How Long Do Banks Keep Records of Checking & Savings Accounts?

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How Long Do Banks Keep Records of Checking & Savings Accounts?
Banks keep detailed records, but they do not keep them forever. (piggy bank image by William Burnett from Fotolia.com)

Banks must keep records on checking and savings accounts for at least five years after last activity. These record-retention requirements apply to personal bank accounts and business accounts. If the bank is purchased by another bank, the records must be kept by the new institution for that time.

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Retention laws

National banks are required by law to keep records for a minimum of five years if the account had any deposit of more than £65. The bank can choose to keep records for a longer period. Banks are legally allowed to charge to make copies of your records.

Unclaimed Accounts

When the account is unclaimed or classified as inactive, banks must still retain the records on the closed bank account. However, laws in every state require an account be turned over to the state Treasurer after three to five years of inactivity. This is called escheating and can result in a bank having records on an account that has already been turned over to the state unclaimed property program.

Individual Retention

Individuals may be required by law to keep copies of their own checks for longer than five years, such as cleared checks for tax payments. Businesses are advised to keep checks for tax payments forever.

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