What’s in your bank statements?

Finance Jul 23, 2018

3 min read


I’m not going to lie. I’ve done it before. I still do it sometimes.. and find it hilarious. I’d also be quite confident that the majority of Australia’s millennials have done it. But maybe next time I do it, I’ll be a little more careful.

I’m referring to leaving cheeky or rude comments as descriptions for bank transfers to friends. I won’t go into too much detail about the potential descriptions, but I’m sure we’ve got that one friend whose written d***s when they transferred you money. I’ve certainly seen more creative and detailed descriptions on bank statements out there as well. In reality, the money being transferred is actually owed to the friend for covering dinner or a movie ticket.

It can be quite funny seeing your friend running through their bank statements, reading the relevant description shaking their head in shame and disgust. Potentially though, they won’t be on the only person reading it and it could have far bigger implications then you first thought.

A Scottish newspaper, The Scottish Sun, recently reported that potential borrowers were being declined by banks due to these references on their bank statements. You can read the full article here.  The assessors were reading over the bank statements of potential buyers, noticing the unsavoury descriptions and marking it down as poor character. It comes as no surprise given that often the assessors are known for their love of numbers and not their sense of humour.

Now Australia is a long way from Scotland but I wouldn’t be surprised if the same thing started happening here. Most lenders are requiring more information, delving deeper into bank statements and questioning every transaction. Banks are almost looking for ways to decline potential borrowers these days and nothing quite screams decline like a bank statement full of drug references.

Maybe next time you owe a mate money, you can write a nice embarrassing hand-written note when you hand them cash; potentially saving your mate the trouble of getting declined by a lender.

By Vincent Moore