SEPA IBAN-Only Directory

What is SEPA IBAN-Only

SEPA stands for Single Euro Payments Area. It is the area in which individuals and businesses can make and receive card and electronic payments in euros across Europe simply, cheaply and efficiently, regardless of their location in Europe. An IBAN (International Bank Account Number) is a standardised way to allow overseas banks to easily handle the account number and bank identifier of a beneficiary in another country.

To make a European cross border payment, customers need to quote an IBAN – which offers a simple method for checking the validity of the beneficiary’s bank account number for cross-border payment transactions.

Since October 2016, it has been compulsory for SEPA payments to be processed using only a customer’s IBAN. This change, known as SEPA IBAN-Only (SEPAIO) has helped reduce the instances of payment errors by encouraging more SEPA payments to be made electronically – through Straight Through Processing (STP) – minimising the need for manual intervention.

Pay.UK, liaising with the European Payments Council and the Financial Conduct Authority, were responsible for implementing the nationwide SEPAIO solution.

Finding a UK SEPA BIC from the IBAN

In order to find the UK SEPA BIC for an individual IBAN please use the SEPAIO look up utility below.

SEPA IBAN-Only Directory

The SEPA IBAN-Only Directory provides payment service providers (PSPs) with a utility for deriving the BIC  from the IBAN for SEPA payments in the UK.

Pay.UK owns the Directory that SWIFT developed and built through its SWIFT 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 participants, and accounts for over 97% of UK SEPA Reachable BICs listed. It is the most accurate source of UK SEPA BIC data as it is maintained, validated and updated regularly by participants. Information on how to use the directory, become a participant or subscribe to use the data in the Directory is given below.

If you are interested in participating or subscribing, please contact

Current participants

The vast majority of SEPA reachable UK PSPs participate in this Directory, you can view a list of current participants by following the link below.

How to join

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.

For more information on how to join see below.

Subscribing to the Directory

The SEPAIO Directory holds over 21,500 participant PSP SEPA BIC records and can be downloaded as a Directory File (monthly or daily) or can be accessed via an API (Application Progamming Interface) subject to an annual subscription fee.

For information on subscribing to the Directory see below.

More information

The European Payments Council offers 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 SEPAIO.

UK Finance is the UK’s National Adherence Support Organisation (NASO). This means UK Finance helps UK-based PSPs with their applications to adhere to the EPC’s SEPA Credit Transfer Schemes and the SEPA Direct Debit Schemes. Any institution that meets the appropriate criteria outlined in the SEPA Scheme rulebooks can apply to become a SEPA Scheme participant. For further information please email

For any specific queries about your account or SEPA payments, please contact the relevant PSP that holds the account that is sending/receiving the payment.

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