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Agency requires 11 figure IBAN
Thread poster: Faustine Roux

Faustine Roux  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:55
English to French
Mar 27, 2015

Hi all,

I have a little problem with a French agency.

I have a euro account with my English HSBC business account and all my clients in the Euro zone (France, Germany, Belgium...) always managed to pay me using my IBAN and BIC, but this new client can't.

Their reason is that they need an IBAN with a 11 figure BIC. Unfortunately, my BIC only has 8 figures. They tried adding 3 xxx or 000 before and after my number, but it still doesn't work.

I do trust the agency. They were recommended by a colleague and friend of mine and they told me about this problem a couple of days after I sent my invoice. They also keep updating me with this problem, so I believe they really want to manage to pay me.

Have anyone had this problem ? And if so, what was the solution ?

My bank is HSBC (UK) and theirs is BNP Paribas, if I remember well.

Thank you in advance for your advice.


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Nuria Morales  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:55
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
IBAN is not BIC Mar 27, 2015

Hello, Faustine,

The IBAN and the BIC are different codes. IBAN refers to your personal account and the BIC is the international code for the bank, and it is the same code for every people with an account in such a bank.

The figures for BIC are internationally ruled, and for UK, is stated to be 11 characters.

Maybe you could check this page,

http://www.business.hsbc.co.uk/1/2/international-business/iban-bic

and get in touch with your bank representative for troubles.

Hope it helps

Warms

Nuria


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Andrea Muller  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:55
English to German
+ ...
Agree with Nuria... Mar 27, 2015

I think you should call your bank. I have an account with HSBC, and there are 11 places in the BIC: MIDLGB plus 4 numbers and 1 letter.

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Faustine Roux  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:55
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
... Mar 27, 2015

Thanks, Nuria.

You're right, they want an IBAN that includes an 11 character BIC. But my BIC is only 8 characters ! MIDLGB22!

I looked on the link you gave me and on my statements (paper AND online). Still 8. I went to my bank, they told me my BIC is 8 characters long, end of.

I really don't understand...


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Rachel Waddington  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:55
Member (2014)
Dutch to English
+ ...
BIC Mar 27, 2015

My BIC is 8 characters too and I've never had any problems. Calling your bank sounds like a sensible thing to try though.

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Faustine Roux  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:55
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
.... Mar 27, 2015

Andrea,

As I said to Nuria, I went to my bank, they told me my BIC is 11 characters. All my other clients managed to pay me with my IBAN, so... I'm starting to bang my head on the wall, now...


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Thomas Pfann  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:55
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Have they tried the IBAN you gave them? Mar 27, 2015

Faustine Roux wrote:
They tried adding 3 xxx or 000 before and after my number, but it still doesn't work.


Have they already tried it without adding anything? IBANs do have different lengths and that's completely legitimate - Spanish IBANs are 24 characters long, British IBANs only 22.


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Armorel Young  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:55
Member (2004)
German to English
Some BICS are only 8 digits Mar 27, 2015

You are right - some BICs have only 8 digits - which ones is explained here:
http://www.theswiftcodes.com/
- basically the 8-digit code refers to an account operated from the bank's head office and not from a branch.

I too have a euro account linked to my sterling current account with HSBC - while the current account itself has an 11-digit BIC, I see that the euro account does only have an 8-digit one. So I am in the same position as you but so far it has never caused me any trouble.


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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
French to Danish
+ ...
I presume you mean BIC, not IBAN Mar 27, 2015

Your title refers to IBAN but your post refers to BIC. It only makes sense if you are talking about the BIC.

There is an ISO standard for the BIC:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_9362:


The latest edition is ISO 9362:2009 (dated 2009-10-01). The SWIFT code is 8 or 11 characters, made up of:

4 letters: Institution Code or bank code.
2 letters: ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code
2 letters or digits: location code
if the second character is "0", then it is typically a test BIC as opposed to a BIC used on the live network.
if the second character is "1", then it denotes a passive participant in the SWIFT network
if the second character is "2", then it typically indicates a reverse billing BIC, where the recipient pays for the message
as opposed to the more usual mode whereby the sender pays for the message.
3 letters or digits: branch code, optional ('XXX' for primary office)
Where an 8-digit code is given, it may be assumed that it refers to the primary office.


So the BIC must have 8 or 11 characters.

Some banks, though, BNP and their subsidiaries included, are unable to handle 8-character BICs correctly. The only solution I am aware of is to add "XXX" to the end.

Have you double-checked your BIC on your latest statement and googled it?


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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
French to Danish
+ ...
PS Mar 27, 2015

PS: another reason it doesn't work could be as simple as a typo, as there are check digits in the IBAN, and it is cross-checked against the BIC, which is actually redundant because the same information also appears in the IBAN.

Sometimes, people overlook the simplest solutions.


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dianaft  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:55
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
SWIFT Mar 27, 2015

Hi Faustine,

HSBC uses the a central 8-digit BIC code which isn't really linked to your branch.
One of my clients can't use that either because of the way they process payments, and they use the 11-digit branch-specific SWIFT code. I can't offer any explanation, as I was similarly dumbfounded when faced with this issue a year ago, and I had genuinely thought that they are the same, but everything works fine now.

Call your branch or look it up here http://www.thebankcodes.com/

Good luck!

[Edited at 2015-03-27 11:45 GMT]


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Faustine Roux  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:55
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
... Mar 27, 2015

I am sorry for the confusion between the BIC and IBAN. It's because the client said they need an IBAN that has a 11 character BIC, so I got confused. Feel free to change the name of this topic.

I called my bank, they said "this is your BIC, bye". I'm on the phone with BNP, and obviously, they have a technical problem, mouhahahaha....

I told the client to use the IBAN, they said "we-need-an-11-character-BIC". Their bank just can't handle my bank details.

As I said, adding 000 or XXX to my BIC didn't work for them.

I also checked all my statements and even sent them to the client. It is 8 characters.


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dianaft  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:55
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
and the reason Mar 27, 2015

that adding 000 or XXX doesn't work is because digits 7 and 8 are the location code and the "central BIC" of HSBC is "located" at their processing centre for international transfers, not at your branch.

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Nuria Morales  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:55
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
this one? Mar 27, 2015

Please, check this one, at the intermediate part of the page

http://www.theswiftcodes.com/united-kingdom/midlgb22zyk/


Your bank has many differents BIC, each branch has its own code. There are 8- and 11-characters code.

Maybe you need something like an 'Bic code from abroad'. Did you call the help desk? (The central one, not your own office)

There is a solution anywere!!! BNP must send daily a huge amount of transferences to HSBC...


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 14:55
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
IBANs do have different lengths... Mar 27, 2015

Thomas Pfann wrote:

Faustine Roux wrote:
They tried adding 3 xxx or 000 before and after my number, but it still doesn't work.


Have they already tried it without adding anything? IBANs do have different lengths and that's completely legitimate - Spanish IBANs are 24 characters long, British IBANs only 22.


My Belgian IBANs (two different accounts) have 14 characters, my Portuguese IBAN has 21 characters...


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Agency requires 11 figure IBAN

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