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A bank statement is an official summary of
financial transaction A financial transaction is an agreementAgreement may refer to: Agreements between people and organizations * Gentlemen's agreement A gentlemen's agreement, or gentleman's agreement, is an informal and legally non-binding wikt:agreement, agreem ...
s occurring within a given period for each
bank account A bank account is a financial account maintained by a bank or other financial institution in which the financial transactions between the bank and a customer are recorded. Each financial institution sets the terms and conditions for each type of ...
held by a person or business with a
financial institution Financial institutions, otherwise known as banking institutions, are corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), state to act as a single entity (a legal entit ...
. Such statements are prepared by the financial institution, are numbered and indicate the period covered by the statement, and may contain other relevant information for the account type, such as how much is payable by a certain date. The start date of the statement period is usually the day after the end of the previous statement period. Once produced and delivered to the customer, details on the statement are not normally alterable; any error found would normally be corrected on a future statement, usually with some correspondence explaining the reason for the adjustment. Bank statements are commonly used by the customer to monitor cash flow, check for possible fraudulent transactions and perform
bank reconciliation In bookkeeping, a bank reconciliation is the process by which the bank account balance in an entity’s books of account is Reconciliation (accounting), reconciled to the balance reported by the financial institution in the most recent bank sta ...
s. Historically they have been printed on one or more pieces of paper, and either mailed directly to the account holder or kept at the financial institution's local
branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or ...
for pick-up. In recent years there has been a shift towards paperless electronic statements, and many financial institutions now also offer direct downloads of financial information into the account holders accounting software to streamline the reconciliation process. Bank statements are important documents, and usually required to be retained for audit and tax purposes for a period set by relevant tax authorities. To enable account holders to track account activity on an ongoing basis, many financial institutions offer a non-official transaction history before the official bank statement is produced. Such activity may be viewed on or printed from the financial institution's website, a smartphone application, available via
telephone banking Telephone banking is a service provided by a bank or other financial institution, that enables customers to perform over the telephone a range of financial transactions which do not involve cash or Financial instruments (such as cheques), without t ...
, or printed by some
ATM ATM or atm often refers to: * Atmosphere (unit) or atm, a unit of atmospheric pressure * Automated teller machine, a cash dispenser or cash machine ATM or atm may also refer to: Computing * ATM (computer), a ZX Spectrum clone developed in Mos ...
s. Transaction histories or account balances may also be shared with other financial institutions, when the account holder gives permission, through
open banking Open banking is a financial services Financial services are the Service (economics), economic services provided by the finance industry, which encompasses a broad range of businesses that manage money, including credit unions, banks, credit-card c ...
to provide services such as account aggregation. An aggregation service only lets the software view an account balance, not actual transactions.


Paper statements

Historically, bank statements were paper statements produced periodically on a monthly,
quarterly A magazine is a periodical literature, periodical publication which is printing, printed in Coated paper, gloss-coated and Paint sheen, matte paper. Magazines are generally published on a regular schedule and contain a variety of content (media) ...
or
annual Annual may refer to: *Annual publication, periodical publications appearing regularly once per year **Yearbook **Literary annual *Annual plant *Annual report *Annual giving *Annual, Morocco, a settlement in northeastern Morocco *Annuals (band), a ...
basis. Since the introduction of computers in banks in the 1960s, bank statements have generally been produced monthly. Bank statements for accounts with small transaction volumes, such as
investment Investment is the dedication of an asset to attain an increase in value over a period of time. Investment requires a sacrifice of some present asset, such as time, money, or effort. In finance Finance is the study of financial institution ...

investment
s or
savings account A savings account is a at a . Common features include a limited number of withdrawals, a lack of cheque and linked facilities, limited transfer options, and the inability to be overdrawn. Traditionally, transactions on savings accounts were w ...
s, may be produced less frequently. Depending on the financial institution, bank statements may also include certain features such as the cancelled
cheque A cheque, or check (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, A ...
s (or their images) that cleared through the account during the statement period. Paper statements are typically posted to a customer's home address, and sometimes a copy may be posted to, say, an accountant or guardian. Some financial institutions use the occasion of posting bank statements to include notices such as changes in
fees A fee is the price one pays as remuneration for rights or services. Fees usually allow for overhead, wages, costs, and markup. Traditionally, professionals in the United Kingdom (and previously the Republic of Ireland) receive a fee in cont ...
or
interest rate An interest rate is the amount of interest In and , interest is payment from a or deposit-taking financial institution to a or depositor of an amount above repayment of the (that is, the amount borrowed), at a particular rate. It is disti ...
s or to include promotional material. Financial institutions are required to produce paper statements to customers unless the customer requests either electronic statements or no statements at all. Historically, production of statements was regarded as part of the banking function, the cost of which was part of providing the service. More recently, however, to encourage customers to opt to receive electronic statements, some financial institutions charge a fee for paper statements. Some countries such as Japan never had a tradition of mailing statements, with individual account holders being expected to keep track of deposits, withdrawals, and balances using their own passbooks at ATMs.


Electronic statements

Since the late 1990s, banks have encouraged customers to receive statements electronically. The switch normally requires express customer consent, which is typically obtained through an
online banking Online banking, also known as internet banking, web banking or home banking, is an electronic payment system An e-commerce payment system (or an electronic payment system) facilitates the acceptance of electronic payment for e-commerce, online ...
system. Producing electronic statements saves the financial institutions the significant cost of printing statements, folding them into envelopes and postage. In addition, customers could receive statements more promptly, and not be dependent on the postal service for delivery. The customer could print the statement at their premises if they needed one, or have access to historic statements on the institution's website as needed. Other parties may be authorised to have access to the customer's financial information on the institution's website. Electronic statements may be sent as attachments to emails or, as a security measure, as a reminder that a new statement is available on the financial institution's website. Whether such statements are transmitted as attachments or from the website, they are commonly generated in
PDF format Portable Document Format (PDF), standardized as ISO 32000, is a file format developed by Adobe Systems, Adobe in 1992 to present documents, including text formatting and images, in a manner independent of application software, Computer hardware, ...
, to reduce the ability of the recipient to electronically alter the statement. Due to
identity theft Identity theft occurs when someone uses another person's personal identifying information, like their name, identifying number, or credit card number, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. The term ''identity theft'' was coi ...

identity theft
concerns, an electronic statement may not be seen as a dangerous alternative against physical theft as it does not contain tangible personal information, and does not require extra safety measures of disposal such as
shredding Shredding, shred, shredder, or shredders may refer to: Equipment * Industrial shredder * Paper shredder * Scrap metal shredder * Woodchipper, or tree shredder Arts, entertainment, and media Films * Shred (film), ''Shred'' (film), a 2008 film by D ...

shredding
. However, an electronic statement can be easier to obtain than a physical one through computer fraud, data interception and/or theft of storage media.


Statement conventions

A bank deposit account is at the same time an asset of the depositor and a debt of the bank. A statement typically presents the bank's view of the account, with credit entries increasing the bank's debt and debit entries reducing it. A customer tracking the same account as an asset would reverse the debits and credits from what appears on the statement.


Laws by country


United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, all banks and building societies are required by law to provide a paper bank statement to customers, unless where the customer has a
passbook A passbook or bankbook is a paper book used to record bank or building society A building society is a financial institution Financial institutions, otherwise known as banking institutions, are corporation A corporation is an org ...
, is a customer of an online only bank or has elected not to receive paper statements.


United States

Banks in the United States are only required to send a statement for a checking account if one transaction has been made from that account in a month. Customers also have the option to receive electronic statements.


See also

*
Bank account A bank account is a financial account maintained by a bank or other financial institution in which the financial transaction A financial transaction is an agreement Agreement may refer to: Agreements between people and organizations * Gentle ...
*
Passbook A passbook or bankbook is a paper book used to record bank or building society A building society is a financial institution Financial institutions, otherwise known as banking institutions, are corporation A corporation is an org ...
*
Telephone banking Telephone banking is a service provided by a bank or other financial institution, that enables customers to perform over the telephone a range of financial transactions which do not involve cash or Financial instruments (such as cheques), without t ...
*
Transaction account A transaction account, also called a checking account, chequing account, current account, demand deposit Demand deposits or non-confidential money are funds held in demand account A transaction account, also called a checking account, chequ ...
*
Open banking Open banking is a financial services Financial services are the Service (economics), economic services provided by the finance industry, which encompasses a broad range of businesses that manage money, including credit unions, banks, credit-card c ...


References


External links


Samples of Bank Statements
{{DEFAULTSORT:Bank Statement Banking terms Accounting source documents