Recently, one of my clients came across a very disturbing trend when it comes to banks. Especially those who offer credit cards. Did you know that the convenience of online bank statements may not be all that convenient?
My client cancelled his credit card because he was switching to a lower interest card. What we didn’t realize was that when he canceled the card his on-line access to the information about the account; including the monthly statements; was also terminated within hours of him canceling the card. This was despite the fact he still had other open accounts with that same bank.
That meant we could no longer access the credit card statements at all, and to make matters worse when he called to ask for paper copies of the statements, he was told it would take them up to two weeks for them to get them, because the bank did not have access to them either – since they were all on-line.
That same client; had another common banking issue during the same week. One of the banks he used was bought out and merged with another bank. Again, all access to the previous bank statements from before the merger was gone, and the bank itself didn’t have access to get any copies of them to us.
So why is this a problem? If you run a business, those bank statements can often serve as proof of your paying a bill from a vendor, or even serve as documentation for the IRS. If it is your personal banking information, it’ll often be requested for obtaining a mortgage or a loan. Your banking history might even be requested before getting hired for certain jobs.
The bottom line is this: if you switch to on-line bank statements, make sure you download them to your computer regularly and back them up every month! You don’t want any financial institution to put your business or your personal finances into jeopardy simply because you can’t get the information in a timely manner.