My credit union (ENT FCU) claims no SWIFT code is required to receive funds with international wire transfer, just their routing number...

I am not an expert but I thought SWIFT code is required for all international wire transfers whether from United States to other countries or from other countries to United States so I wanted to see if anyone can confirm that their ABA routing number would be enough for someone to wire transfer funds from overseas to my bank account.

  • "no SWIFT code is required to receive funds". This is correct. You only need the SWIFT code or IBAN to send funds. Commented Feb 25, 2018 at 20:24
  • 2
    The situation is complicated. The problem is with the overseas bank: overseas banks CAN in theory send money to a credit union in the US which has no SWIFT code. Many will do so with no problem. However, many overseas banks WILL NOT send money to a credit union in the US which has no SWIFT code. It's simply their policy that they won't do it.
    – Fattie
    Commented May 29, 2018 at 11:08

6 Answers 6


I don't believe they're right. For international wire transfers you'd need either IBAN or SWIFT codes. I don't think any US bank participates in the IBAN network (mostly Europe and the Far East), so SWIFT is they way to go with the US.

Credit unions frequently don't know what and how to do with international transactions because they don't have them that often. Some don't even have SWIFT codes of their own (many, in fact) and use intermediaries to receive money.

  • FWIW, HSBC operates in the United States (38 branches in California, 159 in New York, 18 in Florida and a handful elsewhere) and is very likely able to use IBAN as well as SWIFT.
    – al45tair
    Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 10:33
  • @alastair I believe HSBC is one of those "mostly Europe and Far East", but that said - it may so be that their US operation does not in fact support IBAN. Something worth checking.
    – littleadv
    Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 2:16

Most of the credit unions and small banks in the USA do not have connectivity to the SWIFT network and thus do not have a SWIFT code.

They can still receive international wire transfers. Sender's international financial institution should have a correspondent bank in the US (which acts as an intermediary bank) to which they can wire the money The intermediary bank will send the money domestically (within USA) using the ABA routing number of the small bank or credit union.

  • Correction- using aba routings of any Credit union or small bank
    – Joan
    Commented Mar 28, 2017 at 14:58

The SWIFT format has multiple place holders. The Beneficiary Bank and Account can be specified using Local Sort Codes [ABA number in this example]. However you would still need to specify the Correspondent Bank and its BIC.


A SWIFT code helps but it is not always necessary. In the early 2000s I worked in Hong Kong. All a Hong Kong bank needed to wire money to the USA was the ABA number, which was the check routing number from the bottom of a US check, the bank account number, and the name on the destination account.


I frequently wire money into my credit union account from overseas. All that is required is knowing the ABA routing number.


If you're sending money to a US bank account (credit union) let's say from an European bank account, all you need is receiver's account number and routing number.

PS: I have both and that's the way I send money from EU bank account to the US bank account (Credit Union). I have also sent to US Chase bank account that way too.

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