What is an IBAN?
The IBAN (International Bank Account Number) is a standardised way to allow overseas banks to easily handle the account number and bank identifier of a beneficiary in another country. 

Example of a UK IBAN:

iban example

Why is it important?
To make a European cross border payment, customers need to quote an IBAN. An IBAN offers those involved in cross-border payment transactions a simple method of checking the validity of the beneficiary’s bank account number.

Who needs an IBAN?
UK Bank customers who are likely to receive or make payments overseas. Many European banks already issue IBANs to their customers. IBANs were issued in the UK from April 2001 onwards, to customers who require them. If you have not been given one, and need one because you do business with Europe, contact your bank.

How does the IBAN work?
The IBAN is based on an international standard (ISO 13616) and this standard defines the structure and format of the international identifier for bank accounts. In the UK, the ISO IBAN standard has been implemented according to Standard 48. The standard defines the national account number structure to be used to identify the bank, branch and account number within the IBAN. This standard is designed to support use of the International Bank Account Number (IBAN) within the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland, including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

The IBAN is comprised of: 
The complete identifier, original bank code and account number, plus the additional characters. IBAN implementation has facilitated improvements in the quality of information exchanged between parties involved in European cross-border payments helping reduce errors and delays. 

The IBAN is calculated in such a way that it provides a guard against the accidental transposition of its characters/numbers and it can be checked or validated using our IBAN checker.  However its validation does not guarantee that the bank code or account number is correct, nor does it guarantee that the account actually exists, or is live.  

Is there anything else I need to know?

  • The IBAN is not a new account number.
  • Your existing bank code and account number(s) will not be replaced.
  • Additional characters will appear in front of your existing bank code and account numbers. 

To check an IBAN please visit our IBAN Checker.

The international registry of IBAN’s is available here