I have an account in a credit union in the US and an account at a building society in the UK, and I wish to transfer funds from the former to the latter.

The credit union has a printed form for making transfers (both inside-US and international), and I have tried filling it out the the past and faxing it to them. I included all the details I thought were relevant, for instance the BIC of my building society and the IBAN of my account there, but they refused to make the transfer, claiming that they need precise written instructions describing how to perform the transfer in order to proceed. They suggested that I ask the receiving bank to provide them with these instructions.

I asked the building society if they could provide such instructions to the credit union, but they declined, saying (basically) "It's just a SWIFT transfer, this is completely standard, they ought to know how to do this, we're not going to explain it to them."

Since it was not urgent at the time, I simply let it go, but now I would like to try making this transfer again, this time providing them with precise written instructions myself.

I do have the following information available on my building society account statements (redacted for the purposes of this question):

Receiving an international payment?
IBAN: GB99 XXXX 1234 5678 9012 34
Swift Intermediary Bank: YYYYGB99

I imagine that the precise written instructions for making such a transfer would be:

Make a SWIFT transfer in the amount of 999.99 USD from my account at [credit union name], the account number of which is [my account number there], to my account with IBAN GB99 XXXX 1234 5678 9012 34 at [building society name] in the UK, which is a banking institution that has the BIC of XXXXGB99, using YYYYGB99 as the Swift Intermediary Bank for the purposes of the transfer.

However, since I don't work at a bank, I am not 100% confident of this wording.

My question is:

Is this wording precise and accurate enough that a credit union in the US could act on it and successfully initiate the transfer of funds to the buiding society? If not, how should it be reworded to make it more precise and/or accurate?

  • 1
    How about just using some transfer method without the ridiculous fees or bureaucracy (e.g. Transferwise, xe.com)? – GS - Apologise to Monica Jan 26 '18 at 22:00

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