CB.Net is adding Swift-enabled routing BICs to its international payments directory BankSearchPlus, part of the CB.Net Payments Reference Data Service. The new capability, supported by the addition of an extra field to allow the identification of the routing BIC, is available as part of a standard upgrade to users of the vendor’s web-based service and those clients taking files and data sheets.
According to CB.Net managing director Ian Dunning, the addition of routing BICs to BankSearchPlus will solve a key problem banks could face post the introduction of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). “Under the European directive for SEPA, it specifically states that corporates should print on their invoices the IBAN and the BIC of the bank that issued the IBAN,” he says. “For the paying bank, if the receiving bank is a Swift member, then the BIC that has been quoted can be used as an address in the payment. But this only works if the receiving bank is a member of Swift.” If it is not, while it may have a BIC, this will not be an address BIC. “It will have a 1 as the eighth character, and it will not work as an address on the Swift network,” Dunning says. “The IBAN identifies the bank, but how does the paying bank send money to the receiving bank? The answer is that it needs the routing BIC of the bank’s correspondent.”
CB.Net has approached the majority of the non-Swift member banks in Europe to obtain details of their correspondents for receiving payments. “We then cross-reference them in our system,” Dunning says. The user enters the IBAN into BankSearchPlus or BankSearchPlusOnline, and the system validates the identity of the bank that issued it, and provides the user with either the member BIC, or, if the bank is not a member of Swift, the relevant routing BIC.