What are IBANs and BICs?

IBANS and BICs are sometimes required as part of the energy switching process, so when switching your supplier on Switcher.ie, you may need to convert your existing national sort code and bank account number to a BIC and IBAN.

The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) is an EU regulation that came into effect in February 2014. The regulation affected how customers make electronic bank payments across Ireland and the SEPA zone which includes 34 countries. Most notably, the regulation replaced national sort codes and bank account numbers with BICs and IBANs.

You can use this conversion calculator to help you find out your BIC and IBAN.

What is an IBAN?

The International Bank Account Number (IBAN) is an internationally agreed system of identifying bank accounts across national borders. It is a unique number attached to all bank accounts in EU countries as well as Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

An IBAN is made up of a code that identifies the country the account belongs to, the account holder’s bank sort code and the account itself. An IBAN makes it easier and faster to process cross-border payments.

Irish IBANs all contain 22 characters in the below format.

An example of an IBAN: IE64IRCE92050112345678

Your bank will assign an IBAN to your accounts and you cannot create an IBAN yourself. Banks use different methods of registering accounts numbers in the IBAN. The IBAN can be found on your account statements and in your online banking account.

It is important to remember that an IBAN is not a new account number. It is a new format for an existing account number which is internationally recognised.

What is a BIC?

A Bank Identifier Code (BIC) is a code that identifies the name, country and branch of a bank involved in a transaction. BIC codes are specific to banks within the EU and have replaced sort codes.

BICs are often called SWIFT codes and are between 8 and 11 characters. The codes are used when transferring money between banks, particularly for international wire transfers. Banks also use the codes for exchanging messages between them.

Your IBAN and BIC codes are available from your bank and both can be found on your bank account statement.

Here are a list of the most common Irish BICs:

  • Nationwide - NUKIIE21
  • Permanent TSB - IPBSIE2D
  • Rabobank - RABOIE2D
  • Ulster Bank - ULSBIE2D