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How do IBANs work?

IBANs and BICs are used throughout the European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland. They should be used on all payments to and from these countries.

Making payments

You must always quote the IBAN and BIC of the beneficiary. Don't give extra information - such as account numbers or bank names as this causes problems with the payment.

You can also use IBAN and BIC to make currency payments within the UK. But if you're simply making sterling payments in the UK, you should use sort codes and account numbers.

Receiving payments

If you're receiving funds, you should:

  • Give the payer your IBAN and BIC
  • Don't provide any other information, such as your account number or address

Although it's not essential, you can also provide your IBAN and BIC for payments being received from other countries.

Check the validity of an IBAN number