Someone in another country has attempted a wire transfer to my account here in the UK. The wire transfer form, of which I have a copy, shows that my IBAN (international account number) is correct, and my own name and address details are correct.

The "beneficiary bank" is listed as the sending bank in the foreign country, instead of my bank in the UK. The sender believes that this was a mistake made by the bank teller, and it should show my bank instead. The funds have not arrived in my account, several days later.

It looks as if the IBAN should be sufficient to uniquely identify my bank and my individual account. We are hoping that the delay is simply due to extra checks being carried out due to the supplied bank name not matching. At what point should we assume that the incorrect "beneficiary bank" information has caused the transfer to fail?

  • 2
    Ask the sender to call his(her) bank and get it sorted out. The other bank might be sitting on it. IBAN should be fine, but because of money laundering regulations they might be reluctant and investigating.
    – DumbCoder
    Mar 26, 2014 at 9:50
  • Has this happened previously? Sometimes people with names similar to certain listed individuals or countries can experience regular delays in wire transfers. exportlawblog.com/archives/5771
    – NL7
    Mar 26, 2014 at 17:33

1 Answer 1


To answer your questions in reverse order: If you haven't received a wire (even an international one) within one week, there is something wrong.

In this instance, the money was sent to the beneficiary bank. They were unable to locate your account, so they have two options: return the funds or sit on them. In this case, it appears they held onto the funds.

The sender of the wire will have to request a correction. Usually there is another fee for this, and banks are not required to honor them. However, most reputable banks will, assuming the funds have not been credited to the receiver yet. If the funds have already been credited to an account, and that account holder has withdrawn the funds, things could get tricky.

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