All about Swift Codes

H is a detailed discussion about swift codes in the swift community forum:

Implementation of Checks for NON-SWIFT BICs, CIVICs
hello All,

SWIFT has defined some validations rules like

1. T45: Invalid NON SWIFT BIC
How does one have the list of NON-SWIFT BICs supported by SWIFT.
Is this Information present in the BICPLUSIBAN Directory released by SWIFT

2. T29: Invalid SWIFT Branch codes
How does one obtain the list of Invalid and Valid Branch codes Supported by SWIFT.
Is this Information present in the BICPLUSIBAN Directory released by SWIFT

3. How can one understand whether for a particular BIC present in the Party field is having a Valid destination or not.
Is this Information present in the BICPLUSIBAN Directory released by SWIFT

I would be grateful for your reply.

Thanks and Regards

04 Jun 2009 by Reinhard Lehmann
Dear Priyankam,
there is NO simple way of finding out the existence or validity of a BIC etc.
- because:
a) there are too many unpublished BICs, where SWIFT does not even tell you, if they exist, even when you ask
b) all kind of directories are outdated, compared with the main directory, maintained by SWIFT - outdated by hours, days, weeks, months - so you would, even if you know all unpublished BICs never be on the same information level as SWIFT.

a) (unreliable) use BIC-Search on - although this information may be incomplete
b) (reliable): send a message - e.g. MT-202 to yourself and fill the BIC in question into Field 57A -
- if SWIFT ACKs the message, the BIC is OK,
- otherwise, you will get T29, T45 etc.

It is irritating, that SWIFT refuses to give us the information about a BIC existence through the phone, justifying it with data-privacy and on the other hand you will get the information immediatelly by sending a FIN Msg (which of course you will have to pay for).
best regards, Reinhard

01 Jun 2009 by Sunil Bhardwaj

Hi Priyanka,

SWIFT and non-SWIFT BICs can be distinguished by refering to the character at 8th position. Non-SWIFT BICs contain "1" in its 8th position.

Non-SWIFT BICs can be present in the Party fields. This helps structured representation of a Party, helpful for automation.

The last three characters in a 11-BIC structure represent the Branch code.

Both the above contents are available in BIC directory and can be used as reference data for validation.


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The best place to find your swift code is the swift website - Once you go there you can use the search box to find the swift code for your specific Bank Branch if you have little idea about what the swift code for the bank in that particular country is. If you do not have any clue our swift code blog is here.
If you do, just enter the bank code and suffixed country code, say IN for India and US for United States there in box and press Return. You will find the list of Branches that are linked to Swift international and have been assigned any swift code or BIC number to that branch of the bank. Sometimes it also shows the swift codes for the bank which are not active any more they are not shown in the same color as others.
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