If there is a loss of money following the wrong sort code provided, your bank may try to get your money back but it won’t often be liable if you lose any money. So it’s always best to double-check your sort code and other bank details. If you provide the wrong sort code, it can result in your bank transfer being delayed, rejected, not being processed, or, although unlikely, ending up in the wrong account.

In order to make a domestic transfer here, you need both the recipient’s sort code and account number. A sort code is a unique six-digit number predominantly used by banks in the UK. When making domestic or international wire transfers in the UK, the sender bank sort code is required to provide the sort code and account number. A sort code on a card is the same as the one you were issued when you signed up for your new business bank account. A member of your family follows suit and also opens a bank account with Halifax.

  1. The last four digits will be unique to the branch you opened your accounts in.
  2. XE Money Transfer is a perfect example of a top-tier money transfer company that offers an amazing deal for sending money abroad.
  3. Check out some of our related content below for more information about arranging cross-border payments.
  4. Dojo is a trading name of Paymentsense Limited and Walk Up Limited.
  5. A sort code is the domestic bank code used to identify bank branches in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.
  6. Assuming you gave the right account name, and just made a mistake on the account number, the receiving bank may contact you to resolve the issue.

The following two pairs identify the particular branch of the bank. Codes began to be used in the early 20th century to facilitate the manual processing of cheques. Known as a ‘national code’, these had between three and five digits.

The IBAN can be up to 37 digits long, but usually is shorter, and begins with two letters to identify the country. Usefully, you can also discover the bank sort code from the IBAN checker. Sort codes identify a particular bank in the UK and Ireland and are used to route money transfers. The sort code is essential because having just the account number will not allow you to make a money transfer. Also known as sorting codes, or a national sort code (NSC) in Ireland, these codes can be found integrated into an IBAN (International Bank Account Number) but they have no relation to SWIFT or BIC codes. A sort code is the domestic bank code used to identify bank branches in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.

Modern-day sort code

The remaining single digit codes were used to indicate that a cheque was from outside the London clearing system. The smaller clearing banks were allocated two-digit numbers, for example Martins was allocated 11. A sort code is composed of six digits, split into three, often hyphenated pairs. The first pair is typically used to identify banks, and the remaining four digits identify which branch of the bank it is. If you bank somewhere like Monzo or Starling Bank, you’ll notice that your sort code is the same as your friend or colleague who banks there, too.

Like sort codes, SWIFT codes have their own routing number combinations and are used to determine what banks and branches are involved in the wiring process. It’s important to note that while sort codes are often used alongside account numbers, they each have a different function. Simply put, account numbers identify an individual’s savings or checking account. Sort codes make sure that with whatever transaction that occurs, a bank will correctly move money over from one account to another. SWIFT codes can be found on bank statements and by logging into online banking accounts. Alternatively, customers can contact the bank directly to confirm the SWIFT code.

What Happens if You Provide the Wrong Sort Code?

Because your IBAN displays your country codes, your sort code and account number, you can use it to pinpoint the address of your bank branch. The country code identifies the country of the banking institution, and each individual branch has its own sort code. Using this, you can pinpoint the address of a branch using an IBAN. So, if you want to receive payments from another bank account in the UK, you will need to provide your bank sort code and account number to the sender.

The range of acronyms, such as BIC, SWIFT, and IBAN, can get very confusing if you don’t work in the banking industry. In the following list the dates in parentheses give the year of merger with the present-day sort code holder, or its subsidiary. Now that you have an understanding of what a sort code is, the next step is to locate it.


A bank account number is a number that is tied to your bank account. If you have several bank accounts, such as personal, joint, business (and so on), each account will have a different account number. In a nutshell, you need a sort code when processing transactions that involve banks in the UK. In this guide, we will cover what is a sort code, when you will need one, what happens if you provide the wrong sort code, where to find it, and many more.

But don’t worry – they mean the same thing when discussing sort code banking. Alongside the automation, the National Code and branch codes made way for the standard six-digit sort code. Before the International Bank Account Number (IBAN) was adopted, countries like Germany used to utilise the sort code. The sort code and account number are used for local transfers in the UK and Ireland.

Is it safe to give out your account number and sort code?

Now we’ve covered ‘what is a sort’ code – you might also want to know where you can find it. Get more from your money with Starling’s simple, award-winning current account. With features such as instant notifications, Spending Insights and Saving Spaces, money management has never been easier.

Sort codes were used in other countries and have since been replaced by the International Bank Account Number (IBAN). In Germany, it was called the “Bankleitzahl” and served the same purpose as the bank sort code. When it comes to processing secure bank transactions, both sort codes and SWIFT codes function similarly.

If you have a credit card or a debit card, your sort code should be printed on the front or back of the card, along with your account number. Alternatively, you can check your bank statements for the six-digit number located near your bank account number. The last option is to check your chequebook, where your sort code should be printed on the bottom left corner of each cheque, along with your account number and cheque number. However, you may find that some banks won’t include your sort code on the card they’ve issued you. It is also because digital banks like Monzo are branchless, and all feature the same sort of code. In these cases, your sort code should be readily available via their online banking platform.

To enjoy the best deals for international transfers, you need to choose a money transfer service. They have lower overheads than banks, which means they are in a position to offer lower fees to customers. Also, their currency conversions match the mid-market rate for many currency pairs. Banks charge large markup percentages that are essentially an added fee. IBANs are composed of up to 34 alphanumeric characters, which include a country code, a check number, a bank code, a branch code, and an account number. Because countries use different systems for numbering their accounts, the IBAN length will vary from country to country.

At Starling, we don’t display the sort code on our debit cards, because all of our customers share the same sort code, which is publicly available. Starling customers can easily find their sort code in the Starling app and on the online banking platform. Here we go into the details and explain the purpose of your bank account number and sort code and where you can find them.

However, this is not to be confused with the card number, which is the 16 digit number, usually placed in the middle of your bank card. Finances and banking come with a fair share of abbreviations used to identify banks and branches for electronic transfers. Direct debit is an automated payment method where you https://simple-accounting.org/ allow a third party to collect money from your account on a regular basis. Similarly, a standing order is when you allow your bank to pay a fixed amount to another account on a regular basis. For both of these payments, if it’s happening in the UK, you will need to provide your sort code and account number.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *