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Bank accounts explained: finding your sort code and account number

At OneFamily, we often ask for your bank details when you’re paying money in or taking money out. Here’s a quick guide to UK bank accounts to help you understand what we need and why.

Account numbers

Every bank account has its own “account number”. Only your account will have this number, so it tells us exactly where to send your money. You’ll have a different account number for every account in your name.

Most bank account numbers have eight digits, for example 12345678.

However, some banks account numbers are shorter than this, which can cause confusion when we ask you to tell us your “eight-digit account number”.

If your account number is only seven digits, then you can simply add a 0 at the start, so 1234567 becomes 01234567.

If your account number is any other length, you will need to contact your bank to ask them how you can change it into an eight-digit number.

Where can you find your bank account number?

You can normally find your account number on paper bank statements and on online banking, which could be the bank’s website or a mobile app. You can also go to your bank to ask them about your account number.

You might find your account number is on your bank card. Look for an eight-digit number, not the 16-digit card number in middle of your card. The account number is usually printed in smaller text towards the bottom of your bank card, next to the sort code.

Some bank cards won’t have your account number on them, but you’ll always be able to see it on your bank statements or on online banking.

Sort codes

Every bank branch has its own sort code. So, if your bank is Natwest, for example, we’ll need to know which branch of Natwest has your account. Your sort code tells us this.

Your sort code is six numbers long.

It’s usually written as three sets of two-digits, for example 04-00-04.

The first two digits tell us which bank your account is with, for example Natwest, and the last four digits tell us which branch of the bank has your account.

Where can you find your sort code?

Just like your account number, you can usually find your sort code on paper statements and on online banking.

Sometimes your sort code is also printed on your bank card. It’s usually at the bottom of the card near your account number, but not all bank cards will have it.

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, contact your bank.

You can do this by phone, email or by simply going to a branch and speaking to someone in person. It might be helpful to bring some ID, such as your driving licence or passport and proof of your address.

They’ll go through some security checks to make sure it’s you, and then they’ll be able to tell you what your account number and sort code is.

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