Definitions

account statement

Bank statement

An account statement or a bank statement is a summary of all financial transactions occurring over a given period of time on a deposit account, a credit card, or any other type of account offered by a financial institution.

Bank statements are typically printed on one or several pieces of paper and either mailed directly to the account holder's address, or kept at the financial institution's local branch for pick-up. Certain ATMs offer the possibility to print, at any time, a condensed version of a bank statement.

Historically, bank statements were produced quarterly or even annually. Since the introduction of computers in banks in the 1960s, bank statements are generally produced every month. This frequency is nowadays reserved to accounts not carrying a large volume of transactions, such as investments or savings accounts. Depending on the financial institution, bank statements may include certain features such as the canceled cheques (or their images) that cleared through the account during the statement period, promotional inserts or important notices about changes in the fees. Thanks to online banking, financial institutions offer virtual statements, also known as paperless statements or e-statements. Due to identity theft concerns, a virtual statement may be seen as a safer alternative against physical theft, as it does not contain tangible personal information and does not require extra safety measures of disposal such as shredding. However, a virtual statement is easier to get for the thief who is an expert on online banking.

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