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What is SWIFT code? : Information on Swift Codes, Money Transfer and more

What is SWIFT code?

Posted in swift  by Admin
March 22, 2010

SWIFT code (also known as SWIFT ID, SWIFT number or BIC code) is a unique identification code for a bank that can be used for money transfers especially international wire transfers. ISO 9362 standardized the format of Bank Identifier Codes (BIC).

SWIFT codes can be either 8 or 11 characters long specified as follows:

  • First 4 characters: Bank Code
  • Next 2 characters: Country Code
  • Next 2 characters: Location Code
  • Next 3 characters: Branch code. This is optional.

For example, CRESUS33LNO is the SWIFT code for CREDIT SUISSE AG in New York. In this, CRES represents the bank code for CREDIT SUISSE AG, US is the country code for United States of America, 33 is the location code and LNO is the branch code.

Note that every branch of a bank may not have a SWIFT code. Only certain designated branches may be assigned SWIFT codes and they can be used for money transfers even though you may not have an account in that branch itself.

For example, money transfers to India from USA using Citibank should use the SWIFT code CITIINBXGCN as the beneficiary bank SWIFT code per Citibank. The beneficiary of the money transfer may not even have an account with that particular Citibank branch.

You can search for SWIFT codes at


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