Making international payments

There are four different channels through which you can send your funds to most destinations in the world. Use the links below to discover more about which payment service best fits your business requirements, the costs involved and the details you will need to supply in order to make the payment.

If your business sends payments in Euros, please read the Payments Council information for businesses leaflet, which details changes that may impact you. If you have any questions please phone 020 7977 2119^.

Please use the options below for more information on making a foreign payment:

S.W.I.F.T.

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial telecommunications (SWIFT) can be used to make an electronic payment of any amount in all major currencies to almost anywhere in the world.

When to use S.W.I.F.T.

SWIFT is used for all overseas payments except SEPA, US Structured and Target.

How long a payment takes.

Completion of a transfer will normally take between one to four working days.

Charges for using S.W.I.F.T.

Please see our International Banking Tariff for charges related to this service.

Information your business will need to provide to make a payment.

The minimum information required to make a S.W.IF.T. transfer is the beneficiary’s name and account number as well as the name and address of the receiving bank. In addition, please try to provide an IBAN and BIC code whenever possible. Please state the currency you wish the payment to be made in.

SEPA

If you need to make a non-urgent Euro payment to a beneficiary within the Single Euro Payments Area (those countries which have adopted the Euro as their currency), you may be able to do so through a SEPA credit transfer. SEPA allows you to make and receive Euro payments in the same way that you would domestic transactions.

More about SEPA.

The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) is a uniform set of standards which have been implemented by most European banks since 2008. They are designed to enable you to make and receive card and electronic payments in Euros simply, cheaply and efficiently across Europe, regardless of their location.

Benefits of using SEPA.

Payments made through SEPA are more cost-effective than using S.W.I.F.T., as well as saving time and being as easy to use as making payments within your own country.

The SEPA member states.

SEPA covers transactions between all 27 EU Member States, as well as Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The scheme applies to payments in Euros, even if your account isn’t a Euro account.

How long a payment takes.

Completion of a SEPA payment will be within two working days.

Charges for using SEPA.

SEPA payments are more cost effective than using S.W.I.F.T. Please call our Foreign Services Team on 08457 588 888^ (lines are open 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday) for charges related to this service. If the IBAN and BIC are correct, then there shouldn’t be any additional charges to the beneficiary. If incorrect, foreign banks are allowed to charge a repair fee.

Information your business will need to provide to make a payment.

Please provide us with the beneficiary’s name and account number as well as the name and address of the receiving bank. In addition, an IBAN and BIC code are mandatory in order to proceed with the payment. More information on IBANs and BICs


US Structured Payment

This is a low cost service for the sending of US dollars to the United States of America.

Benefits of using US Structured payments

This service is a more cost-effective way of sending US dollars to the United States, as well as having no limit on the amount you can send (subject to the funds being available in your account).

How long a payment takes

Completion of a US Structured payment will be within five working days. If your payment is urgent, please request it via S.W.I.F.T. payment.

Charges for using a US Structured payment

Please see our International Banking Tariff for charges related to this service.

Information your business will need to provide to make a payment

Please provide us with the beneficiary’s name and account number as well as the name and address of the receiving bank. In addition, a Fedwire / Routing / ABA code (9 digits) is needed as well as the BIC code for the receiving bank.


Real Time Euro Payment (TARGET)

This is the quickest but most expensive option for making urgent Euro payments within the Eurozone.

How long a payment takes

Real time Euro payments (TARGET) are completed on the same day. Payments can be made between 08:30am and 2:30pm and are settled on a real time basis which is irrevocable.

Charges for using TARGET

Please see our International Banking Tariff for charges related to this service.

Information your business will need to provide to make a payment

Please provide us with the beneficiary’s name and account number as well as the name and address of the receiving bank. In addition, an IBAN and BIC code are mandatory in order to proceed with the payment. More information on IBANs and BICs.



Which payment method to use.

If you are sending Euros abroad then you should do so through either a SEPA or Real Time Euro Payment. For urgent payments please request a Real Time Euro Payment as these will be completed same day albeit for a higher tariff. Should you wish to send funds in any other major currency, a S.W.I.F.T. or US Structured payment can be used. A US Structured payment is ideal for sending low value dollar amounts to the USA.

Currencies your company can make a foreign payment in.

We only deal in all major commercial currencies. Theses include:

AUD (Australian Dollar), CAD (Canadian Dollar), DKK (Danish Kroner), EUR (Euro), HKD (Hong Kong Dollar), INR (Indian Rupee), JPY (Japanese Yen), NZD (New Zealand Dollar), NOK (Norwegian Krone), PLN (Polish Zloty), SGD (Singapore Dollar), ZAR (South African Rand), SEK (Swedish Kroner), CHF (Swiss Franc), USD (US Dollar)

If you would like a payment made in another currency other than that stated above, you can send the transfer in Sterling with the instruction for it to be remitted in the local currency. The beneficiary bank will then convert the payment according to its rate of exchange, before crediting the recipient’s account. We may also buy another currency if you need to make an alternative currency payment, however there will be additional charges for this on top of the usual agent’s fees.

How to request a foreign payment.

Foreign payments can be made online using Financial Director.

Alternatively, you can make any foreign payments under £20,000 by calling customer services on 03457 654 654^, or for requests over £20,000 you will need to send a fax with this request to 0161 201 9024. Faxes must either be written on business letterheaded paper or our new form. Please state the debiting sort code and account number, the amount you'd like to transfer and the currency you would like to transfer the funds in. Use the links above to find out which additional information you will need to provide for each payment method. The fax must be signed in accordance with the bank mandate we hold.

If you prefer, you can write to us to request a transfer, our address is as follows:

Foreign Services Team 607
The Co-operative Bank
PO BOX 200
Skelmersdale
WN8 6YA

Please be advised we may call you back to confirm the details of the payment.

Payments made with incorrect details.

Please try to ensure that all the details you provide are correct. In the event that details are incorrect, even for a slight error such as a spelling mistake on the account holder’s name, the beneficiary bank may reject the transfer and either contact us to inform us there is a discrepancy or return the transfer to us. We will then contact you to obtain the correct information which we will then pass on to the beneficiary bank or use to re-send the transfer. There are charges associated with amending an overseas payment, which can be found in our International Banking Tariff found below. The beneficiary bank may also make a charge.

Cancelling a foreign payment.

Once your transfer has been sent we are unable to stop it. We cannot guarantee that funds can be recalled or payment instructions amended, as the beneficiary bank is not obliged to return the funds. If you would like to proceed with a cancellation or amendment, charges will be applied by us as well as any further charges from the beneficiary bank. If the transfer was sent in a foreign currency, you may be subject to an exchange rate loss if the payment is recalled and paid back into your account.

How our exchange rates are determined.

Our rates of exchange are set at 8:30am each day and will apply to all transfers below £20,000 made before the respective cut-off time for that day. They are based on current market rates and are comparable to those used by other banks and building societies within the UK. For transfers over £20,000, our dealers will negotiate the best possible rate for you at the time the payment is processed.

How to view your exchange rates.

Unfortunately we do not have the facility to display our exchange rates daily on the website. You can find out the exchange rate which will apply to your payment by calling our Foreign Services Team on 03457 558 888^ (lines are open 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday).

View our International Banking Tariff