The BIC is registered as an international ISO standard ISO 9362. This description specifies the elements associated with a company's identification code. It describes the structure using a universal identifier. This is also known as the company identification code (BIC). This standard applies to both financial and non-financial institutions. This international identification is necessary to facilitate automated processing of information.
There are two types of BIC codes:
- BICs required to access the SWIFT network
- BICs issued without access to the SWIFT network and used for reference purposes only
BIC in the feedback from the banks
The BIC is an 8 character code and is defined as 'business party identification code'. It consists of:
- Business party prefix in 4 alphanumeric characters
- The country code as defined in ISO 3166-1 in 2 alphabetic characters
- The suffix of the business party in 2 alphanumeric characters
The Branch ID is an optional 3 character element and will not always be present. This can be considered as an addition to the 8 character BIC. This addition can be used to identify specific locations, departments, services or units of the same business party.