Has your solicitor or another party asked you to provide translations of your financial paperwork?

Translating NUMBERS – is that even a thing?!

Yes, most definitely – we regularly translate financial documents ranging from bank statements to inheritance tax forms.

Clients often want to complete a property transaction and it is their solicitor who requests the translation of documents. Solicitors are required by law to perform Anti-Money Laundering (AML) checks.

A lot of clients who contact us are upset (if not hopping mad…!) about their solicitor’s request. Purchasing a property is an expensive process, and buyers are faced with multiple costs. Being asked to pay a translator in order to prove the existence or source of funds is an additional burden. Then, many clients do not understand the need to translate numbers!

But, in practical terms, what issues are involved in translating financial documents?

Is the process expensive? Can numbers really be translated? Are there some positive points?

Can a certified translator bring extra credibility to your attempts to prove the existence or source of funds?

We say that translating bank statements and financial documents is not as easy as it sounds. What do you think? Join us and explore the practicalities of translating your financial documents by reading our short blog below.

Certified Translation Services for bank statements and financial paperwork

Let’s take a look at the issues…

Can numbers be translated?

Yes, the formatting of numbers can vary from country to country.

For example, a French or central European document could use:

252 043,52 € which would be presented as €252,043.52 in the UK.

10 025,00 € which would be presented as €10,025.00 in the UK.

12.532,53 € which would be presented as €12,532.53 in the UK

Is that a big difference? Unless your solicitor is familiar with the foreign formatting, it will certainly slow down the process of checking the document. Solicitors are paid by the hour, and time is money – your money!

✔️ It is far better to present them with a clear document intended for a UK reader.

Can we replicate the formatting?

✔️ Yes, we can. Based on the document, we can recreate the formatting by hand or using software.

Recreating it by hand takes time and skill. Using software is quicker and thus cheaper for you but it doesn’t always work well and additional hand-formatting is usually required. It is also worth noting that translators pay a lot of money for their software, so translation fees include the formatting element.

Why bother replicating the formatting? And what is a ‘certified’ or ‘official’ translation?

Imagine trying to read and compare two bank statements if the translated one isn’t formatted in the same manner? If you require the translation to be ‘certified’ as a true copy of the original, it has to be as identical as possible.

✔️ Translation & Secretarial Services can ‘certify’ documents using a handwritten note, stamp and letter of certification. Certification by an independent translator helps your documents to be accepted by solicitors, banks and institutions because it provides extra credibility.


Bank statements are full of standardised European-wide abbreviations AND ones that are unique to the particular country of origin.

Let’s look at three adjacent lines from a French bank statement:

VIREMENT SEPA RECU            SEPA PAYMENT RECEIVED     (shows a credit)


VIREMENT SEPA ISSU             SEPA PAYMENT SENT              (shows a debit)

*The second payment was in fact a debit, not an incoming payment. Most UK readers would also automatically interpret a direct debit as an outgoing payment.


It’s not for your solicitor to figure these things out, and their time would cost you a fortune!

Yes, people can read numbers but good translators can bring clarity to descriptions or abbreviations.

✔️ Thankfully, Translation & Secretarial Services is familiar with the language used in banking documents which speeds up the process and thus the cost.

Do you need to translate your bank statements and financial paperwork in order to complete a transaction?

For a free consultation and quote, call today on +44 (0)7954 693 561 or use the forms below. We will be very happy to assist you!

Translation services for demonstrating source of funds

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