If you plan to send or receive money internationally, it’s especially important you have all the right information to make sure the transaction is processed safely. One thing banks usually ask for is a SWIFT code, to help make sure the cash makes it to the right person.
Although just a few letters or numbers, this simple, unique code, packs in a lot of information. In fact SWIFT codes - also sometimes described as a BIC codes - explain exactly which bank, country, location and even branch you're transferring money to. That’s a whole lot of detail for just 11 characters.
Here’s everything you need to know if you’re sending money to or from a UK based Barclays account.
If you're making an international transfer to or from a Barclays account, you'll be asked for a SWIFT code along with a few other details, such as Barclays IBAN.
You can find everything you'll need to transfer your money safely, here:
|Bank Name||Barclays Bank Plc|
|SWIFT/BIC Code for Barclays||BARCGB22|
|Bank address||1 Churchill Place, London, E14 5HP, United Kingdom|
|Beneficiary Account Number||Complete Barclays bank account number of the recipient (don't forget to include leading zeros)|
|Beneficiary Name||The name of recipient’s account as it appears on a bank statement|
SWIFT codes are identifier codes used by banks to make sure money transfers can be processed quickly and safely. They're internationally agreed, unique, and especially important if you're moving your money between bank accounts in different countries.
SWIFT codes are made up of several different pieces of information, with 8 or 11 characters, and a mix of letters and numbers:
AAAA - Bank Code
BB - Country Code
CC - Location Code
DDD - Optional Branch Code
The code for the bank's main office will consist of 8 characters, while specific branch codes have 11 characters.
Banks use SWIFT codes when transferring money between banks internationally. This code is enough to make sure that the money being transferred arrives at the right bank. However you also have to show which exact account within the bank money should land in, so you have to provide a little more detail.
In all EU countries plus Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Hungary, you can do this with an IBAN. This code, or International Bank Account Number, includes everything the banks need to identify the country the account is in, the bank, and the account number.
If you hold a bank account in the United States, you might see references to routing numbers, which are similar to SWIFT codes. However, routing numbers are only used for moving money between accounts within the US. SWIFT codes on the other hand tend to be used for international money transfers.
Each branch as a unique SWIFT code. You can check the correct SWIFT code for your Barclays branch here. However, don’t worry if you can’t find your branch details. If you use the correct Head Office SWIFT code, they’ll route the payment for you.
You’ll usually find that there are some costs involved with making an international money transfer. However, it's well worth checking the costs of different providers, as your home bank might not offer the best deal. There are usually administration costs added to a transfer, which can be pricey. And even if your bank advertises fee-free transfers, they likely roll up their profit in a poor exchange rate.
You could find a better deal with a specialist service like TransferWise. Unlike most banks, international money transfers with TransferWise are made using the real mid-market exchange rate, with only a small transparent fee. They’re safe, and can often be quicker than using your bank. You can relax, knowing you haven’t lost out on fees, and your money is being transferred quickly and safely.