Welcome to UK SEPA IBAN Only Utility

The SEPA IBAN-Only (SEPAIO) Directory provides Payment Service Providers (PSPs) with a utility for deriving the BIC from the IBAN for SEPA payments in the UK (see free look up utility below). It is the most accurate source of BIC data as it is maintained, validated and updated regularly by participating PSPs. Any changes made by participants are updated daily to the Directory.

Pay.UK owns the Directory that SWIFT developed and built through its SWIFTRef reference data platform. Under the SEPA Regulation (EU) No 260/2012, there is a requirement for PSPs that are currently reachable for euro credit transfers or direct debits to meet the reachability requirements in the Regulation. The Directory helps UK PSPs to comply, by ensuring the correct BIC can be derived from a given GB IBAN.

The data in the Directory is supplied and validated by participant PSPs, and accounts for over 97% of UK SEPA Reachable BICs. A list of the PSPs currently participating in the Directory can be found here.

Find out more about becoming a participant PSP or subscribing to use the data by clicking on the links below. Or by emailing SEPAIO_Ops@wearepay.uk.

Find a SEPA BIC from a GB IBAN via free look-up utility
Lookup a SEPA BIC from a UK IBAN
Responses to the look ups can be viewed below
Responses to SEPAIO Directory look ups
When using the IBAN look up utility, you can expect one of the following responses:
  • The IBAN entered is valid and the corresponding SEPA BIC will be returned
  • The IBAN entered is invalid due to the IBAN being incorrectly formatted or is missing information. The error message will indicate this
  • If the IBAN submitted is not a UK, crown dependency or GI (Gibraltar) IBAN, the error message will indicate this
  • If the IBAN submitted is from a UK bank that is NOT a participant of the SEPAIO directory, the error message will indicate this. It does not mean that the IBAN submitted does not have a corresponding SEPA BIC. It may only mean that the SEPA BIC relates to a PSP that is not included in the Directory
  • If the submitted IBAN indicates there is no destination BIC for SEPA, the message will clearly indicate this
Already a SEPA IBAN-Only Directory Participant? - Log in to SWIFTref and access the SEPAIO data management area.

Becoming a SEPA IBAN-Only Directory Participant - If you are a UK SEPA reachable PSP, or are planning to become SEPA reachable, you should consider participating in the SEPA IBAN-Only Directory

Useful information on joining
Subscribing to the SEPAIO Directory data for download or API use - The SEPAIO Directory holds over 21,400 Participant PSP SEPA BIC records and can be downloaded as a Directory File (monthly or daily) or can be accessed via API subject to an annual subscription fee
Indicative costs for subscriptions
For further details on how to become a participant PSP or to find out more about subscribing to use the data, please contact SEPAIO_Ops@wearepay.uk

Background to the Regulation

With effect from 1st February 2016, Article 5(7) of the SEPA Regulation (EU) No 260/2012 comes into force, ensuring that Eurozone banks and Payment Service Providers (PSPs) are able to process Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) payments using only a customer's IBAN (International Bank Account Number). Previously, customers were required to also provide the Business Identifier Code (BIC) of the PSP they were intending to pay, in order for their PSP to process the payment.

The European Payments Council's website provides further information regarding the SEPA IBAN-Only requirement. It also provides external links to each of the SEPA countries' websites, where they provide information relating to SEPA IBAN-Only.

The SEPA IBAN-Only Directory is available to make certain that all Eurozone PSPs (e.g. banks and large corporates initiating payments) have the necessary information to route a SEPA payment correctly to UK beneficiaries.