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Bank statements for mortgage

Are bank statements for mortgage loans needed in the UK? Get the right advice on this here.

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By Pete Mugleston  | Mortgage Advisor Pete has been a mortgage advisor for over 10 years, and is regularly cited in both trade and national press.

Updated: 17th July 2019* | Published: 7th March 2019

Are bank statements for mortgage loans needed in the UK?

We’re often approached by customers asking things like “do I need bank statements to get a mortgage?” and “what do mortgage underwriters look for on bank statements?”

It’s easy to understand why there can be confusion surrounding mortgages and bank statements, because lenders’ eligibility criteria vary, and your individual situation also plays a role. For example, some lenders may require everyone to back up their mortgage application with bank statements, whereas others may only require them under specific circumstances.

While there may not be a definitive yes or no answer to the question “why do mortgage lenders ask for bank statements?”, this article explains why bank statements may be required for mortgage approval, what lenders will be looking out for, and what else you need to consider when applying for a mortgage.

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When do mortgage lenders ask for bank statements?

So, under what circumstances might banks or mortgage companies ask to look at your bank statements? These days, underwriters have far stricter policies in place. They like to identify the source for every addition to your bank / savings account to ensure that no money laundering or other fraudulent activity has taken place.

Checking your bank statements is therefore a common procedure for many mortgage providers because it can be an easy and efficient way to ensure that your funds have come from a legitimate source. If any of your income deposits look suspicious in any way, lenders will pick up on this and ask you to trace its origin.

What do mortgage lenders look for in your bank statements?

Mortgage companies may want their underwriters to look through bank statements for various reasons, depending on their eligibility criteria. However, the majority of lenders who do require bank statements will check the following:

Availability of funds

Bank statements are the best way for lenders to ensure you actually have the funds required for your mortgage deposit, as well as any other initial fees. Some mortgage providers have additional cash-reserve requirements, and will check your bank statements to confirm you have the funds to cover X amount of initial repayments.

Help establish affordability

Bank statements are also used to verify your monthly income and outgoings, therefore giving a good indication of your affordability. Affordability is calculated by dividing monthly outgoings by income, and multiplying it by 100 to get your debt to income (DTI) ratio. The lower your DTI the better, because it means you have more disposable income.


All deposits must be sourced. Bank statements enable lenders to trace back deposit transfers. In most cases this is easily verified as it’s likely the funds will come from the buyer’s regular income account. However, with other deposit sources you are likely to have to provide evidence of where funds originated from.

Tracing gifted deposits

While the majority of lenders are happy to accept gifted deposits from close family members, many have far stricter requirements when it comes to more distant family or friends. Bank statements are a good way to help trace the gift to its source by also requesting statements from the gift provider.

Why might your mortgage be declined because of bank statements?

Some people want to know how closely mortgage lenders look at bank statements, and what might ring warning bells. If your lender is not satisfied with any of the factors mentioned in the section above, that may inhibit your likelihood of being accepted for a mortgage.

Other impacting factors include:

  • Untraceable cash deposits:
    These are a big no-no for most lenders due to the risks of money laundering.
  • Employer-gifted deposits:
     Again, due to the risks of fraudulent activity.
  • Funds from overseas savings:
    It can be harder for lenders to trace the origin of overseas savings, although some  can be more flexible.
  • Gambling funds:
    While one-off wins may be accepted to finance a mortgage, regular evidence of gambling on your bank statements will likely be treated with more suspicion.
  • Payday loans:
    Payday loans are generally another big no-no for lenders, even if they’ve already been paid off. Evidence of other forms of unsecured borrowing are also risky, but some lenders can be more flexible.

If you’re worried that any of the above issues may harm your chances of being approved for a mortgage, don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll refer you to an advisor specialising in the relevant niche that can help you further.

Bank statements and mortgages FAQ

How do mortgage companies verify bank statements?

Sometimes lenders call your bank to verify your bank account and statements, but the majority opt to fill out verification of deposit (VOD) request forms, which will be sent to your bank to verify your account.

Are bank statements enough to prove how much you earn for a mortgage?

No, a bank statement will be used to verify your income and your outgoings, but they are not the only factors that affect your affordability or mortgage eligibility.

Will I have to provide bank statements to get a mortgage if I’m self employed?

If you own your own business or are a contractor, you may be more likely to provide bank statements. Most lenders will also request at least 1 - 3 years’ worth of accounts to prove you have a reliable source of stable income.

You can read more about mortgages for self-employed professionals here.

Do mortgage brokers or advisors need to look at my bank statements?

Some lenders will authorise a mortgage without bank statements, but as the policies are so strict these day it is quite likely that they will ask to see them.

Can I apply for a mortgage with no bank statements?

Not every single mortgage provider will require you to submit bank statements, but it is common.

Which mortgage lenders ask for bank statements?

A lot of banks ask you to submit your statements for assessment, but not every lender requires you to.

For example, mainstream lenders Halifax and Santander have recently confirmed that they do not ask to see bank statements as part of standard mortgage applications. However, they stipulate that they have a number of other tools to assess a customer’s creditworthiness.

How many months of bank statements do I need to apply for a mortgage?

Usually, mortgage providers will require the most recent three months of bank statements.

How far back do mortgage lenders look at bank statements?

As above, most providers will request the 3 most recent months of bank statements. A handful may one request 1 or 2 month’s worth, or others may request up to 6 months.

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Updated: 17th July 2019
OnlineMortgageAdvisor 2019 ©

FCA disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The info on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs. Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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