Friday, November 15, 2013



SWIFT code is a standard format of Bank Identifier Codes (BIC) and it is unique identification code for a particular bank.

These codes are used when transferring money between banks, particularly for international wire transfers. Banks also used the codes for exchanging other messages between them.

The SWIFT code consists of 8 or 11 characters (When 8-digits code is given, it refers to the primary office)

SWIFT CODE comprises following:

• First 4 characters - bank code (only letters)

• Next 2 characters - ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code (only letters)

• Next 2 characters - location code (letters and digits) (passive participant will have "1" in the second character)

• Last 3 characters - branch code, optional ('XXX' for primary office) (letters and digits)

For example the SWIFT Code of HDFC Bank is: HDFCINBBXXX

HDFC - Bank Code
IN - Country Code for India
BB - Location Code (Bombay - now called Mumbai)
XXX - Primary Office Branch Code

and the Swift Code of State Bank of India Pune Branch is: SBININBB238

SBIN - Bank Code
IN - India
BB - Bombay
238 - Branch Code

For more details of Swift Codes of Banks in India click the link below:


A sudden "googly" from my Seafarer son who rang up from the high seas and urgently wanted to know the "Swift Code" of his bank put me in a tizzy and I found out the information which I am sharing for benefit of all those ignorant guys like me.

This is the power of internet where you can instantly find information literally at your fingertips. In earlier days, you would probably have to trudge down to your bank to find out, and, sometimes, even those guys at the branch would be clueless.

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