What bank details are needed to receive money in the UK?

Gert Svaiko

Expecting a payment from overseas? If a person, business or even an employer needs to send you money here in the UK, you’ll need to have the right details ready to give them.

In this guide, we’ll run through what bank details are needed to receive money in the UK. Plus, how long it takes for a bank transfer to clear, and who pays the fees for international payments.

We’ll even throw in a cost-saving alternative to traditional banks, the Wise account. This lets you receive money from overseas without needing to open a UK bank account. With Wise, you’ll get local account details for receiving British pounds (GBP). It’s secure, convenient and a great way of swerving hidden bank fees.


Learn more about the Wise account

Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

What bank details are needed to receive money in the UK?

If you have a UK bank account, here’s what details you’ll need to give the sender in order to receive a payment from another country:¹

  • Your International Bank Account Number (IBAN) - you can find this on your bank statement or internet banking.
  • Your bank’s SWIFT/BIC code- again, you should be able to find this on internet banking or any statement. You can also find and check SWIFT/BIC codes here.
  • Your account number and sort code (if you can’t find your IBAN)
  • Your full name and address.

And, if you’re on the other end of the transaction, here’s a guide on what details you need to send money abroad from the UK.

What is the address of my bank?

You should be able to find your bank’s branch address on your statements or in online banking. Another option is to use an online sort code checker tool. The numbers in your sort code identify your bank and branch, so you can use them to find your branch address.

If you have your bank’s SWIFT/BIC code, you shouldn’t need to enter the branch address as well. But it could be handy to have it ready, just in case.

Is it safe to send bank details by email?

You should always exercise caution when giving out bank or other financial details, especially to someone you don’t know. You shouldn’t ever give out your PIN or the three-digit security code for your card, or any online banking passwords.

However, it’s generally considered to be safe to share your bank account details.² This is because your account number and sort code can’t be used to access your account or your money.

Before sending bank details by email, you should also be aware of email payment fraud.³ This is where fraudsters intercept your email and send a realistic-looking email of their own to the sender, revising the given bank details to redirect funds into their own account. It mainly affects the conveyancing industry, or others where large amounts are sent.

How long does it take for a bank transfer to clear?

International bank transfer speeds can vary depending on the bank(s) involved and where the payment is coming from.

Generally speaking, though, it takes between 1-5 working days⁴ to receive a payment from overseas into a UK bank account.

How are transfer charges divided between the sender and the receiver?

SWIFT international payments usually come with a fee attached. The sender will often pay these fees, but other arrangements are also possible. The sender can decide to divide the fees between themselves and the recipient, or have the recipient pay all the fees.

Banks use different codes to track who is paying the fees for a transfer:

  • OUR - the sender pays the fees
  • BEN - the recipient pays the fees
  • SHA - fees are shared.

So, you’ll need to decide between you, in advance, who will be responsible for the transfer fees.

After reading this guide, you should be all set to receive your first international transfer here in the UK. Just remember that banks aren’t the only option for receiving payments from overseas, and alternatives such as Wise could potentially save you money.

Register with Wise today

Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

Sources used:

  1. Barclays - Making and receiving international payments
  2. Sumup - What is a sort code?
  3. Barclays - Email payment fraud
  4. GoCardless - How long does a bank transfer take?

Sources last checked on date: 12-Dec-2022

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

Money without borders

Find out more

Tips, news and updates for your location