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What are SWIFT codes and BICs

SWIFT and BIC codes

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) network is an international network that allows financial institutions worldwide to exchange financial transactions, usually by wire transfer data or messages between the financial institutions.

SWIFT code

SWIFT codes are international bank codes that uniquely identify each financial institution worldwide.  They are standard format 8 or 11 character codes, approved by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).   The 8 digit code refers to the financial institution primary or head office, while the 11 digit code includes bank branch code details.

BIC

The BIC or Business Identifier Code was formerly called the Bank Identifier Code.   BIC codes are also known interchangeably as SWIFT or SWIFTBIC codes.   BIC codes are used to identify specific businesses, usually banks.  In some countries, the first four characters of a BIC code form part of the International Bank Account Number (IBAN) as well.

The format of a SWIFT code is:

SWIFT code and BIC

 

 

 

 

 

An example of the SWIFT code for:

Bank of Nova Scotia in Toronto for all branches:       NOSC  CA  TT
Toronto-Dominion Bank in Montreal:                         TDOM  CA  TT  MTL

Where can I find SWIFT codes?

Swift codes for major Canadian banks are available on this website.