Do I need intermediary details?

To enable multicurrency payments to be transferred around the world, international payments are routed via 'Correspondent banks' (often known as intermediaries).

Banks will automatically route their payments through their chosen correspondent bank(s) in other countries, allowing currencies to be moved outside of their domestic area. This principle applies to payments sent and received internationally.

Sometimes, your recipient will provide you with a specific set of intermediary bank details that will help us route the payment across the globe. However, this is rare. If you aren't aware of any intermediary details then please don't complete them, or worry. The vast majority of payments do not require any.

What is a National clearing code?

This is a unique identifier for a bank branch, the format of which varies depending on the country.

For example:

Canada –This is 9 characters long

New Zealand – This is 6 characters long

South Africa – This is 6 characters long

India – This is known as an IFSC code and is 11 characters long

(please note the prefix CC/NZ/ZA is not required)

What is a BSB code?

A 'Bank State Branch' (BSB) code is a six digit numerical code used in Australia to identify a branch of a financial institution.

What is an ABA number/routing number?

An ABA number (also known as routing number or routing transfer number) is a sequence of nine numeric characters used by banks to identify specific financial institutions within the United States.

What is an IBAN and SWIFT code?


IBAN stands for International Bank Account Number. Your IBAN is based on the sort code & account number of your bank account. It helps overseas banks identify the correct account to send a payment to.

A SWIFT code (or SWIFTBIC, as it's sometimes known) is a bank identifier code that helps overseas banks identify which bank to send payments to.

It consists of 8 or 11 characters and can be found on account statements, invoices and documents showing bank account details. The format of any BIC/SWIFT Code that you enter is automatically checked when you enter it using an in-built BIC/SWIFT Code checker.

If you encounter any hurdles, you can check the details either with the recipient to whom you are sending the funds or with the recipient bank.


You can also check the validity of a BIC/SWIFT code on the following website:

Enter the code you have been provided with along with the other details requested. If it is a valid code, it will confirm the bank that this relates to.

A SWIFT/BIC code will consist of the following characters:

4 characters - bank code

2 characters - 2 digit country code

2 characters - location code

3 characters - branch code, optional ( 'XXX' for primary office)

It's also worth noting that the SWIFT Code has been renamed BIC which stands for Bank Identifier Code (now also known as Business identifier Code). However, most banks still refer to SWIFT codes, SWIFT numbers or SWIFT addresses. These codes are used when transferring money between banks, particularly international transfers.


Where can I obtain an IBAN or SWIFT code?

Contact your bank in order to obtain your IBAN and SWIFT code.

Which countries accept an IBAN or SWIFT code?

IBAN can be used for worldwide payments; however it is primarily used within the Eurozone. The SWIFT/BIC CODE is recognised by the majority of the financial institutions worldwide. Banks in the USA, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and the UK do not require an IBAN or a SWIFT/BIC Code. The USA requires an ABA number, New Zealand and Australia require a BSB number, Hong Kong and Singapore a clearing code and the UK a sort code, all of which can be obtained from your bank.

I have a joint bank account, but the transfer was set up from my personal First Rate FX account?


Your First Rate FX account is personal (in your name), but bank accounts might be shared.

Due to money laundering regulations we're not able to automatically match deposits coming from a joint bank account to First Rate FX payments in your personal name.

It's best you inform our Customer Support of the shared bank account (both names) before you start the payment.


What if my First Rate FX and bank account names don't match?


Your First Rate FX profile name ('Sender' in terms of payment) should always be the same as your bank account name.

Due to money laundering regulations, we're unable to process payments when it's not clear that it comes from a bank account of the person behind the First Rate FX account. In such cases, we'll ask for additional information about the bank account that transferred the money to First Rate FX.

If the money comes from someone else, we will need to refund it.


How do I use First Rate FX for business payments?

If you are going to make payments on behalf of your company and deposit from a company bank account, you'll need to add in your business's details to a regular personal First Rate FX account.

Do I need to open a new bank account to use First Rate FX?

No, First Rate FX works with your existing bank accounts. It is important to remember that when transferring funds to an account, that account must be denominated in the same currency as the funds being sent. For example, if you are transferring Australian Dollars, the beneficiary account must also be designated in Australian Dollars.

Can I pay by cash, cheque, credit card or bank draft?

First Rate FX does not accept or deliver cash, credit card or bank drafts. If you wish to pay via debit card, please call us. We also accept bank transfers.

How do I send my money to First Rate FX?

Once a transfer is set-up with First Rate FX, the last step is to send the money that you need converted. The trade confirmation will show you the details for one of our bank accounts. These are the details that you'd need to provide to your bank.

With these details, simply ask your bank to make a bank transfer to First Rate FX. It's probably easiest to do it via internet banking.

Note: we cannot accept cash deposits.

Once your bank's confirmed the transfer has been made, there's nothing else to do.

Everything you Need

some useful information and links to guide you through the choices





First Rate FX is authorised by the FCA under the Payment Services Regulations 2009, Registration No. 537060, for the Provision of Payment Services
44 (0)2035 888 555


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