Top of main content

What is an IBAN, a BIC and a SWIFT code?

An IBAN and a BIC (or SWIFT code) are used to make international payments faster, safer and cheaper.

IBAN stands for International Bank Account Number. It's your account number written in a standard global format. Your IBAN helps banks to identify accounts held anywhere in the world so they can process international payments automatically.

Every bank is also assigned a BIC. Strictly speaking, this stands for Business Identifier Code, although it's also referred to as a Bank Identifier Code or a Bank International Code.

You might also sometimes see it called a SWIFT code because it uses the SWIFT system (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication). But they're the same thing.

When you'll need your IBAN and BIC

You'll need to know your own IBAN and BIC if you're receiving money from outside the international UK.

If you're sending money outside the UK, you'll generally need the IBAN and BIC of the person you're sending money to.

How to get your IBAN and BIC

There are 4 ways to find out your International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and Business Identifier Code (BIC) if you're with HSBC.

1. The quickest and easiest is by logging on to our mobile banking app or online banking. Just follow these steps:

  • from the main accounts screen, tap the account you want to view the IBAN and BIC for

  • tap ‘Statements’, then tap on any recent statement

  • you'll see your IBAN and BIC on the right side of the statement above the transaction list

2. You can also find your IBAN and BIC on your paper statements.

3. If you have an HSBC Currency Account, you can find your IBAN and BIC by logging on to online banking and looking in the ‘Details’ section above your Currency Account transactions.

4. If you’ve recently opened a current account, you’ll also find your IBAN and BIC in your welcome letter.