While online account management is certainly the norm for bank account holders, mailed monthly statements remain an important aspect of account membership and a vital tool for reaching the full set of account holders. In terms of content, most monthly statements are similar by law, so it is through layout and design that a statement can distinguish itself from the competition. All 19 firms in our coverage group vary in terms of data placement, section divisions and highlights, ancillary functionality and additional information provided within their monthly statements. Color usage is far from universal, employed by 11 firms in the coverage group—with only three that use color throughout the statement and eight that limit color to the firm logo or other seemingly inconsequential items. Differences also arise in how firms delineate the various statement sections, always in some combination of unique heading fonts and organizational elements.
In general, banks provide similar monthly statements composed of key components such as account summaries, a balance calculation, customer servicing information and statement activity. Transactions tables do not follow a standard format, with about half of firms offering a unified list of debits and credits and the other half providing divided transaction tables based on transaction category. Some firms use statements to highlight cross-product and cross-service promotions as well as firm news, but these are far from universal. The best monthly statements are easy to read with clearly defined sections and thoughtful headings.
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