Important Information: Changes to your statement narratives

May 2014 update

We have updated a number of test files and the supporting documentation. The links below explain the transactions that have changed.

If you download intra-day statement information, the changes to CHAPS narratives will come into effect on 19 June 2014.

We will advise you when the changes to the other statement narratives will come into effect nearer the time.

Statement narratives

This page contains information about the changes we are making to some of the statement narratives (transaction codes and descriptions) you see online.

If you receive a SWIFT MT940 Statement Reporting Service from one of the accounts you hold with us and import this information, you may need to make changes to your own or third party reconciliation arrangements or back office systems to accommodate these new narratives.

Test files

The statement data you download contains codes (the “Transaction Code” or “Transaction Type”) which allow you to analyse the type of receipt or payment, as well as narrative information which provides supplementary detail (such as beneficiary name and account number).

What do you need to do?

We have updated the test files for the different types of report and different file formats available.

Click on the link that is relevant to you, and follow the instructions provided to download and run the test files:

Why is this important?

Running the test files will allow you to determine whether, after the changes have been made, you will receive the output you require to support your reconciliation activity.

In addition, it will give you the opportunity to discuss and resolve any questions or concerns you may have, well in advance of these changes being made. We will let you know the exact date the changes will take effect nearer the time.

What to do if this does not affect you

Please email us at to confirm that you will not be affected by these changes.

Further information

Q1. What do you need to do if you don’t download statements?

You do not need to run a test file, but we recommend you see the detailed guide which shows what is changing to statement narratives on your account view: Corporate Online guide (PDF, 104KB) or LloydsLink guide (PDF)

Q2. How do you know if you need to run a test file?

If you import the transaction file you download from Corporate Online, LloydsLink online or LloydsLink dial-up into another system (such as accounting or Treasury Management software) you may need to run a test file.

If you download and view the transaction file (e.g. in Excel) you may not need to run the test file.

Q3. How do you know which test file to download?

Select the test file which has the same file type (e.g. APACS, BAI, Excel) as the report you normally download. Please see the Corporate Online file download guide (PDF, 285KB) and the LloydsLink file download guide (PDF, 182KB) to help you select the right test file.

A full list of test files is available on the Corporate Online test file page and the LloydsLink test file page.

Note that most clients use the “Yesterday’s Statement” or “Historic Statement” reports rather than the intra-day reports to carry out reconciliations.

Q4. How are the transaction narratives going to change?

The format of the report file (e.g. the number of characters in each field, or the order of the fields) is not changing, but the content of some of the fields within the file may change. The “As-is/To-be” documents contained in the test files provide a full explanation - see the Corporate Online test file page and the LloydsLink test file page.

Transactions are downloaded as a string of characters. Each string is made up of a set of fields, which contain information such as the sort code, account number, amount, date, type of transaction and a transaction reference.

Below is an example of a transaction ‘character string’ (illustration only)

  As is / To be Sort code Account number Amount Transaction code Transaction reference
As is 30-17-15 123xxx78 100.00 174 BANK GIRO CREDIT 500001
To be 30-17-15 123xxx78 100.00 399 500001

In this example, the changes to the transaction narrative are:

a.    The code which describes the type of transaction changes (e.g. ‘174’ for a Branch Deposit changes to ‘399’)
b.    The position of the transaction reference changes within the ‘Transaction reference’ field (e.g. the reference starts from position 1 in the field, instead of starting from position 20)

Q5. What happens if you have problems loading the file or running a report?

a.    Your system may only be able to run reports which use your own sort code and account number. In this case you will need to replace the dummy sort code and account number in the test file with your own sort code and account number.
b.    Your system may only be able to run reports with your real opening and closing balance. In this case, replace the dummy balances in the test file with the correct opening and closing balances.
c.    Your system may only be able to run reports with yesterday’s date. In this case, replace the dummy date in the test file with the correct date.
d.    You may need to use ‘Notepad’ to edit the test file as some systems are sensitive to the file format used.

Q6. Will the payment files you upload/import be changing? 

No - there are no changes to the payment files you upload.

Q7. What happens if you do not have a test environment?

Please review the “As-is/To-be” documents contained in the test files to determine if there are any issues that you may experience once the changes come into effect - see the Corporate Online test file page and the LloydsLink test file page.

Q8. What is the difference between the SWIFT standard and the SWIFT enhanced report?

The SWIFT enhanced report provides a broader range of transaction codes (e.g. an Internal Transfer appears as ‘MSC’ on standard report and ‘ADV’ on enhanced report).

Q9. What are the changes for reports downloaded for a group of accounts? (Corporate Online users only)

The changes to transaction narratives apply to all sterling accounts, whether you download reports by individual account or in a group of accounts.


Further assistance

Please email us at if you have any questions about running your test files, and we will respond as soon as possible.