chat or email and request the code of a specific branch.
How to Find the SWIFT Code of Any Bank
Ask the Recipient
You can ask the person you are sending money to find out the code of their banking provider and get back to you. If the person is unsure, they can contact their institution to find out.
Use an Online Directory
It is said that the Internet contains a solution for every problem, and it rings true here. Identifying SWIFT codes is a major issue worldwide, and there are some websites that solve this issue by providing a directory of codes for various banks, e.g., theswiftcodes.com or bankswiftcode.org. You can use these websites to look up the codes of any banking institution in your country.
Wire transfer is one of the most common ways to send money across borders, and it has been made easy by the SWIFT system. Banks use this messaging system to exchange instructions to transfer funds with each other.
To use this protocol to send money internationally, you must provide the unique digits assigned to the branch you want to send it to. With this information alongside other important ones like the account name and bank name, you are good to go.
A SWIFT transfer generally takes between 1 and 4 days. You can do that at your physical banking branch or through an online bank like Silverbird.