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Search SWIFT BIC code

Offshore Banking Wiki

How to Find Swift codes Numbers

BIC or SWIFT codes are used for transferring money overseas. SWIFT stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication and BIC stands for Bank Identifier Code. Together they make up the 8-11 character identification code of a bank or financial institution.

Swift is a communication network used by banks, brokers, financial institutions and corporations to exchange messages. Institutions send each other messages over the network to confirm trades or to expect a wire transfer as examples. Swift is owned by the network's members. The Swift organization issues the Bank Identifier Numbers or BIC. The BIC is required to be included in all messages between the banks using the Swift network. Swift issues the Business Entity Identifier or BEI for non financial corporations on the network. The Swift numbers are valid worldwide.


1 - Determine the institution's name and address. Find out if the company is part of the Swift network. If the business is not part of Swift it won't have a Swift code assigned.

2 - Contact the bank, corporation or institution that will receive the message and ask for their Swift number. The best departments to contact will be the Trading, Wire Transfers or Securities Settlement areas of the company

3 - Visit the Swift internet site at Enter the bank or corporation name and do a search. The search results will provide the number (s) assigned to the company by Swift. The basic search is free, for more detailed information, a paid subscription is required.

You can also search SWIFT online directory
Find a BIC or SWIFT code by country directory
Find a BIC or SWIFT code by Bank

4 - Arrange for alternative methods of communication if you can't find a Swift code for the bank, broker or corporation. Try sending an e-mail or a fax or calling over the telephone.

International Wire Transfers payments are sent usually through SWIFT in the following format :


Beneficiary Bank Information:
Name of bank:
Postal Code/City:

Beneficiary Personal Information:
Account #:
First name:
Last Name:
Postal Code/City:

Correspondent Bank:

The following table gives the SWIFT MT 103 Basic Format for Wire Transfer

 Tag  Field Name
20 Sender’s Reference
13C  Time Indication
23B Bank Operation Code
23E  Instruction Code
26T Transaction Type Code
32A  Value Date/Currency/Interbank/Settled Amount
33B  Currency/Instructed Amount
36 Exchange Rate
50a  Ordering Customer
51A  Sending Institution
52a Ordering Institution
53a Sender’s Correspondent
54a  Receiver’s Correspondent
55a  Third Reimbursement Institution
56a Intermediary Institution
57a  Account With Institution
59a Beneficiary Customer
70 Remittance Information
71A  Details of Charges
71F Sender’s Charges
71G  Receiver’s Charges
72 Sender to Receiver Info
77B  Regulatory Reporting
77T  Envelope Contents


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