What Is an Original Bank Statement?

Definition

An original bank statement is a document a bank prepares for one of its customers specifically to serve as authoritative proof of income. The document is written on official bank letterhead and includes general information about the customer, such as name, address and phone number. It also lists the type of account, such as checking or savings. The statement also includes the account balance as of a specific date, or the balance on several dates in the past. An original bank statement has a signature and contact information from a bank manager, who verifies that the information on the statement is correct.

Original Statements and Regular Statements

An original bank statement includes much of the same information as a conventional bank statement customers receive every month, either on paper or via email. Regular bank statements include additional information, such as a list of debits and credits from the previous month. While original bank statements don't list these items, they do note the date on which the account balance was at a specific level. They also feature the authorization of a bank manager's signature, which is the most significant distinction.

Uses

Bank customers need original bank statements in a number of situations. Colleges and universities require original bank statements from new students and parents as part of the financial aid process, which relies on income and savings levels to determine need. Original bank statements also serve as proof of savings for loan applications and rental applications, though lenders sometimes require more detailed credit checks instead of, or in addition to, original bank statements.

Authenticity

Photocopies, digital scans and faxes of original bank statements typically do not satisfy proof of savings requirements. Instead, applicants must submit the original paper document, which means planning in advance and allowing time for the document to reach its destination before an application deadline, or making plans to deliver it in person. Once a bank customer receives an original bank statement, she is free to withdraw funds from her account, which means that old statements are meaningless and lack authority.