A SWIFT Code is a standard format of Bank Identifier Code (BIC) used to specify a particular bank or branch. These codes are used when transferring money between banks, particularly for international wire transfers. Banks also use these codes for exchanging messages between them.
SWIFT codes comprise of 8 or 11 characters. All 11 digit codes refer to specific branches, while 8 digit codes (or those ending in 'XXX') refer to the head or primary office. SWIFT codes are formatted as follows:
AAAA BB CC DDD
The registrations of SWIFT Codes are handled by Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (“SWIFT”) and their headquarters is located in La Hulpe, Belgium. SWIFT is the registered trademark of S.W.I.F.T. SCRL with a registered address at Avenue Adèle 1, B-1310 La Hulpe, Belgium.