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What is an IBAN Number?

August 13, 2020June 13th, 2024No Comments
What is an IBAN number? An infographic of IBAN for Rutland FX

An IBAN (International Bank Account Number) is a standardised code used internationally to identify individual bank accounts and facilitate cross-border payments. Typically, an IBAN can be up to 34 characters in length and consists of a series of alphanumeric characters. Each part of the IBAN serves a distinct purpose, ensuring that international transactions are processed accurately and efficiently.

Components of an IBAN

An IBAN is composed of several elements that together provide detailed information about the account and the bank where it is held. The structure of an IBAN includes:

Country Code: The first two letters represent the country where the bank account is held. For instance, “GB” for the United Kingdom.

Check Digits: The next two digits are check digits used for validating the IBAN. They help detect errors in the IBAN structure.

Bank Code: This section identifies the specific bank or financial institution. The length and format of the bank code can vary by country.

Branch Code: Also known as the sort code or routing number, this part identifies the specific branch of the bank where the account is maintained. Its format and length can differ depending on the country’s banking system.

Account Number: The final part of the IBAN is the bank account number, which uniquely identifies an individual account within the branch.

Example IBAN

Consider the example IBAN: GB29NWBK60161331926819

  • Country Code (GB): Indicates the United Kingdom.
  • Check Digits (29): Used to validate the integrity of the IBAN.
  • Bank Code (NWBK): Identifies the bank, in this case, NatWest Bank.
  • Branch Code (601613): Specifies the particular branch of the bank.
  • Account Number (31926819): Uniquely identifies the specific account within the branch.

Where Can I Find the IBAN Number?

For cross-border payments, obtaining the correct IBAN is essential. Here’s where you can typically find it:

  • Bank Statements: The IBAN is usually printed on bank statements provided by financial institutions.
  • Bank Websites or Online Banking Platforms: Many banks display the IBAN on their online banking platforms.
  • Direct Request: If the IBAN is not readily available, you can request it directly from the account holder or the relevant financial institution.
  • Transaction Receipts: For some transactions with Rutland FX, the IBAN is provided via the transaction receipt after booking a trade.

How to Validate an IBAN Number?

Validation of an IBAN is crucial to ensure the accuracy of the payment details and avoid transaction errors. Here are the methods to validate an IBAN:

  • Online Platforms: Rutland FX’s online platform allows users to validate IBANs and SWIFT codes. When adding a new beneficiary, the platform will indicate validation with a tick (for a valid IBAN) or a cross (for an invalid IBAN).
  • Account Manager: You can also contact your Rutland FX account manager for assistance with IBAN validation.

Importance of IBAN in Cross-Border Transactions

The use of IBANs is integral to the global financial system for several reasons:

  • Standardisation: IBANs provide a standardised format for bank account identification, reducing the risk of errors and improving the efficiency of international payments.
  • Error Detection: The inclusion of check digits within the IBAN helps in detecting any input errors, thereby minimising the chances of failed transactions.
  • Efficiency: With detailed components identifying the country, bank, branch, and account number, IBANs facilitate the swift and accurate processing of cross-border payments.
  • Compliance: Many countries and financial institutions mandate the use of IBANs for international transactions, ensuring compliance with global banking standards.


Understanding and correctly using IBAN numbers is essential for anyone involved in making international payments. The IBAN standard not only simplifies the process of sending and receiving cross-border payments but also enhances the accuracy and security of these transactions. By ensuring you have the correct IBAN and validating it before initiating a transfer, you can significantly reduce the risk of errors and ensure that funds are delivered to the intended recipient promptly and correctly.

Making International Payments?

If you need to make international payments, Rutland FX can help reduce the costs associated with cross-border transactions. Call us at 0203 026 0112 or request a callback to discuss your requirements.