British IBAN numbers
Thread poster: Heinrich Pesch

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:53
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Jul 6, 2012

I received a book from a British seller. There was no bank account mentioned on the invoice. I mailed them and asked for there bank details. They replied and provided an IBAN-number that is not compatible with my bank's system. It looks rather strange, there are letters between the digits.
I told them the problem but did not get any response anymore.
Does anybody know how to check IBAN-numbers and find out what's wrong?

(The usual problem with these numbers is that people put spaces between the digits, I wonder why. No system will accept numbers with spaces, if one copies them via clipboard. But that is not the problem here.)


Sandra Mouton  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:53
Member (2008)
English to French
+ ...
Format of IBANs Jul 6, 2012

Hello Heinrich,
My UK IBAN, that I have used many times to receive payment from Germany and other countries in the EU/the world, has the following format: AA00 AAAA 0000 0000 0000 00 (A = letter and 0 = digit). The first two letters are GB (for Great Britain) and the second group of letters stands for the name of the bank.
I hope this will help you to work out where the problem is in your case.


Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:53
Hebrew to English
IBAN format Jul 6, 2012

I'm also in the UK and my IBAN follows this format (X represents a number):


I believe this format is relatively standard for UK bank accounts, the GB is obviously "Great Britain" - country identifier, followed by a number, then the "HLFX" indentifies the Bank (in my case, it's Halifax) and then the sort code and account number usually come after that with no spaces.....

my BIC is even more mixed:


As you can see letters inbetween the digits is normal (for both the IBAN and BIC)
You can usually check BICs online because these are public knowledge, the IBAN is basically their account number with some extra flourishes.

Does this help?


madak  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:53
Swedish to English
+ ...
Info + checker Jul 6, 2012

Top 2 Google hits for "iban number uk":

I guess the spaces are there to make the number more readable.


RobinB  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:53
German to English
Alphanumeric IBANs Jul 6, 2012

Hi Heinrich,

UK IBANs are alphanumeric (but remove the spaces). Your bank may need up upgrade its software....



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British IBAN numbers

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