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IBAN format

Understanding what an IBAN looks like

IBAN stands for International Bank Account Number. It's a standardised way of identifying a bank account.

An IBAN is always used in conjunction with a Bank Identifier Code (BIC) - a sequence of numbers and letters which identifies a bank and branch.

Not a bank account number

An IBAN isn't a bank account number. It can include your sort code and account number, but also includes extra characters.

Never try to create or guess an IBAN as the format is different for different countries. Always ask the person you are paying what their IBAN is. You'll find your own IBAN on your bank statement.

Printed and electronic IBANS

An IBAN will be between 15 and 28 characters in length, depending on the country where the account is held. UK IBANs are 22 characters long.

An IBAN will look slightly different in printed form than it will when it is used electronically - such as when it's being used during an online banking transaction.

In printed form, the number is frequently split into groups of four characters. This makes it easier to read. When it is used electronically it shouldn't contain blank spaces or the word IBAN.

For example, a printed IBAN would look like this:

GB99 RBOS 1234 5612 3456 78

While the electronic equivalent would look like this:


Check the validity of an IBAN number