SWIFT codes comprise of 8 or 11 characters. All 11 digit codes refer to specific branches, while 8 digit codes (or those ending in ‘XXX’) refer to the head or primary office. SWIFT codes are formatted as follows:
AAAA BB CC DDD
* First 4 characters – bank code (only letters)
* Next 2 characters – ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code (only letters)
* Next 2 characters – location code, passive participant will have “1” in the second character (letters and digits)
* Last 3 characters – branch code, optional – ‘XXX’ for primary office (letters and digits)
The registrations of SWIFT Codes are handled by Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (“SWIFT”) and their headquarters is located in La Hulpe, Belgium. SWIFT is the registered trademark of S.W.I.F.T. SCRL with a registered address at Avenue Adèle 1, B-1310 La Hulpe, Belgium.