When you open a bank account in the UK, your bank will give you an account number and sort code. These two strings of numbers are the very foundation of your bank account and allow for money to be transferred into your account.

Here we go into the details and explain the purpose of your bank account number and sort code and where you can find them. You can also use our sort code checker to confirm the details of bank sort codes.

An annotated Starling card showing the sort code

What is a sort code?

A sort code is an important factor of your bank account. A sort code is a 6 digit number that identifies your bank. It’s usually split up into pairs; the first two digits identify which bank it is and the last four digits refer to the specific branch of the bank, where you opened the account.

Starling is branchless and all of our customers share the same sort code, which is 60-83-71.

Sort code checker

Use our sort code checker to easily find and check UK sort codes. The sort code checker will tell you which bank the sort code belongs to. You’ll also be able to see if the bank accepts Faster Payments and Bacs.

To use the our sort code checker, simply enter a sort code into the box below and press the ‘check’ button. Type the sort code without any spaces or dashes e.g. 608371.

Where is the sort code?

You can typically find your sort code on bank statements and in your online or app banking. Many banks also print the sort code on the front or back of the bank card together with the account number. At Starling, we don’t display the sort code on our debit cards, because all of our customers share the same sort code, which is publicly available. Starling customers can easily find their sort code in the Starling app and on the online banking platform.

The sort code in the Starling app

What is an account number?

A bank account number is a number that is tied to your bank account. If you have several bank accounts, such as personal, joint, business (and so on), each account will have a different account number.

How long is an account number?

In the UK, most bank account numbers typically contain eight digits. Some UK banks do have shorter account numbers, but here the number ‘0’ can be added in front to reach eight digits. Generally, a bank account number will only be relevant when used in conjunction with a sort code.

Where can I see my account number?

If you need to find your bank account number, you’ll typically be able to see it on bank statements and on your online or app banking. Most banks also print the bank account number on the front or back of your bank card. However, this is not to be confused with the card number, which is the 16 digit number, usually placed in the middle of your bank card.

Most of Starling’s personal account holders can find their bank account number on the back of their debit cards, as well as in the Starling bank app (neither our old purple cards - collectors items now! - or our very early teal cards have the account number on). If you can’t find the account number on your Starling card, don’t worry; you’ll find it in the app or on the online banking platform.

Is it safe to give out your account number and sort code?

Giving out your account number and sort code is often necessary, for example, to receive payments from your employer, friends, family, customers or clients.

It’s generally considered safe to give out your account number and sort code, but you should always use common sense and avoid sharing your bank details with people you don’t know or expect payments from. Also, you should never share your personal banking details, such as PIN, card number, card expiry date and CVV number (that’s the three digit number, which, in Starling’s case can be found on the right side of the signature strip). The CVV number helps to protect you against fraud by proving to online merchants that you have the physical card with you. Read more about protecting yourself and your money from financial fraud.

Other resources

What are IBAN, SWIFT and BIC?

Interest rates: What are APR, EAR and AER?

What is Bacs? A guide to Bacs payments

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