Understanding your statement

Not every bank uses the same abbreviations or terms, so sometimes you may be unsure about exactly what’s on your statement. If there’s something that’s confusing on your current account statement, this guide may be able to help.

The basics

Your HSBC bank statement gives details of everything that’s been paid out and paid in over a given period of time.

At the top of the page, it shows your name and address, the period of time covered by the statement and your account name.

In the top right corner, you’ll see the account the statement is for and an account summary showing:

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

Payments in - The total amount paid in over the statement period – this might include your salary or benefits

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out - The total amount you’ve paid out over the statement period – this could include things like shopping, money withdrawn at cash machines and regular Direct Debits or standing orders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 - This is the agreed maximum amount you’re able to go overdrawn on this account

Under a summary, the statement gives the following important details:

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

Account number - This 8-digit number is the unique number for your account which anyone paying money to you will need to know

Sheet number - Your statement might run over more than one page – all the sheets are numbered so you can keep them in the right order

Abbreviations

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

ATM - Automated Teller Machine, usually known as a cash machine in the UK

BACS - Previously known as Bankers' Automated Clearing Services, this is the system which businesses use to pay wages directly into an employee’s account

CHQ - Cheque

CR - Credit

DD - Direct Debit

DR - Debit

SO - Standing order

TRF - Transfer

Does something look wrong?

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

For example, some shops 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 and has 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, you can query a transaction on your statement or report a problem.