Bank statements are a great tool to help account holders keep track of their money. They can help account holders track their finances, identify errors, and recognize spending habits. An account holder should verify their bank account on a regular basis—either daily, weekly or monthly—to ensure their records match the bank’s records. This helps reduce overdraft fees, errors, and fraud.
Many banks offer account holders the option of receiving paper statements or using paperless, electronic ones, usually delivered via email. An electronic version of a bank statement is known as an electronic statement or e-statement and allows account holders to access their statements online where they can download or print it. Some banks email statements to customers as an attachment. Some bank automatic teller machines (ATMs) offer the option to print a summarized version of a bank statement, called a transaction history.
A survey in 2017 by Two Sides North America found that nearly 70% of consumers find it easier to track expenses and manage finances with paper statements. Two-thirds prefer a combination of paper and electronic statements. Many recipients of e-statements still print out their statement at home, preferring to keep a permanent record.
A bank issues a bank statement to an account holder that shows the detailed activity in the account. It allows the account holder to see all the transactions processed on their account. Banks usually send monthly statements to an account holder on a set date. In addition, transactions on a statement typically appear in chronological order.
If any discrepancies are found, they must be reported to the bank in a timely manner. Account-holders usually have 60 days from their statement date to dispute any errors. They should keep monthly statements for at least one year.
Parts of a bank statement includes information about the bank—such as bank name and address—as well as your information. The bank statement will also contain account information and the statement date, as well as the beginning and ending balance of the account. Details of each transaction—notably the amount, date, and payee—that took place in the bank account during the period will also be included, such as deposits, withdrawals, checks paid and any service charges.
During the reconciliation of their bank account with the bank statement, account holders should check for discrepancies. Account-holders must report discrepancies in writing as soon as possible. A bank statement is also referred to as an account statement. It shows if the bank is accountable with an account holder’s money.
Some institutions charge for paper statements, while many online-only banks require digital delivery.
Even with the convenience, value, and accessibility of electronic statements, paper statements aren’t likely to go away anytime soon. As of 2015, about a third of U.S. residents don’t have internet access, according to Pew Research Center.
A bank statement is a record, typically sent to the account holder every month, summarizing all transactions in an account during a set time period.
Each statement covers a certain period, such as a financial quarter or one month, but it might not begin on the first day of the month. For instance, your statement might run from September 6 to October 5.
If you agree to go paperless, meaning you consent to receive electronic bank statements, banks still must provide a paper copy of your statement if you ask. To receive paper statements, first log on to your account through your bank’s website or app. Look under headings like “account settings” and “services” to find where you can request mailed statements. Some banks charge a fee for mailing your statements as it costs them time, printing, and postage.
For each item, you’ll also see a transaction date and the payer or payee name.
When you sign up for an account, some banks automatically send you monthly statements by mail. Your mailed statements will be identical to what you can view online.
- Log in to your account through the bank’s website or app.
- If you’ve never signed in online, you may have to create an account or call customer service.
- Find where your bank houses their electronic statements.
- Look under headings like “services,” “bank statements,” or “e-statements.”
- Select the statement period you want to view.
- Review the statement on your computer, tablet, or phone — or download your statement as a PDF.
- Save your bank statement in a secure location on your computer (if you wish), print it, or close out the screen.
- Log out of your bank account for security purposes.
- Account number
- Home address
- Statement period
- Bank’s customer service number
- How to report errors or fraudulent activity
- Beginning balance for the time period
- Direct deposits
- Electronic transfers
- Canceled checks or payments
- Reimbursements or credits
- Purchases and payments
- Electronic transfers
- ATM withdrawals
- Auto payments
- Fees charged by the bank
- Interest or dividends earned
- Ending balance for the time period
Here are the main things you can do with a bank statement:
You can often retrieve bank statements online for free for the last year or two. If you need to go back further than what’s available online, your bank might charge you for each statement. For instance, if you want a statement from four years ago, the bank could charge you $5 per statement. That’s why some people save their bank statements in case they need them in the future. If you no longer need your statements, be sure to shred them for security purposes.
Under the Bank Security Act, banks must keep statements for up to five years — although some may keep them longer. If you’ve closed your account, the bank will still keep your records for at least five years. Why would you need a bank statement from the past? You may need to pull your records for a tax audit, litigation, divorce, or to apply for a loan.
Not sure what a bank statement is? We cover all you need to know, including how to get a statement from your bank and how you can use it.