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IBAN Numbers

International Bank Account Number (IBAN) makes international payments easier as it is the international standardized format for clients’ existing account numbers. The IBAN always starts with a two-digit country code which is followed by a two-digit control part, a reference to the bank (the bank's local code) and the beneficiary's domestic account number. Present account numbers will not be replaced upon introduction of the IBAN. They will remain effective upon making domestic payments.

Usage of the IBAN reduces the number of possible delays and errors upon making international payments, because the bank sending the payment is able to check the correctness of the account number (IBAN) entered by the client before the payment is sent out of the bank. Thus, usage of the IBAN allows for:

· quicker transfer of funds;
· Future reduction of service fees related to international payments.

More information and examples of IBAN numbers, by country, can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Bank_Account_Number.

IBAN Warning

· Only the bank servicing an account can provide the correct International Bank Account Number (IBAN) of that account and the related Bank Identifier Code (BIC).
· If you need an IBAN, you need to contact the owner of the account. If you attempt to generate IBANs of your suppliers or other business partners, you risk having incorrect IBANs.
· If you use an incorrect IBAN in your cross-border payment instructions, you risk making payment to the wrong account or incurring a delay in payment and higher processing fees.

Who must do what

Each Bank in the European Union servicing Euro accounts must:

· Calculate the IBANs of the accounts they service
· Inform their customers of the IBAN of the account and the BIC of the bank on their statements or in an annex to the statement

Each Account Owner must:

· Inform their business partners of their IBAN and BIC on their letterhead and other documents used in cross-border invoicing in the EU

Each Ordering Customer must:

· Use the correct IBAN and BIC in their euro cross-border credit transfer, particularly within the EU and for transfers up to 12500€, if they wish to benefit from the fees applied to domestic transfers

Why?  Tools that automatically generate IBANs from domestic account numbers are not guaranteed to give correct IBANs because:

· The IBAN is based on the Basic Bank Account Number (BBAN)
· The BBAN cannot always be automatically derived from the domestic account number
· Nor can the BIC always be derived from the BBAN

The IBAN website is:  http://www.ecbs.org/iban.htm

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