What Is a Bank Statement?

A bank statement is a document that provides a detailed record of all the transactions that have occurred in a bank account over a specific period of time.

It’s typically issued monthly or quarterly, and it can be accessed online or received in paper form. The statement includes information such as deposits, withdrawals, and any fees or charges that have been incurred.

woman reading statement

Understanding the Components of a Bank Statement

A bank statement typically includes the following information:

  • Account information: The account number, account type, and account balance are displayed at the top of the statement.
  • Transactions: A list of all the transactions that have occurred during the statement period, including deposits, withdrawals, and transfers.
  • Fees and charges: Any fees or charges that have been incurred, such as ATM fees or monthly maintenance fees.
  • Interest earned: The interest earned on the account during the statement period.
  • Date range: The start and end date of the statement period.

How can I use a bank statement?

You can review your bank statement to ensure that all transactions are accurate and that there are no fraudulent charges. Additionally, reviewing your statement can help you identify any unnecessary fees or charges. You can also use the information to make adjustments to your spending habits to better manage your finances.

How to Review a Bank Statement

Here are some tips on how to review your bank statement effectively:

  1. Compare the statement to your own records: Before you begin reviewing your statement, gather any relevant information such as checkbook registers or records of online transactions. Compare the transactions listed on the statement to your records to ensure they match up.
  2. Look for any unusual transactions: Any transactions that you do not recognize should be investigated further. Contact your bank immediately to report any suspicious activity and to ensure that your account is protected.
  3. Check for fees and charges: Make sure that all fees and charges listed on the bank statement are accurate and that you were not charged twice for the same thing. If you notice any discrepancies, contact your bank to resolve the issue.
  4. Check the account balance: Make sure that the account balance listed on the statement matches the balance in your records. If there is a discrepancy, investigate further to determine the cause.
  5. Check for missing transactions: Verify that all transactions that you remember making are listed on the bank statement. If any are missing, contact your bank to inquire about the status of the transaction.
  6. Review the date range: Make sure that the statement covers the correct period of time and that all transactions are included.
  7. Watch out for small transactions: Keep an eye out for small transactions, as these are often used by scammers to test if a card is active.

How to Get a Bank Statement

Here are some ways to obtain a bank statement from your financial institution:

  1. Online banking: Many banks encourage customers to go paperless to receive electronic statements. Customers can view and download their bank statements electronically. Log in to your online bank account and navigate to the “Statements” or “Account History” section to access your statement.
  2. Mobile banking: Similar to online banking, mobile banking apps also provide the option to view and download bank statements. Log in to your mobile banking app and look for the “Statements” or “Account History” section.
  3. In-person at a branch: If you prefer paper statements, visit your bank’s branch and request one from a customer service representative. They may require identification and may charge a fee for this service.
  4. By mail: Some financial institutions offer the option to have bank statements mailed to you on a regular basis. Contact your bank to inquire about this service and ensure that your mailing address on file is up-to-date.
  5. Telephone banking: You can also request for a bank statement via telephone banking. Call your bank’s customer service number and follow the prompts to request for a statement to be mailed or sent via email.
  6. Email: Some banks also allow customers to request bank statements via email. Email your bank’s customer service department and ask for a statement to be sent to you.

How often should you check your bank statements?

We recommend reviewing your bank statement at least once a month. This will ensure that all transactions are accurate, and any potential fraudulent activity is caught in a timely manner.

Reviewing your bank statement on a monthly basis will also help you stay on top of your finances by keeping track of your spending and ensuring that your account is in good standing.

Additionally, it’s wise to review your bank statement before any important financial transactions, such as applying for a loan or making a large purchase. By doing so, you will be certain that your account has sufficient funds and that there are no discrepancies on your statement.

Remember to keep an eye out for any errors or unauthorized transactions and to report them to your bank immediately. Regularly monitoring your bank statement is key to maintaining the security and stability of your financial health.

How long do banks keep my bank statements?

Banks must keep records of bank statements for up to five years under the Bank Security Act. Even if you’ve closed your account, the bank will retain your records. Statements may be needed for tax audits, loans, legal proceedings, or other purposes.

You can usually access recent bank statements online for free. However, banks may charge for older statements. Keep your personal information safe by shredding any bank statements that are no longer needed.


A bank statement is a crucial document that provides a comprehensive overview of all transactions in your bank account. Reviewing it regularly can help you identify any discrepancies or fraudulent activities. Additionally, it allows you to keep track of your spending habits, fees and charges and make adjustments to better manage your finances.

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