The BLZ (Bankleitzahl) is the unique identifier of bank and financial institutions in Germany. It is similar to the sort code. The BLZ consists of 8 digits and is in use in Germany since 1970, being managed by the Deutsche Bundesbank. It uses the following format:
The first digit represents the area where is headquarter of the financial institution is located (from 1 to 8);
- The next 2 digits are the branch of the Deutsche Bundesbank where the financial institution is associated;
- The 4th digit represents the banking network (banking group);
- The last 4 digits are assigned by the financial institution itself and are internal unique identifiers for the branches.