Oct 292014

Federal Reserve Bank of New YorkQuestion:

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, is trying to send me money through a wire transfer to my bank account and they are asking me for my banks swift code. I called my bank and they said they don’t have a swift code. The federal Reserve bank in New York, told me that I have to register the code, and to do that, I had to pay $427. I need to know if this is right.

By the way, I am in Texas. I need a response to this message ASAP please. Thank you



Dear Cheryl, thanks for writing to us.

You said the Federal Bank wants to send you money and they want a SWIFT code for your bank. Do they want you to pay them $427 for registering a SWIFT code? A bank individually registers for it, it is not upon their customers to do it. If they don’t have a SWIFT code, they are not a member of SWIFT community.

If you haven’t read our article on SWIFT codes, I urge you to read it here. SWIFT is used i case of international transfers, and for local transfers within the US, you have the Fedwire network. I doubt that the Federal Bank of New York would request for a SWIFT code for sending money to Texas. They could use a local framework instead.

I advise you to be careful because scams in the name of Federal Bank are quite common these days. You could read this on the bank’s website. I’d like to quote a statement from a link on that page:

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York and other Federal Reserve Banks will never contact the public via unsolicited phone calls or e-mails asking for money or any other type of personal information. Moreover, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and other Federal Reserve Banks will never contact the public regarding the issuance of a wire transfer.

Having said all this, even if this was a genuine case, then remember that you are not supposed to pay for registering a bank as a member of the SWIFT network. Whoever is requesting money from you maybe trying to scam you, so be alert.