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Sending money overseas from a UK bank

Last Edit: 10/09/18

A common question posed, is how easy it is to send money overseas using Internet banking? The answer is it is easy to initiate, as long as the bank customer is using a current account -- saving accounts do not always have the option to transfer funds overseas. To transfer money overseas, a bank customer will need to login to their Internet account, and then fill out a transfer form which will require the information listed below. If a bank customer does not own an Internet account, they will need to visit their local branch and provide the same information.

The following information will typically be required by most Internet banks for overseas transfers:

Out of the information listed above, the part which may confuse new Internet bank users the most is using a SWIFT BIC code and a IBAN code. The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) was founded in 1973, and has become the industry standard (banks) for sending financial messages (transfers) between banks. There are currently more than 11,000 financial institutions -- in over 200 countries -- that use SWIFT. BIC stands for Bank Identifier Code and the code is defined by SWIFT. The International Bank Account Number (IBAN) system was created to improve bank transfers between banks in the European Union, and includes additional codes (compared to SWIFT) that helps avoid transcription and routing errors. When printed, IBANs are spaced into blocks of four characters, but when transmitted electronically, do not include these spaces. The use of an IBAN is mandatory in Europe, but is not always used by U.S. banks, which can sometimes cause an issue for Europeans wishing to transfer money to the U.S.