A bank statement is a detailed summary showing financial transactions such as deposits and withdrawals, that were made by a person or organization during a particular time period, say a month or a year. It is important for tracking finances and spotting any possible errors with the account. They are particularly useful in providing insight into spending habits on a constant basis. Certain banks and financial institutions ask for bank statement processing from people who are in the process of applying for a loan or mortgage.

The Information That Shows Up on A Bank Statement

The data included inside a bank statement is not set as it depends on the financial institution. The information that is on the bank statement will involve the full names of the account holder, their contact and home address, the statement start and end periods, and contact information of the bank in the event that the account holder will want to report suspicious activity on the account.

The statement will also involve financial transactions involved with the account such as direct and check deposits, cancelled payments, or reimbursements. It will also show ATM withdrawals, service fees charged by the bank, and any auto payments made within the statement period. For each financial transaction, be it withdrawal or deposit, there will be a transaction date and both the payer and payee names.

How You Can Get Your Bank Statement

Most banks and financial institutions release their statements every month, while some choose to do it every four months or so. Depending on your bank, you can get your statement by e-mail, through logging into a customer portal or the bank app, or through the postal mail service for the less tech-savvy. Some banks will send you monthly statements to your postal address once you sign up for an account. However, you can choose to go paperless if you would like to.

The modern age of digitalization has seen almost all banks offer the option to view your bank statements online and at no cost at all. Of course, the process by which people access their bank statements varies with the bank, but the basics usually involve logging into their respective account on the bank’s online customer portal or mobile app. If you have never had to sign in online, you may have to get in touch with your bank’s customer service to open the account for you. After successfully logging in, locate where your bank stores electronic statements and select the period you would like to view. The bank statement function is usually under ‘services’ or ‘e-statements’. You can proceed to view the statement online, print it or you can save it as a PDF or send it to your e-mail address. Make sure you log out once you are done for security purposes.

It’ worth noting that banks are obligated by law to keep statements for as long as five years, although some banks may keep them for a much longer period of time. The Bank Security Act stipulates that banks should maintain all account records for at least five years regardless of whether the account is active or not. The reason for this is because some situations such as litigation, divorce, or tax audit may need an account holder to get their relevant financial records.

Bank statements for the first year or so are usually free, if you want to access details that are further back than what you can access online, you might be charged extra. For example, if you want a statement that goes back at least 6 years, the bank could charge you about $5 for each statement. That’s why some people choose to save their bank statements for future references.