Please note that I am not a banker, nor am I an economist. Therefore I would be glad if you could correct me in case you find a mistake. I humbly thank you in advance.
From time to time I need to transfer money to one of the Polish archives for my orders.
Each bank has an international identifier and so has each bank account. The standards which my bank (and I assume most other banks in Belgium do, is BIC (Bank Identifier Code and also known as SWIFT) and IBAN (International Bank Account Number) (there are no huge charges here in Belgium unlike in the US where wiring internationally seems to be quite expensive).
So before I can transfer money to any Polish bank account, I’ll need to convert the given account of the beneficiary to the IBAN and BIC formats.
There is a search engine which claims to be able to find Bank Codes and BIC’s, the problem is that it is not working (yet) for Polish banks. See for yourself at www.ibancalculator.com/blz.html.
So let’s try this another way:
In the Polish banking sector, the IBAN number is composed of 28 alphanumeric characters and is constructed by inserting the country code PL before the NRB number (Polish abbreviation for Bank Account Number), as a result of which the following format is generated:
To be more specific:
PL– country code for the country in which the account is serviced
00 – control digits
11111111 – 8-digit bank branch number)
2222222222222222 – 16-digit account number
Let’s take for example the account of the AGAD, which is 86 1010 1010 0008 9522 3100 0000.
According to what we know by now about a standard Polish account, we will get now the following IBAN formatted account:
We still need to get the BIC code. In order to get this, I’ll have to contact the bank, but how do we know which bank?
We know that the BIC-code consists of the 8 digits after the 2 control digits which is in our case 10101010.
There exists a list of all head offices of domestic banks in Poland on the following website http://www.nbp.pl/homen.aspx?c=/ascx/libanen.ascx&l=r (I’ve added for your convenience a screenshot of this page after this post).
Take the first three digits of your NRB number, which is 101 and find the matching bank in the list.
The only match is 10100000 which correspond with the Narodowy Bank Polski.
Now that we know at which bank the account can be found, we’ll need to get their website which can easily be tracked via a search engine (such as google, yahoo, etc). The website for our bank is apparently http://www.nbp.pl/.
For your convenience, here the screenshot with a list of head offices of domestic banks from the aforementioned website: