What are the BIC and the IBAN and for what serve


The BIC, also called SWIFT, and the IBAN they are two alphanumeric codes created to identify accounts and banking organisations to international level and expedite the bank transactions. The IBAN identifies an account banking (has come to substitute the Code Account Client), whereas the BIC/SWIFT identifies to a company or branch in international operations.


What are the BIC codes and IBAN


The IBAN, or code of an account, takeover its name of the initials of its denomination in English: International Bank Account Number (international bank account number).


For what serves


Substitutes to the Code Account Client (CAC) that identified the accounts until 2014, since it entered vigor the Only Area of Payments in Euros, or SEPA. Since then, all the bank transactions carried out in the 28 European Union countries, in addition to Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Monaco, San Marino and Switzerland, are made with the same agility that if were done between its accounts country.


How the code is established


To the number former of an account, with 20 digits, adds him to him initially a code of the country (2 bills, IS in the case of Spain) followed by 2 control digits. The complete code of the account is visible in any bank statement or on the website and the app of any online bank.

La alphanumeric key complete follows this outline:

Code of the country (IS in Spain) + 2 control digits + code of the company (2038 in the case of Bankia) + code of the branch (4 digits) + 2 control digits + number of the account of the client (10 digits). In total, 24 characters that identify in an unequivocal way every account.




The code BIC (Bank Identifier Code)or SWIFT (acrónimo made up of the initials of Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications), it allows establishing a service of messaging encrypted that it allows doing international transfers of funds with total security.


For what serves


In the case of payments or transfers out of the European Union and the area SEPA is necessary add to the IBAN the code BIC, or SWIFT, that identifies to the destination bank or financial institution.


How the code is established


The BIC/SWIFT is an alphanumeric code that it can appear of 8 or of 11 characters:


  • Code of 8 characters. An alphanumeric key that follows this outline: Code of the company (4 bills, CAHM in the case of Bankia) + 2 bills of the code of the country (IS in the case of Spain) + 2 bills of the town (MM in the case of Madrid, BB in that one of Barcelona).
  • Code of 11 characters. To the previous code, you can sum 3 characters more, those of the code of the branch (when it is not the principal). In this way, the alphanumeric key follows this outline: Code of the company + 2 bills of the code of the country + 2 bills of the town + 3 digits of the branch.


When a client does an international transfer, the issuing bank generates an encrypted message (BIC code/SWIFT) that indicates to the company of destination how is going to bring over the funds to that client, with all the necessary details (date, currency, companies intermediaries if it had them, expenses...). In this way, the security of any international transaction is guaranteed.



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