I have some bank accounts with international banks like SC/HSBC/Citi.

Here is the template which they provide for international wire transfers.

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Is it necessary to provide Correspondent Bank info to sender? Their bank can't determine it on their own using their networks? And why some banks ask for receiver's address while some other banks ask for receiver's bank branch address?

On #3 example , you can see bank info confuses sender to which bank account he is wiring to and some banks don't even provide all these fields in their online banking dashboard. The bank on #3 have around 3 correspondent banks for USD transaction, is there a reason to prefer one over another?

  • Have you ever tried sending without the correspondent bank info? What would happen?
    – borrrden
    Oct 20 '14 at 7:14

You don't generally provide a correspondent bank for a transaction; the banks deal with that. In fact, if you look at the transaction advice for a transfer, you'll note sticky fingers have relieved you of some of your funds, sometimes twice, with little, if any information, as to where the monies have actually gone.

I've been told in the past that the recipient bank selects the correspondent bank, but that information has been courtesy of payors who typically don't know and can't/won't try to find out. I believe it much more likely that the sending bank selects the correspondent bank - if they, in fact, they use one. Often the same remitting bank will use, then again not use, a correspondent bank.

  • Can you provide any sources or references for your claims?
    – Noah
    Oct 21 '14 at 14:11

Sender bank cannot determine that. You should receive the info from the receiving bank. If the receiving bank doesn't have a correspondent bank - leave it empty.

Correspondent bank is the middle man, if the sender and receiver can't or won't talk to each other directly through the SWIFT network. Many times this happens due to international legal/political restrictions, or if the sending/receiving bank is a small-scale bank and cannot afford dealing with the SWIFT network directly (some credit unions in the US, for example).

As to the address - follow the instructions from the receiving bank. Some use branch addresses, others don't.

  • But, small credit unions don't have SWIFT codes. In my case bank have SWIFT Code + Correspondent bank list. If bank is on SWIFT network, why i need to provide Correspondent bank infos? Nov 15 '13 at 10:58
  • 2
    Because they still may be using intermediary instead of a direct transaction. Why don't you ask your bank this question?
    – littleadv
    Nov 15 '13 at 18:49
  • 1
    Because bank provides me general answer. And transaction is known to succeed without providing Correspondent bank info. So i am wondering why bank website insists on providing this info when it works directly using my Bank's SWIFT Code. Nov 16 '13 at 12:35

Thomas, I work at a small credit union in the US. We are unable to look up routing numbers, Swift codes, etc. We can type in a number and it will tell us the name of the financial institution, but we cannot do it in reverse. Some larger institutions have multiple routing numbers.

Also, and more to the point, if we look it up for you, we would be liable if it was sent to the wrong place. If you provide the information and it is incorrect, you would be liable.


Any bank using SWIFT codes can have access the SwIFT directory in their payments unit, the Directories lists all the banks and correspondent banks. It is quite easy for bank to find out correspondent/connecting banks. If they dont it is only because they dont want to offer the service to look it up.

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