What is a SWIFT code? Everything you need to know

Euan Robb

The global financial landscape is vast, and navigating international transactions can seem intimidating. Whether you're a business owner making international payments daily or an individual sending money overseas for a large purchase such as a property abroad, you've probably come across the term 'SWIFT code'.

But what exactly is it, and why is it important? In this guide, we'll explain exactly what SWIFT codes are, and how Equals Money's international payments service can streamline your foreign exchange needs.

About Equals Money

What is a SWIFT Code?

A SWIFT code or number, also known as a Bank Identifier Code (BIC), is an 8 to 11 character code used to identify banks worldwide. It acts as an address that shows where money needs to go when it's being transferred between banks, especially for international transactions.

Understanding the Structure

A SWIFT code is typically broken down into four distinct sections:

  1. Bank code: The first four characters identify the bank.
  2. Country code: The next two characters represent the country where the bank is located.
  3. Location code: The subsequent two characters highlight the bank's head office or branch's location.
  4. Branch code: The last three characters (which are optional) pinpoint the specific branch.

SWIFT code example

Example: Let's consider the SWIFT code EQUSGB1LXXX.

  • EQUS represents the bank.
  • GB stands for Great Britain.
  • 1L signifies the location.
  • XXX indicates the branch, but in this case, it's a general code, showing it's the main branch.

Why is a SWIFT code important?

When you're sending or receiving money internationally, a SWIFT code ensures that your money reaches the correct bank and branch. Without the right code, transfers can be delayed, returned, or even sent to the wrong location. Always double-check the SWIFT code to ensure a smooth transaction.

Choosing Equals Money for international payments

So, why choose Equals Money for your foreign exchange needs?

  1. Simplicity: With our intuitive platform, sending money abroad has never been easier.
  2. Fast transactions: With same-day and next-working-day transfers, we make sure your funds reach where they need to go and when.
  3. Competitive rates: We offer competitive exchange rates for over 140 different currencies.
  4. Expert support: Our team of experts is always on hand to guide you, ensuring your international transactions are seamless.


In the world of international finance, SWIFT codes play a crucial role in ensuring funds reach their intended destination. And with Equals Money, not only do you get the assurance that your transactions are in safe hands, but you also benefit from competitive rates and expert advice.

Explore our international payments service today and experience foreign exchange made simple.

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