LETTER

Euro payment tips

Here's a tip to avoid delayed payments for any freelances receiving or sending bank transfers in Euros from now on.

With effect from 1 January 2006 there is a procedural change if a European client is paying you or you are paying them. If they are paying you, you now need to provide your IBAN (International Bank Account Number) and receiving bank SWIFTBIC (Bank Identifier Code) for all international payments in Euros. This applies to any of the 25 EU states, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. (If you're paying them, obviously you'll need the beneficiary's details.)

You'll find the IBAN and SWIFTBIC codes around the place where your Sort Code and Account Number information are listed, if your bank statement is like mine. If you're like me, you probably didn't notice.

Naturally, despite a steady stream of Euro transactions going through my account over many years, my bank did not see fit to notify me about the changes. I was told by an EU-based client. In my case the client asked for another piece of information: the bank's registered office. You will most likely find this at the bottom of your bank statement.

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