Foreign Payments

Foreign Payments can either be made by Cheque or Wire Bank Transfer, with the Bank Transfer being the preferred method.

Cheques should only be used for low value, non-urgent items. Currency cheques are issued in the currency of the country they are drawn. Sterling cheques are drawn on the UK. Euro cheques can only be drawn in countries which have adopted the euro. However many EU banks are no longer accepting EUR cheques or are levying excessive charges for cashing them.

To make a payment by Cheque you will need to provide the following information:

  • The currency and amount of the payment
  • The name of the person or company who is receiving the payment (the beneficiary)
  • The beneficiary’s full address. N.B do not issue to P.O addresses.

Please refer to Lesley Hunt, Foreign Payments Supervisor, Tel: 47112.  Email


To make a Bank Transfer you will need to provide the following information:

  • The currency and amount of the payment
  • The name of the person or company who is receiving the payment (the beneficiary)
  • Full bank account details of the beneficiary, including
    The International Bank Account Number (IBAN), which is used within Europe, or alternatively the account number.
  • The Bank Identifer Code (BIC), or the national bank ID (SWIFT CODE), or the Routing Number (USA), and/or the full name and address of the bank. 



IBAN numbers and SWIFT/BIC codes must be provided for all payments to EU Countries. This information needs to be obtained by the beneficiary from their bank.  However other countries have now adopted the IBAN, a full list is attached here.

All payments to Canada must provide the beneficiary's complete address. This is to comply with Canadian legislation, in particular the Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist Financing Regulations.

Financial Sanctions - there are some restrictions on some countries where payments cannot be made. Please refer to the UK and US government websites below: 

If in doubt, please contact Lesley Hunt in Payments, Tel No: 47112; Email:


Cheques - currently there is no charge levied by our Foreign Payments Provider for issuing cheques. However, a £9.00 charge is levied if a "stop" is put on a cheque.

Bank Transfers - these payments are effected with the charges factor being ‘split’ which means that our bank levy a charge of up to £7.50 which is borne centrally by the University, but any charges levied by the beneficiary’s bank are borne by the beneficiary.

However from 1.11.09 all payments to the following EU countries can only be effected as ‘split’:

Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.

For further guidance please contact Lesley Hunt, Foreign Payments Supervisor , Tel: 47112, Email:


IBAN Overview

International Bank Account Numbers (IBANs) are an international standard for identifying accounts across national borders, the main purpose of which is to facilitate the automatic processing of money/wire transfers, in order to improve the speed and accuracy of payment transaction.  IBANs consist of two-character ISO country code, two-digit IBAN check and a country specific Basic Bank Account Number (BBAN).  Your IBAN does not replace your domestic bank account number. 

Each country has specified the country specific length and composition of the IBANs, for the UK the length is 22 alphanumeric characters. The IBAN contains the country code, which identifies the country the IBAN was issued and where the IBAN account is held. There is a two digit check number to enable a bank to complete an integrity check, the Bank Code to identify the IBAN account holder’s bank and finally the sort code and account number identifying the account into which the funds should be credited. The maximum length of an IBAN is 34 alphanumeric characters. From 1/1/2012 The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Bahrain Central Banks have introduced the IBAN as a standard for identifying all bank account in the UAE and Bahrain.

Croatia, Pakistan and Qatar have also introduced the IBAN, and it willbe implemented in Guatemala on 01/07/14.  Please refer to full list.

When the IBAN is printed on paper it is split into groups of four characters, beginning from the left and separated by a space. The blank spaces do not count as characters. This allows the IBAN to be easily recognisable and assists data entry without errors.



For more European IBAN examples, download this pdf document.


BIC Overview

The Bank Identifier Code (BIC) is a universal method of identifying financial institutions in order to facilitate the automated processing of payments. The BIC consists of eight or eleven characters comprised of the following components:

Bank Code

4 characters


Country Code

2 characters

 Location code

2 characters

Branch Code

3 characters
 LOYD  GB  21  A04

Sometimes the BIC is also referred to as a SWIFT code. However, the SWIFT code does not always contain the above components.

Examples of a SWIFT are:




 FIN Forms

The following documents (PDFs) can be downloaded and submitted to payments - they do however need to be printed on green paper.

FIN 103EUG - for EU purchases of goods

FIN 103EUS - for EU purchases of services

FIN 103FOG - for Non-EU purchases of goods

FIN 103FOS - for NON-EU purchases of services