How UK Banking Works: Sort Codes, explained

A sort code is a six-digit number that usually appears after your account number on your debit card. Find how to use it for international transfers.

You might be wondering why you have to provide a sort code in addition to your account number when making online transactions, and the answer is simple. Your sort code identifies which bank and branch your account belongs to ensure that the money arrives safely at the right address.

Every registered bank in the UK and Ireland has a unique sort code, and you will not able to make a transaction without entering a sort code.

In this article, we will be looking over everything you need to know about sort codes as well as additional information you need to supply if you are making international transactions.

What is a Sort Code?

A sort code is a six-digit number that usually appears after your account number on your debit card. The sequence of numbers is usually broken up into two digits followed by a hyphen. For example, 12-34-56.

The first two numbers identify which bank your account belongs to, and the rest refer to the individual branch.

What is my bank's Sort Code?

You can find your bank's sort code on your debit card, but if you don’t have your card to hand, you can find it using your bank's app or simply contact your bank directly to find out.

Likewise, if you’re looking for the sort code of the person you are sending money to, you can ask them what bank and branch they use and search on Google for that information.

Checking a Sort Code

As with everything when it comes to moving money online, you need to make sure that you check the sort code provided to you is correct before making any online transactions. Websites such as allow you to check every sort code in the UK and Ireland.

If you enter the wrong sort code, your money could be lost, or you could face problems trying to retrieve your lost money. So, make sure to double-check the sort code before making a transaction.

Is it safe to give someone my Sort Code?

While it’s not wise to give your banking details to anyone other than your employer or someone else you do regular transactions with, sharing your sort code with someone does not open you up to the same risks as sharing your card number which is located on the front of your card or the three security digits on the back.

If someone has your sort code, they only know which bank and branch you use to do your banking, which means they do not have access to your account or cards. However, to reiterate, do not be careless with who you give access to any of your banking details. Online fraud is at an all-time high, and online thieves are always finding new ways to take money from unsuspecting victims.

What additional information do I need if I want to transfer money internationally? BIC, SWIFT, IBAN.

If you’ve already read our previous article, which goes into detail about the intricacies of transferring money internationally, you will already know what we’re going to talk about. But for those who haven’t, you can find it here.

When transferring money internationally, you will need additional information from the recipient. This comes in the form of a BIC (bank identifier code), SWIFT (society for worldwide interbank financial telecommunications) or an IBAN (international bank number).

BIC and SWIFT codes identify a particular banking institution, whereas an IBAN identifies a particular account. However, you will find a BIC code within an IBAN, so you only need to use an IBAN with most transactions.

This may seem confusing, and if you’re unsure about your BIC, SWIFT or IBAN, contact your financial provider, and they will be able to provide you with all the relevant information you require before you make an international transfer.

However, If you want to double check your BIC, SWIFT or IBAN yourself, you can use a site like IBAN calculator, which will give you all the relevant information.

At Nebeus is straightforward to find your IBAN. Just log in into your Nebeus app, go to the Money tab on your Dashboard and you will find your IBAN number. For a more extensive explanation, take a look at this Nebeus Help Center article.

Few final words

At Nebeus, we’re here to help keep our customers safe online, and we aim to educate our readers about what some people might deem the less interesting side of online banking. So, if you’ve found this article interesting and you would like to learn more about the world of online banking and the future of crypto, head to our blog page. We constantly upload new and educational content, so don’t miss out!

You can sign up for a Nebeus Money account and simplify your everyday money operations.

La inversión en criptoactivos no está regulada, puede no ser adecuada para inversores minoristas y se puede perder la totalidad del monto invertido.

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