This standard is designed to support use of the International Bank Account Number (IBAN) within the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland, including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

The standard defines the national account number structure to be used to identify the bank, branch and account number within the IBAN. This is called the Basic Bank Account Number (BBAN).

The standard defines the international envelope placed around the BBAN. Envelope and BBAN together form the IBAN.

The complete IBAN provides an account number for international use that is capable of validation irrespective of the national account number format contained within. It is thus intended to facilitate Straight Through Processing and to improve confidence in the accuracy of the information provided in cross-border payments. The standard also defines both the generation and validation of the IBAN.


The standard specifies the format of the UK Basic Bank Account Number (BBAN), and the format of the UK International Bank Account Number (IBAN), which incorporates the BBAN. The standard specifies how the IBAN is generated and validated.

The standard specifies who may generate and issue IBANs. It also specifies the way in which the IBAN must be presented in printed form. It does not specifically identify the field(s) in the various standards for payment transactions in which the IBAN will be quoted.

The standard specifies the technique of validating an IBAN and the point at which this validation must be carried out. The standard illustrates validation of an IBAN of the form likely to be quoted by UK customers on outgoing cross-border payments. It does not provide a comprehensive catalogue of the IBAN formats of other countries as this is beyond the scope of Standard 48 as well as being irrelevant to the validation technique. The standard does not prescribe the means by which the validation is actually performed.

Summary of Usage

The IBAN is used as follows:

- UK bank generates and issues IBAN to customers
- Beneficiary customer notifies ordering customer of their IBAN
- IBAN is received in the UK as beneficiary accounting details on inward payments
- UK paying bank validates and uses the data to process payment


This standard incorporates a number of dated or undated references, as indicated below. These normative references are cited at the appropriate places in the text. For undated references, it is the latest edition of the publication referred to which applies.

ISO 3166 - Codes for the representation of countries
ISO 9362 - Bank Identifier Codes (BIC)
ISO 13616 - Financial services – International bank account number (IBAN)

Informative references do not form a part of the standard. However they are referenced in the standard and have been used in the preparation of the standard.

S.W.I.F.T. Information about ISO13616 compliant national IBAN formats

For the purpose of this standard, the following definitions apply:

Account Holding Institution

Any financial institution carrying on the business of banking through one or more branches situated within the United Kingdom. This therefore includes all banks of other countries which establish one or more branches within the UK and which provide services to one or more customers domiciled within the UK or to the UK-operational units of multi-national customers.

Country coverage

For the purposes of this specification, the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland includes the Channel Islands, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man.

Basic Bank Account Number (BBAN)

The BBAN (Account Number) is the identifier used by financial institutions in individual countries as part of a National Account Numbering Scheme(s) which uniquely identifies an account of a customer at a financial institution (ISO 13616). The BBAN shall include an explicit bank identifier. In the UK, the BBAN will include the first 4 characters of the bank BIC as the explicit bank identifier. Capture of IBAN The process of converting an IBAN from paper to electronic format.

Generation of IBAN

The one time process of creating an IBAN for an account. International Bank Account Number (IBAN) An expanded version of the Basic Bank Account Number (BBAN) used internationally to uniquely identify the account of a customer at a financial institution. (ISO 13616)

Notification of IBAN The one time operation of notifying the account owning customer of the IBAN generated for the account.

Verification of IBAN:

The process of checking the IBAN to ensure that it is a valid IBAN. This does not ensure that an account with such an IBAN still exists; it may have been closed after issuance of the IBAN.


The following definitions apply:

BBAN - Basic Bank Account Number
BIC - Bank Identifier Code
EPC - European Payments Council
IBAN - International Bank Account Number
ISO - International Organization for Standardization
S.W.I.F.T. - Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications
BPSL - BACS Payments Schemes Ltd.

SCT - SEPA Credit Transfer SDD - SEPA Debit Transfer B2B - Business to Business SEPA - Single Euro Payments Area EEA - European Economic Area ISO - International Organization for Standardization