You are in

Financial Education

The difference between Bank Sorting Code and Swift Code


Jan 31, 2023

Table of Content

If you regularly make money transfers with foreign banks, you need to know the bank Sorting Code and SWIFT code. This article will help you better understand the Sort Code and SWIFT Code. How to read it? And its importance. Additionally, this article shows you the difference between both them.


The difference between Bank Sorting Code and Swift Code

The difference between Bank Sorting Code and Swift Code 

Bank Sorting Code – What is it? 

The Sort Code is a code used by banks in Great Britain and Ireland. These codes have six digits and are divided into three different pairs, such as 12-34-56.

Like many other bank codes, this code is used to identify the location of the bank where your account is kept. The first two digits are usually the bank identification number. However, in some cases, the first code can also describe the bank.


  • Bank’s Sort Code is integrated and encrypted in the account’s IBAN but not in the account’s BIC. The Sort Code is used by banks to identify and transfer funds to their respective banks and accounts
  • The Sort Code is also known as the NSC or the National Sort Code in Ireland and is regulated by the IPSO (Irish Payments Services Organisation). The Sort Code in Ireland begins with the digit “9.”
  • If a person needs to find the Sort Code for their bank account, they can look up this code on their bank statement or card issued by their bank; and some have a Sort Code built into their checkbook
  • The Sort Code is only used in the UK and Ireland. These codes are used to identify banks and their respective locations within the country itself.
  • The Sort Code, although used in both countries in a similar way, is regulated by different authorities in Ireland and the UK. It would be best if you did not confuse these codes with SWIFT codes.

Where to find the Bank Sorting Code?

Just like the account number, the 6-digit sort code must be printed on the bank card and on the bank statement and contact information or highlighted on the app’s account dashboard or online banking.

How to find a bank address from Sort Code?

The address that corresponds to a bank Sort Code can be found using an online sorting code checker. However, keep in mind that most banks have multiple branches.

So if asked for your bank address – as when filling out a form – it is best to enter the address of the bank branch you opened your account at, as the Sort Code will not reference a specific location.

SWIFT Code – What is it?

What does SWIFT stand for?

SWIFT stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, also known as the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. This association has the task of connecting and helping member banks to transfer/receive money internationally easily with lower costs and more security.

In addition, Swift Code can also be called BIC, which stands for Business Identifier Code. Both Swift code and BIC code have the same meaning.

To become a member of SWIFT, banks and financial institutions must meet all the conditions, including the documents required by SWIFT and the most popular connection system.

Due to the nature of controlling the world’s money flow, the security of SWIFT is very high. Hackers have never been able to attack this system.

What is SWIFT Code?

Swift Code, also known as BIC (Business Identifier Code), is an identifier code. This line of code consists of a series of alphanumeric characters that make up unique codes. This code helps identify the location of any bank or financial institution in any country in the world. It is needed to be provided when making domestic and international transactions, but most are used for international transactions.

Swift Code is an essential thing when receiving/transferring money internationally. It makes it easy to identify the name of the bank, in which country, and in which branch.

The difference between bank Sorting Code and Swift code

Swift code is alphanumeric, while sort code is purely numeric.

Swift code is typically 8 or 11 characters long and is alphanumeric, which means it can contain both numbers and letters. In contrast, the Sorting Code bank is six characters long and contains only numbers.

Sort codes are only used by the UK and Ireland to identify banks located in the country and their respective branches. Swift codes are used globally and are the primary means of transferring money internationally. Therefore, you cannot use the sort code to transfer money even to the UK or Ireland if you are in another country, as it will lack the appropriate code to identify the country.

Sort codes can be found on bank-issued cards, statements, and online banking. For customers who still use the checkbook, the classification code is also printed here.

You can find the SWIFT code on your bank statement and by logging into your online banking account. In addition, customers can contact the bank directly to confirm the SWIFT code.

Both Sorting Code bank and SWIFT code have their own roles. We hope this above article has proven helpful to you.

About DNBC Financial Group

DNBC Financial Group is an international financial institution that offers corporate and individual customers an intelligent digital payment system, a convenient payment platform, and an uncomplicated online money transfer/receipt service worldwide.

The mission of DNBC Financial Group is to streamline global financial payments, smooth day-to-day transactions, and ensure that customers always meet their payment goals.

[elementor-template id="23977"]

Or please contact DNBC

Email Email: [email protected]

Telephone Phone Number:

Note: The content in this article is for general informative purposes only. You should conduct your own research or ask for specialist advice before making any financial decisions. All information in this article is current as of the date of publication, and DNBC Financial Group reserves the right to modify, add, or remove any information. We don’t provide any express or implied representations, warranties, or guarantees regarding the accuracy, completeness, or currency of the content within this publication.