SWIFT stands for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, which provides a network that enables banks anywhere in the world to send and receive information in a standardised and secure environment.
In practical terms, the SWIFT code is a standard format of Business Identifier Codes (BIC), which are used by banks when transferring money between them. The SWIFT code is usually required when you conduct an international money transfer.
*It’s important to keep in mind when having a discussion at the bank that the SWIFT code is the same thing as the SWIFT-BIC,BIC, BIC code, or SWIFT ID. All of these acronyms refer to the same code.
How Does SWIFT Help Me?
If your bank is affiliated with SWIFT, it can use the network to make very quick and secure money transfers. This helps clients move money around without any hassle.
What Does It Look Like?
The SWIFT code consists of either eight or 11 characters and is formatted as follows:
- The first 4 characters are the bank code (only letters);
- The next 2 characters are the country code (only letters);
- Next 2 characters are the location code (letters and digits);
- The last 3 characters represent the branch code (letters and digits).
Top 10 Banks* and their SWIFT codes:
- P.Morgan Chase & Co in New York City, NY –BOFAUS3DSHA
- Bank of America in Charlotte, North Carolina –BOFAUS3DCRD
- Wells Fargo in San Francisco, California –WFBIUS6S
- Citigroup in New York City, NY –CITIUS33
- Goldman Sachs Group in New York City, NY –GSCMUS33
- Morgan Stanley in New York City, NY –MSNYUS33
- S. Bancorp in Minneapolis, Minnesota –USBKUS44IMT
- Bank of New York Mellon in New York City, NY –IRVTUS3N
- PNC Financial Services in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania –PNCCUS33
- Capital One in McLean, Virginia –NFBKUSF1
*By assets under management according to Wikipedia.
One feature of SWIFT payments are the automated codes provided by institutions directly to customers when making a transfer.
There are dozens of SWIFT codes split into 9 categories, providing a range of information about the exact transfer. Examples include:
|MT 192||Request for Cancellation|
|MT 256||Advice of Non-Payment of Cheques|
|MT 300||Foreign Exchange Confirmation|
SWIFT codes also share a uniform design that includes specific syntax and structure:
- Basic header block
- Application header block
- User header block (optional)
- Text block
- Trailer block
If you were looking for specific bank swift codes you can navigate there through this list: