I've just made a transfer from my Hungarian bank account to my new, Canadian one. However, I didn't have any knowledge of my SWIFT neither my IBAN code. I transferred a serious amount of money, and when I was filling out the details, the SWIFT code was 'optional', hence it was not mandatory to provide. Therefore, I left it blank. Two business days have passed so far, and no money has arrived at my Canadian account. I know that it's my mistake, that I made the transfer without asking my bank about my SWIFT code. However, I'm still very curious about what happens in this case. Wil the money bounce back to my Hungarian account? That's what the bank told me, since I typed the account number correctly. But they did not sound too certain, which still concerns me. Thank you for all your help in advance!

  • 1
    Did you give the sort code [Bank Identifier] of the Canadian Bank or only the account Number? SWIFT transfers for quite a few countries work without having to specify SWIFT BIC, SWIFT allows the usage of local clearing codes
    – Dheer
    Commented Sep 14, 2018 at 5:28

3 Answers 3


Sorry responding so late. Thank you for your comments! In the meantime, while I was waiting for the transaction to happen, all the money went through successfully. I didn't need to contact the bank at all. I guess they figured the SWIFT code out.

Thanks for your help once again! I do appreciate it. Have a nice day! :)

  • Bit late to the party but here's what I'd have expected if I had done this with my German bank: a) may take much longer than wiring money within SEPA zone. b) sending bank will figure out receiving bank c) as that'll mean manual work for them, I'd expect the sending bank to charge you for that. (In Germany, that has to be in their price list). FYI: Some banks that offer international "access points" (e.g. an account with IBAN and BIC) that can be used to transfer money domestically to them so that the money is put to your local foreign account with them. Commented Sep 16, 2018 at 10:50

Call Hungarian bank asap (as soon as possible) an provide all the details: first ask if the money is still in the account

if not,

provide the number that you write at the transfer for they to confirm.

By change the money is in a national account in Hungary and you will be fortunate to recover some part and I do hope the entire part of it.

According to European rules with out an iban in transfers the money shouldn't even go out your account

Next transfer please ask for your Hungarian bank to help you. Good luck

  • All true but unfortunately to Canada there is no IBAN, usually.
    – Fattie
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 3:59
  1. You must urgently contact the SENDING bank. Telephone NOW, don't use internet, etc. Use telephone.

  2. In answer to your question you don't have to use a SWIFT code. Note that quite simply, for example: many/most USA banks don't have one. (Amazing, but true.) Sending a wire is a remarkably manual process. In theory it SHOULD get there regardless if you forget the "swift code" or even get it wrong, etc.

  3. It is true that it would normally take at least 3 days for such a wire, so you may be OK.

  4. "But they did not sound too certain, which still concerns me.".. it is critical to understand that bank staff know nothing - literally nothing - about sending wires. If you can talk to the wire department, they know almost nothing about sending wires, but at least they know something. Anything, whatsoever, that bank branch staff say to you about a wire transfer, is like the sound of papers rattling in a dustbin on a windy day - it means less than nothing. They know nothing - absolutely zero. If someone at the bank branch "assures you" they know where the money is, it means absolutely nothing: it is a random sound modulation.

  5. You have made a grave mistake. When you send money (especially any large amount) around the world, simply use one of the many enormous businesses which exist for this purpose (ofx.com, transferwise.com etc) who will do the job flawlessly every time for a far better exchange rate / fee. (This question gets asked often on here.)

Trusting a bank to "send a wire" properly is equivalent to, expecting a politician to be honest or expecting a clothes hanger to work as a TV antenna :)

My guess is that your money is not lost, it will eventually show up, but expect a very, very, very long delay until it is sorted out. Alternately as I say, it may be en route and just taking the usual week.

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