Bank accounts explained

What are the key pieces of information that identify your bank account and how should you use them?

When you have a UK bank account there are several key pieces of information required to identify your account for various reasons. In this article we’ll explore what some of those identifiers are and how you should use them.

What is an account number?

Your account number is a number used to identify your bank account. You have a unique account number for every account in your name.

Most bank account numbers contain eight numbers. Some banks issue account numbers shorter than this, if that’s the case and you need to provide an eight digit account number then contact your bank on how to do this.

Your bank account number can only be used to identify a bank account when it is paired with a relevant sort code, which you can find out more about below.

Where can you find your account number?

You can normally find your account number on your bank card, on paper bank statements and on online banking – whether you use the bank’s website or a mobile app.

Don’t get your account number confused with your card number. The card number is a 16 digit number printed in the middle of your card. The account number is usually printed in smaller text towards the bottom of your bank card. If you can’t find your account number on your card then don’t worry – you’ll be able to find it on your bank statements or through online banking.

What is a sort code?

Your sort code is a six digit number that represents your bank branch. It’s usually divided into three sets of two digit numbers, the first two digits identify your bank, and the last four identify the branch of the bank where you opened your account.

Where can you find your sort code?

Just like your account number, you can usually find your sort code on paper statements, through online banking or on your bank card. It’s usually printed at the bottom of the card near your account number.

What should you do if you can’t find your account number or sort code?

If you can’t find your account number or sort code and you need them, contact your bank. They should be able to go through security checks to make sure it’s you, and then issue you with the details so you can add or withdraw money from your account.

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