Barclays bank is a bank that is running its worldwide operations from its main office which is located in London, England. As is the case with most banks, this bank happens to one of the oldest banks in the world. In fact, some historical facts suggest that the bank started operations in the year 1690. In effect the bank has been in existence for more than three hundred years. This is a really old bank. The bank does business in every financial sector that one could imagine. Barclays provides service such as retail banking, investment banking and commercial banking.
Similar to all banks and branches that have SWIFT codes, are part of the SWIFT network to allow for international bank transfers, Barclays is also part of the SWIFT network. Barclays has been assigned these unique BIC codes that can be used to make international transfers of money from banks and branches that are located outside of UK.
You are probably aware of SWIFT codes. SWIFT codes are usually 8 characters in their appearance, and they are always made of alphabets and numbers. You will sometimes find a SWIFT code that is made up of only alphabets. The SWIFT codes are assigned to every member bank in the SWIFT network by the organization which is also called as SWIFT. A key point to remember here is that the network SWIFT itself does not perform any actual monetary transactions. All it does is provide the banks with a secure and reliable communication and reception network for use.
Obviously, when we start discussing about a network, each part of the network, also called as node, must have a unique identification code. The nodes in a SWIFT network are banks and each of these banks is now in a position to communicate with each other without any confusion. If you are looking up SWIFT codes, either on the internet or calling up your bank’s customer service representative, you will notice a pattern in these codes.
Most of the codes that will be given to you by your bank will be eleven character lengths. However, when you look up the same information online, you may run into codes that are only eight alphabet count. So, why is there a difference? As usual, the answer lies in the details. The eight character SWIFT code is the main code that belongs to the headquarter branch of the bank. For instance, BARCGB2105V is an eleven character count SWIFT code. The first eight characters, which is common for all Barclay branches is the main eight character SWIFT code.