How to obtain statements from a closed bank account

You may be able to access the records of an old account, but it depends on the type of account you held, when you closed it down and your previous bank's data retention policies. Although you'll have to pay a fee, you can request all the data a financial institution holds about you under the Data Protection Act. Doing so can often work out cheaper than asking your old bank for copy statements.

Phone your old bank's customer service department. You'll need your closed account's sort code and account number. You may be able to discuss your old account by giving your name and address and answering a few security questions. If the call centre worker can't access your old account details, ask for an address you can send a Data Protection Act subject access request to and find out how much this will cost to process.

Ask how much your old bank will charge you for old copy statements if you're able to discuss your old account over the phone. Try to get any fees waived as a gesture of good will on behalf of the bank, especially if you still use some of its services. If your old bank's going to charge you more than £10 for the statements, you'll be better of issuing a subject access request. The Internet-only bank Smile charged its customers £10 a sheet for copy statements more than a year old in February 2012, according to consumer group Which?. Jot down the address you'll need to send your subject access request to if this is going to work out cheaper for you. Be sure to find out how much your old bank will charge you to process this.

Send a subject access request to your old bank requesting the old statements you need. Include your name and address, the appropriate account numbers relating to your closed account and the statement dates you require. Make sure you ask for all the statements you need. If you leave some out and have to put in a second request, you'll have to pay another fee. You can find a template subject access request letter on the Information Commissioner's Office website (see Resources).

Send your subject access request letter, along with a cheque to cover your old bank's processing fee, to the address you were given. Consider sending your request by recorded delivery if you need the information urgently and want proof your old bank received it.

Tip

Your old bank must respond to your request within 40 days of recieving your letter. If your old bank's customer service telephone number begins with a non-geographic prefix such as 0870 or 0845 that isn't free from the phone you're using, use services such as Say No To 0870 to find an alternative (see Resources).

Warning

Your old bank can refuse to comply with your request if fulfilling it would require "disproportionate effort" on its part.

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Things Needed

  • Old account details
  • Cheque book

About the Author

Michael Roennevig has been a journalist since 2003. He has written on politics, the arts, travel and society for publications such as "The Big Issue" and "Which?" Roennevig holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the Surrey Institute and a postgraduate diploma from the National Council for the Training of Journalists at City College, Brighton.

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