Good US Bank for New Account
Thread poster: Caroline Moreno
Caroline Moreno  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:00
Chinese to English
+ ...
Jan 5, 2009

Hi,

It turns out I need to open a new bank account since my credit union doesn't have a SWIFT code and I need one for my client to wire me payments internationally. I've always used credit unions so I'm wary of dealing with a bank but it has to be done apparently.

I'm not interested in Bank of America or Wells Fargo since I've had very bad experiences with them before, but can anyone recommend a major US bank with good service and low or no monthly account fees? Thanks in advance!


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:00
Spanish to English
+ ...
\ Jan 5, 2009

/

[Edited at 2009-01-06 15:15 GMT]


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Trudy Peters  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:00
German to English
+ ...
Wire transfers Jan 5, 2009

Hi Caroline,

Don't give up on your Credit Union! I have an acct. in Germany from which I make transfers to my CU in the US. Credit Unions have ABA numbers which my German bank accepts in place of the SWIFT code, and my CU doesn't charge me for incoming transfers. The only problem is that I can't initiate the transfer online, I have to send my German bank a signed fax, but that's no big deal.

Good luck,

Trudy


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Caroline Moreno  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:00
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the info Jan 5, 2009

I have asked my client (in China) to accept the ABA (routing) number but they were pretty firm about wanting a SWIFT code, so I guess I'm going to have to get an account at a bank since, as far as I know, CUs don't have SWIFT codes. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks!

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Laura Tridico  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:00
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
As far as I know US banks don't have SWIFT codes either. Jan 5, 2009

It isn't a credit union issue. I think it's a question of educating your client on the US system. The same issue came up once for me with a European agency. It took several rounds of discussion before they finally worked it out.

Laura


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anidiallo
Senegal
Local time: 12:00
English to French
+ ...
US bank accounts do actually have SWIFT codes. Jan 6, 2009

I have been in this situation before and was asked to provide a SWIFT code. Citibank has quite a lot of international representations and offers free checking account but you have to use their free online bill payment or wire transfer system at least one time. You might want to contact them for more information.

Good luck.


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Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2008)
German to English
SWIFT/BIC in the US Jan 6, 2009

I, too, used to hear that US banks don't have SWIFT codes, only ABA numbers, but I may have been thinking of IBAN, or things might simply have changed, because when searching I just came up with this site:

http://swift-codes.blogspot.com/2008/01/us-bank-swift-code-list.html

and then there's these:

http://auctionfeecalculator.com/swift_transfers.html
http://auctionfeecalculator.com/iban_transfers.html

or you can go straight to the soure:

http://www.swift.com/biconline/

which also states: "SWIFT recently reached an agreement with Accuity, the official registrar of American Bankers' Association (ABA) routing numbers. As of 26 October [2007], the ABA codes will be included in BIC Database Plus, which will cover some 60 countries and territories in total. By cross-referencing the ABA codes with the BICs, SWIFT makes it easier for financial institutions to process cross-border payments sent to the United States. SWIFT developed this unique agreement with Accuity as part of its strategy to provide the broadest coverage of national bank identifiers."

I'm not sure whether this really gives every US bank a BIC, however. I entered the name of one of my banks and it came back with nothing. Maybe it's a gradual process. Or maybe right now it only works for the intermediary banks (the money I used to send to the US never went directly to that bank, it always went through an intermediary, I think JP Morgan Chase).

Good luck!


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Caroline Moreno  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:00
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Great information! Jan 6, 2009

Thanks to Janet and to everyone else I think I understand the current situation. It looks like I need to find a US bank that comes up in the online SWIFT database. The whole thing would be a lot easier if the client would just go through Paypal! Thanks again!

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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:00
German to English
+ ...
Yes SWIFT, but not IBAN Jan 12, 2009

I often get asked by German clients for my bank's IBAN, which is something US banks really don't have. I use Citibank and they have a SWIFT, a routing no., and an international routing no. (wire transfers go through NYC) that I put on my invoices. I can't say I would recommend Citibank, though. They are pretty good for cross-border stuff, but their service can either be great or abysmal, and their fees aren't the lowest. However, there is usually at least 1 in every city, including abroad, and I can take money out at 7-11s for free.

[Edited at 2009-01-12 16:44 GMT]


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Caroline Moreno  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:00
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Daina. Jan 13, 2009

Good to know!

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