It doesn’t take long to learn how to make international payments. In fact, it’s like making a regular payment, although there is some extra information you need to know.

Remember that fluctuations in currency exchange rates can affect the price you pay or the amount you receive. So, keep a close eye on the strength of the Pound compared to other currencies. 

International payments to and from Europe

Banks throughout Europe use a standard format for international bank transactions, which means making or receiving payments is quicker, safer and more efficient.

You’ll need two codes when making or receiving payments from Europe:

  • Your Bank Identifier Code (BIC).
  • Your International Bank Account Number (IBAN).

To receive a payment, you’ll need to give the payer your own BICs and IBANs. To send a payment, you’ll need to know theirs.

You can find your BIC and IBAN on your bank account statement. They both consist of numbers and letters (see below).

When you make an international payment from Lloyds Bank, we'll also require:

  • The recipient's full name and address.
  • The name and address of their bank.

When receiving a payment, you should provide the above plus the amount and currency you wish to be paid in.

Remember, your payment may be rejected if you don't include all of this information.

Timings for your payment may also vary depending on the country and currency.

How to find BIC and SWIFT code

What is a BIC?

A Business Identifier Code (BIC) identifies particular banks worldwide. It's also known as a SWIFT code.

You can find your BIC in Online for Business under 'More actions' and 'Account Information’.

It is formatted like this, with your own combination of numbers and letters:

SWIFT (BIC) code consists of 8-11 characters (Letters only). Bank code, Country code, Location code, Branch code.

What is an IBAN?

An International Bank Account Number (IBAN) identifies individual bank accounts according to an international agreement.

IBANs are mandatory for EU (European) and EEA (European Economic Area) countries.

You can find your IBAN in Lloyds Bank’s Online for Business site under ‘More actions’ and ‘Account Information’.

It is formatted like this, with your own combination of numbers and letters:

IBAN number consists of 34 characters. County code, Check digit, Bank code, Branch code, Account number.

An IBAN is specific to a country, so character length can vary. For example, French IBANs always have 20 characters.

  • France: FR123456789101112131
  • Germany: DE123456789101112131
  • Ireland: IE291234567891011121

International payments outside of Europe

You may need to use an IBAN when making or receiving payments outside of Europe, and you should always provide the BIC if possible.

Payment Purpose Codes are used by some foreign banks to identify why payments are being made. They are becoming more common and will be required if you trade with countries such as China and Jordan.

International payments when trading with China

Whether you’re selling goods and services to China or buying from Chinese suppliers, it helps when you can trade in their currency, the Renminbi (RMB). Transactions in Renminbi have grown steadily since the Chinese Government liberalised its use for global trade and it now offers many operational advantages.

By conducting international business in Renminbi, you can:

  • benefit from discounts or preferential terms as an importer.
  • gain an advantage with Chinese customers as an exporter.
  • minimise your foreign exchange costs by using an RMB currency account.
  • make payments to both mainland China and offshore accounts.
  • hold Renminbi in an RMB currency account.
  • exchange RMB against other currencies on a ‘spot’ basis.
  • secure forward cover against RMB payables and receivables.

Read our guide to find out more about making and receiving payments in Chinese Renminbi.

Transaction costs

Transaction costs vary depending on payment type and the account you hold. Our standard exchange rate includes a margin, information about the percentage margin that will be applied to your payment can be found on our website.

The International payment charges vary depending on where you make the payment, such as in branch or online, and the type of payment.

Keep your accounts protected

Only share your BIC and IBAN with someone who’s making a payment to you. Never give out any other confidential details, such as your PIN or memorable information.

We adhere to The Standards of Lending Practice which are monitored and enforced by the LSB:

Important legal information

Lloyds Bank is a trading name of Lloyds Bank plc, Bank of Scotland plc, Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets plc and Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets Wertpapierhandelsbank GmbH.

Lloyds Bank plc. Registered Office: 25 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HN. Registered in England and Wales no. 2065. Bank of Scotland plc. Registered Office: The Mound, Edinburgh EH1 1YZ. Registered in Scotland no. SC327000. Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets plc. Registered office 25 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HN. Registered in England and Wales no. 10399850. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 119278, 169628 and 763256 respectively.

Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets Wertpapierhandelsbank GmbH is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets plc. Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets Wertpapierhandelsbank GmbH has its registered office at Thurn-und-Taxis Platz 6, 60313 Frankfurt, Germany. The company is registered with the Amtsgericht Frankfurt am Main, HRB 111650. Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets Wertpapierhandelsbank GmbH is supervised by the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht.

Eligible deposits with us are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). We are covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). Please note that due to FSCS and FOS eligibility criteria not all business customers will be covered.

While all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information provided is correct, no liability is accepted by Lloyds Bank for any loss or damage caused to any person relying on any statement or omission. This is for information only and should not be relied upon as offering advice for any set of circumstances. Specific advice should always be sought in each instance.