What is a BSB Number?
- BSB Number -
- or Bank State Branch identifying code is a six digit numerical code that identifies an individual branch of an Australian financial institution.
A BSB number (or Bank/State/Branch number) is used for the purpose of abbreviating a customer's bank information. It is far easier to assign a customer a BSB number than to have a customer remember a large string of text. Instead, a short array of numbers is assigned in a block that can be easily deciphered by any bank or business to determine pertinent bank account information.
A BSB Number is a unique number which identifies both the Financial Institution and the point of representation of a particular account in Australia. It is frequently used in electronic banking. You can search for a BSB and its details by using our BSB Search tool. BSB numbers directory is updated monthly.
BSB Numbers Format
In both Australia and New Zealand, the format of the BSB code originally was for the first two digits to indicate the "bank" and the other four digits to specify the "branch" of that financial institution. In Australia, the major banks have at least historically structured their branch codes with the first of the four digit branch code indicating the state where the branch was located. Some of the larger banks have two bank codes. This is largely historic, a legacy from the time when banks maintained separate trading (cheque) and savings entities. The first digit of the bank code was either 0 (for trading bank accounts) or 1 (for savings bank accounts), with a common second digit. For example, 03 was for Westpac's trading accounts, while 73 was for Westpac's savings accounts. This distinction is now of only historic significance.
For example, the Australian BSB code "063-162" breaks down to:
06 = Commonwealth Bank
3 = Victoria
162 = 276 Chapel Street, Prahran
Today, with the recognition of many new financial institutions in Australia, the structure of the BSB has had to be modified. While banks generally still follow the state branch structure, building societies and credit unions often do not. Many smaller financial institutions are now identified by the first three digits of the BSB with the "state" field being part of the "bank" identifier. Building societies and former ones start with 63xxxx and credit unions 80xxxx. The state code structure is not always used - e.g. Bendigo Bank which started as a building society in Victoria has code 633xxx, and the Queensland based Heritage Building Society has 638xxx. A financial institution may also use one centralised BSB for all accounts. Suncorp uses 484799 for all deposit accounts regardless of which branch or state the account was opened in. St George Bank does something similar to Suncorp.
Even with this BSB numbers structure it's quity easy to forget your BSB, this is where our BSB search tool might come handy.