With the prominence of online banking today, many consumers are no longer receiving paper copies of their bank statements in the mail. Most banks allow you to access up to six months of past statements through your online account. However, there are times when you may need to request older account statements. Examples are filing for divorce or attempting to repair your credit after an identity theft incident. If you are merely attempting to access your most recent statement, you can typically make the request through your bank’s website. Sending a formal written request is always an option.
Obtain the address of the bank that is maintaining your account records. This information can be found on your bank’s website or any prior correspondences sent by your bank. Try to find the address for the specific bank branch where you opened your account. If you cannot obtain this information, you may use a corporate or alternative bank branch’s address.
Type your name and address in the top left-hand side of your page. Skip two lines and type the date of the letter. Skip two more lines and type the bank’s name and address. Skip three lines and type a greeting such as “To Whom It May Concern,” “Dear Bank Manager” or “Dear Customer Service Representative.” If you have a contact name for an account manager at your bank you may address your letter directly to that person. It's better than an anonymous greeting.
State your account type and number in the body of your letter. Verify that you are the account holder by providing additional information such as your Social Security number, date of birth and driver’s license number. State the specific documents that you are requesting. For example, if you need bank statements for the entire year of 2009, ask for “all statements from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009."
Provide a closing paragraph that lets the bank representative know how they may contact you if they have any questions about your request. You should provide your phone number and email address if applicable. Sign your letter before mailing or delivering to the bank.
If you are attempting to access another person's account information for the purposes of discovery in a lawsuit, you will only be able to do so by getting a subpoena from the court and having it served upon the bank by a process server.
Many banks now charge a nominal fee for each paper statement requested.
- Checking credit card statement image by Elzbieta Sekowska from Fotolia.com