A bank statement is a summary of all the activities for a certain bank account, prepared by a bank or another financial institution for a set period of time (usually across a one-month period). Bank statements are official documents and are required for executing various operations such as granting loans or filing a divorce, and they are also used by account holders for personal purposes, with the most common examples being checking and controlling their financial dealings. A bank statement reflects general information on an account (personal details, a statement’s number, bank information and other data) and also provides details on each transaction performed during a stated period of time. Full contents of a bank statement are worth careful studying to keep track of one’s income and expenditure.
Bank Statement issuing
As it has been stated above, a bank statement for a certain account holder is released by a financial institution which hosts the account in question. It typically happens once a month. It’s not necessary to be performed on the 1st day of each month, it’s essential that a covered period takes a month, and that period might last from the 10th of one month to the 9th of the following month, or from the 20th to the 19th, and so on.
Bank statements have been traditionally issued in paper form, with the options of being delivered to an account holder by mail or kept at a bank office to be obtained upon request. Recently, it has been made available for account holders to receive their bank statements in an electronic form, with them being sent via email or made available online to print or download in the bank’s application or on its website.
Nowadays, many banks allow both forms of bank statements, although online-only banks might stick to electronic ones only, and some institution might charge fees for using paper bank statements. Nevertheless, bank statements in paper form are still popular, with a small part of the population not using the Internet at all, and more than a half of bank account holders admitting that it’s easier for them to control their finance with their bank statements being printed. Still, there’s always a possibility to get an electronic statement as a PDF document (this is usually provided by most institutions) and print it independently.
Governments usually require financial institutions to keep bank statements for prolonged periods of time, as they provide a comprehensive view on a person’s or a business’s account activity. Bank statements are usually kept available for five years, though sometimes a fee is charged to obtain a statement issued more than a year ago. It’s also important to note that bank statements which aren’t needed anymore should be properly disposed.
Bank Statement contents
A bank statement is a well-structured document, in which all the relevant information is organized into several highlighted blocks. Their order may vary, but their contents are more or less the same in all institutions.
A regular bank statement typically provides the following information:
- A financial institution details (name, address, customer service contact information)
- A statement details (number and a relevant period of time)
- Account data (including the holder’s personal information such as name, address, date of birth, account number and so on)
- All the transactions made within a relevant period of time (usually in chronological order and including essential details such as amount of money, date and time, payee details)
- Total balance at the beginning and at the end of a relevant period of time.
All kinds of deposits and all kinds of withdrawals are reflected in a bank statement, which allows an account owner to check it for possible mistakes or fraudulent activity, spot his or her money habits and make plans for the future. If any kind of suspicions activity has been noticed, an account holder has to report it to the financial institution as soon as possible. Most of financial institutions allow 60 days to report inaccuracies in bank statements. The bank statements that have already been issued are not changed if there were any errors, instead of it the correction will take place in the next statement for the following time period.