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Understanding your bank statement

Your bank statement is a regular update of everything that's happened on your account. It helps you to keep track of your income and outgoings, and to identify any unusual activity or unexpected charges.

Your statement contains a lot of information and may contain some terms that you’re not familiar with. If so, this guide may be able to help…

The basics

Your bank statement should include your name and address, the period of time covered by the statement and the name of the account. You may also see the following terms:

International Bank Account Number (IBAN)

Your IBAN is a unique series of letters and numbers that can be used to identify your account. It can be used to send or receive money around the world.

Business Identifier Code (BIC)

Your BIC is the code that helps banks outside Bermuda identify where to send money.

Opening balance

This is how much money you had in your account at the start of the statement period.

Credits or payments in

The total amount paid in over the statement period - this might include your salary or any additional benefits.

Debits or payments out

The total amount you've paid out over the statement period - this could include things like shopping, money withdrawn at cash machines and regular Direct Debits or standing orders.

Closing balance

This is how much money you had in your account at the end of the statement period.

Overdraft limit

An overdraft is an agreement with your bank that allows you to spend more than you have available, up to an agreed limit. For example, if your overdraft limit is $1,000, then the balance of your account can be as low as -$1,000. It’s best not to stay in your overdraft for too long, though. 

Sort code

A 6-digit number which identifies the branch where your account is held.

Account number

This 12-digit number is the unique number for your account which anyone paying money to you will need to know.


There might be some abbreviations on your statement that you haven't seen before. Here are some of the most common ones:


Automated Teller Machine, also known as a cash machine






Direct Debit




Standing order



Does something look wrong?

If there's something on your statement you don't recognise, there may be a reason why. 

For example, some stores may trade under a different name to the one you know them by. Or if you've been abroad, the exchange rate might mean an amount looks different to what you thought you'd paid.

There may be an ongoing regular payment for something you set up some time ago that's slipped your mind. Also, if you've agreed to a free trial but not cancelled it, it might be that you've now started paying for that service.

If there's something you don't recognise and it doesn't fit any of the above, please contact us to query the transaction. 

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