What is the SWIFT code and what is it used for?

What is the SWIFT code and what is it used for?

SWIFT is a concept drawn from the financial world to refer to international bank transfers. I must admit that banks sometimes use strange acronyms and terms to designate concepts which are difficult to understand.

I will try and explain what SWIFT is and what it is used for by asking a few simple questions.

What does SWIFT mean?

SWIFT is an acronym for a company called Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, which currently has over 10,800 members –financial institutions in their vast majority– across more than 200 countries.

What is the SWIFT code?

The SWIFT code is a standardised code used to identify the sending bank and the recipient bank in the SWIFT messaging system.

This messaging system is used by most banks and financial institutions across the world to send messages in a quick, secure, codified and reliable manner in relation to bank transactions and information.

The SWIFT code is made up of 11 characters with the following format:



EEEE     is the bank’s code

PP         is the country code according to ISO 3166-1

LL           is the city or town in which the bank is located

XXX       is optional, it relates to the branch code for the financial institution. XXX can be used to refer to the head office.

What is the SWIFT code used for?

Basically, banks use this messaging system to send and receive international transfers or to create and pay letters of credit and other types of transactions for confirmation of treasury transactions and the purchase/sale of securities.

The most common case in which you will need to know the SWIFT code is when you have to make an international transfer and you don’t know the IBAN of the beneficiary’s account, or for a company, when you have to open and process a letter of credit for import and export transactions.

What does the SWIFT code have to do with the BIC code?

The SWIFT code can also be called BIC code.

BIC is the English acronym for Bank Identifier Code.

And what is MoraBanc’s SWIFT code?

MoraBanc’s SWIFT code is as follows:



BINA     is MoraBanc’s code as an institution

AD         is the code for Andorra

AD         refers to Andorra la Vella

XXX       is the code that identifies MoraBanc’s head office

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