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What are the components of the IBAN?

The definition of the IBAN is carried out by the European Committee for Banking Standards (ECBS) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which precisely prescribe the format for the IBAN.

According to these definitions, the IBAN may have a maximum of 34 characters. In Germany, each IBAN ALWAYS has 22 digits. Basically, this identifier must be written separately in blocks of 4 and must not contain any special characters or lowercase letters. A certain length is given for each country.

The IBAN always begins with the country code (e.g. DE for Germany) and the two-digit checksum for the entire IBAN, which can be calculated on the basis of a precisely defined formula.

This is followed by the 8-digit bank code and the max. 10-digit account number (if the account number does not have 10 digits, the missing digits are filled with zeros from the beginning).
In this way, the data required to identify the recipient can be recognized from every IBAN and electronically processed faster and more efficiently than with the previous system.
If you write the IBAN without the first block of 4, i.e. without the country code and checksum, you speak of the Basic Bank Account Number (BBAN).

Structure and structure of an IBAN:

  • 2-digit, alphabetical country code (LL)
  • 2-digit, numerical check digit (PZ) over the entire IBAN
  • Maximum 30-digit Basic Bank Account Number (BBAN), consisting of bank identification (IID) and account identification (BAN

According to the ECBS standard, an IBAN is limited to a maximum of 34 digits. In the case of representation on paper, it must be taken into account that the abbreviation "IBAN" must be printed at the beginning of the IBAN representation as a standardization symbol.

Structure of the IBAN in Germany based on a concrete example:

Components of the IBAN standardShort-
Formatting and assignmentsexample
country codeLLConstant "DE"DE
Check digitPZ2-digit, modulus 97-10 (ISO 7064)21
Bank codeBLZConstant 8 digits, bank identification according to the German bank code directory30120400
Bank account numberKTOConstant 10-digit (possibly with leading zeros) customer account number15228

The IBAN for our example would be:

  • DE21 3012 0400 0000 0152 28 (paper format)
  • DE21301204000000015228 (electronic format)

If you don't have to laboriously create the IBAN for your account by hand or ask your bank, you can simply use our IBAN calculator and have the IBAN generated from the data for your bank, the country code and the account number:

Calculate IBAN >>>

Checking for correctness is just as interesting as calculating the IBAN. We explain how the IBAN checksum is generated on the following page:

IBAN checksum >>>

In order to speed up the process of checking an IBAN, which is quite laborious for laypeople, you can have any IBAN checked for correctness with our following tool:

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