20 bank statement abbreviations explained in simple terms

Making sense of your bank statement is no mean feat as it’s often laden with complicated and seemingly unnecessary jargon.

Keeping track of how much is going in and out of your accounts could become even more essential once the £100 daily contactless card spending limit kicks in from 15 October.

With the help of experts at savings platform Raisin, This is Money highlights some of the most common abbreviations seen in bank statements, and explains, in simple terms, what they mean.

Know the details: Abbreviations in bank statements look complex but are pretty straightforward once you get to grips with them

While the 20 most pertinent terms and abbreviations are covered, some banks and building societies may use different abbreviations. 

If you are concerned about any transactions on your bank statement, or want more clarity about what certain terms mean, it is a good idea to get in touch with your provider directly. 

1.  BMACH 

First up in our round-up of some of the most common bank account statement abbreviations is BMACH.  

Despite looking complicated at first glance, BMACH is simply a brand of an Automated Teller Machine, otherwise known as an ATM or cash machine, where you can get money in and out of from a hole in the wall. 

If you see BMACH on your bank statement, it means you have made an ATM transaction, Raisin UK says.

Of course, if you do not recognise the transaction, you should contact your bank immediately.

Simple: BMACH is simply a brand of an Automated Teller Machine, otherwise known as an ATM or cash machine

Simple: BMACH is simply a brand of an Automated Teller Machine, otherwise known as an ATM or cash machine

2.  TFR

On a bank statement, the abbreviation TFR generally refers to a transfer of money made. 

If you see TFR on your bank statement, it means you have transferred money between bank accounts.

3. FPI

An abbreviation of of FPI on a bank statement refers to Faster Payments Inwards. 

An FPI payment is made using the Faster Payment electronic system. It means you have received money from another account.

4. POS

If you find the abbreviation POS littered all over your bank statement, do not worry, it simply refers to payments that have been made using your debit card. 

For many people this is an abbreviation they are likely to come across frequently when scrutinising their accounts. 

5. S/line

S/line stands for statement line. If you see it on your bank statement, you will know it is an individual statement that is important for your bank. 

6. INT’L

If you see the abbreviation INT’L on your bank statement it means you have made a foreign transaction. 

This can occur, for example, if you use your card when abroad or purchase an item from overseas while here in Britain.

Rising: The contactless card spending limit is rising to £100 in October

Rising: The contactless card spending limit is rising to £100 in October

Many banks slap fees and charges on foreign transactions, so make sure you read your account’s specific terms and conditions before splashing out overseas. 

7.  BP

The abbreviation BP on your bank statement means you have made a bill payment.

According to Raisin UK, you might also see an extension of this, BP/SO, which stands for bill payment and standing order. This means you have paid a bill by standing order.

8. BGC

BGC stands for bank giro credit. 

If this abbreviation is on your bank statement, it means you have deposited cash or cheques at a bank or building society branch. 

9. CHG

CHG stands for charge. It means you have been charged for a transaction you have made. 

10.  S/0

A standing order is a regular payment for a fixed sum of money that is deducted from your bank account.  

It is an instruction to your bank, whereas a direct debit gives permission to a company to take money from you.

These can quickly stack up and end up being a big monthly drain on your income, meaning it is important to regularly review your statements to see if you can still afford all your standing orders.

Many banks now give customers the option to cancel standing orders when they want to, but it is always sensible to read the specific terms and conditions involved to find out the exact procedures required. 

11.  BAC

A BAC payment on your bank statement means you have used an electronic system to make a payment directly from one account to another. 

12. NYA*

The format of this bank abbreviation is usually NYA* followed by the owner of the vending machine, and it simply means you have made a payment with a card at a vending machine.

13. BSP

A BSP is a bill or third payment that is made in-branch at a bank or building society. 

Many banks are keen to get people to complete such payments online, as it saves them money, and could, they claim, save customers time. 

14. CUI

You will find the abbreviation CUI on your bank statement when a cheque has failed to clear. 

Get in touch with your bank or building society to try and find out what has happened and how the issue can be rectified as quickly as possible.

15. DIV

The DIV abbreviation stands for dividend. 

If you see this in your bank statement it means you have received a dividend payment from shares you hold. 

Big banks were forced by the Government to stop dishing out dividends to their investors last year, and many other companies halted payouts until the fallout from the pandemic became clearer. Payouts are now, however, resuming at pace once again. 

16. DD or DDR

The abbreviations DD or DDR will be a common sight on many people’s bank statements, as they refer to direct debit payments.

It signals a regular payment of a fixed or a variable amount that you make to a savings account or third party. 

As with a standing order, direct debits can prove costly, so it is worth keeping on top of them to see if you can still afford them all.

17. DWP

DWP stands for the Department for Work and Pensions. You will see this abbreviation in your bank statement if the DWP deposits money into your account. This could be for certain benefits, for instance.

18. ERTF

An ERTF, or Exchange Rate Transaction Fee, reference shows up on your bank statement when you use a card at a cash machine abroad. 

Fees can apply when you make transactions abroad, so read your account terms and conditions carefully before you travel.

19.  IMO

An IMO, or International Money Order, means you have made a payment abroad. 

20. REV

A REV, or reversal, shows on your bank statement when cash from a starting order or direct debit has been returned to you.    

Do I really have to scrutinise my bank statements?

20 bank statement abbreviations explained in simple terms

Delving into the detail of a bank statement will not be at the top of anyone’s wish list.

However, it is vital to keep on top of what is coming in and going out of your bank accounts, so you can ensure any savings goals you have will be met, and that you are not spending more than you can really afford.

Keeping abreast of bank statements is also extremely important when it comes to spotting potentially fraudulent transactions. The first sign that a crook has accessed your account can often be a single transaction in a bank statement. 

‘Knowing your bank abbreviations can help you understand what is and what is not a legitimate transaction’, experts at Raisin UK, said. 

If you see a transaction on your bank account that you do not recognise, or money has left your account in an apparently fraudulent transaction, the first thing to do is contact your bank. 

They will immediate action to protect your money, which may mean freezing your account and sending you a new card.

You can also report the incident to the police via Action Fraud. The police will log the crime and send you a crime reference number.

Action Fraud will not call you unless you have requested them to, and will never ask for your bank details. 

If you are unsure whether a call is genuine, call the Action Fraud team on 0300 123 2040. If you are deaf or hard of hearing you can contact Action Fraud on textphone at 0300 123 2050.

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