Do Banks Run Background Checks For Employment?

Nothing is as important as employing trustworthy people in the banking industry. A bank must maintain its reputation, hence the need for trustworthy employees.

Banks rely on background checks before hiring. It is hard to get a job with the finance industry and much harder if you have a “record”. When it comes to background checks, banks are much stricter than other institutions.

If you have ever wanted to get a job in a bank in the US, then you need to know the background checks they conduct.

Positions Available in a Bank

Banks want to hire reliable, trustworthy, faithful, loyal staff to prevent criminal behavior. This is to avoid criminal behavior on the job. And also, public relations difficulties.

There are various positions available in a bank. The positions available at a bank include:

  1. Bank Teller
  2. Financial Analyst
  3. Loan Officer
  4. Financial Manager

Bank Teller

Bank tellers are the people you see when you enter a bank. They process a customer’s transaction and answer customer questions.

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts advise individual bank clients and businesses on investments. They direct the bank clients in the right investment plans.

Loan Officer

They are charged with the responsibility of meeting with customers who want to take a loan. They review their financial status and process the loan.

Financial Manager

They have more experience in the financial industry than the bank tellers. They help analyze financial reports, budgets and help with auditing. They supervise financial analysts.

Background Checks Conducted by Banks in the US

A bank conducts background checks to avoid a bad hire. It is important to know all the checks banks in the US conduct before hiring staff.

  1. Criminal Background
  2. Credit Reports
  3. Educational Background
  4. Work Verification

We are going to be discussing these background checks one after the other.

Criminal Background

As a felon, looking for a job in a bank can be so difficult. Banks in the US spend a lot of time checking the criminal history of a potential employee. Your criminal history as a felon can be a challenge when banks are recruiting new staff. Regardless of the fact that a felon is now committed to an honest life, it’s still a limiting factor.

The criminal background check reveals criminal history. All the cases prosecuted against you and the ones dismissed. It also reveals convictions and non-convictions.

A criminal history will not show if a felon expunges his record. Banks want to hire staff without criminal records as a way to prevent criminal behavior while on the job.

The extent to which a bank digs into a criminal history depends on the type of bank and the position the new staff will hold. You do not expect a bank to dig deep into a janitor’s criminal history. But as a director, the bank will look into your criminal history.

You now understand the difference in the extent of the criminal checks.

Also, there are some statutory laws that back this. For example, a federally insured bank can’t any person who has been convicted of:

  1. Dishonesty
  2. Breach of Trust
  3. Money Laundering.

The bigger the bank, the deeper they dig into your criminal record.

Credit Reports

Quite some banks run a credit check on potential staff. Banks try and see if you are capable of holding a position in the bank, based on your credit score.  The major aim is to ensure that the staff doesn’t have a debt or is bankrupt.

When a potential employee has a debt that is way above the salary, then there is a possibility that he’d steal. So, it’s important to check the credit reports.

If he has a good credit score with no debts, then the potential staff is free in finances. His credit report must be able to show that he has financial freedom. Also, if the salary is good and matches what liabilities he incurs, then it is fine too.

Educational Background

When submitting your resume, some educational requirements need to be fulfilled. For example, a Ph.D. in business administration is needed for some vacancies. The bank verifies the degree from the higher institution.

You can’t bring a degree which you do not own to work in a bank. The bank verifies all the educational background in your resume. If you lie on your resume, trust me, the bank is going to know.

Work History

Experience gives you an edge over others. For example, a person with 5 years’ experience is more employable than a person without any.

No bank wants to spend unnecessary time training new intakes. Not when there is a choice to pick a person who has experience. So it’s better to have experience when submitting a resume.

Thus, every job seeker adds their work experience into their respective resumes.

When adding a work history, ensure you do not lie. These banks verify all the work you provide. You can’t misrepresent to a bank. They often hire third parties to make these checks.

It’s advisable to add whatever authentic job history you have, nothing of a lie. Better safe than sorry.

Inaccurate dates will raise an eyebrow and most likely cost you the employment. Writing the accurate dates and work experience is better, for verification’s sake. You do not want to lose a job because you were not careful enough. A list of your work history is enough.

If you are not sure about the precise dates, you can put the year. Or better still, no year at all.

Reasons for conducting these checks

Financial institutions conduct background checks to avoid a bad hire. No one wants to hire a person who doesn’t succeed at the business.

When is someone considered a bad hire?

  1. He produces poor work.
  2. His attitude to work is bad.
  3. He has a negative energy.
  4. He doesn’t have the required skills.
  5. He is dishonest.
  6. He has a bad relationship with customers.
  7. He has poor attendance

Banks conduct these checks to determine a potential staff’s

  1. Previous mistakes
  2. Character
  3. Mental Health
  4. Financial status.

Previous Mistakes.

The bank takes a look at all the mistakes you have made and see if you are still worth hiring. We all have made mistakes in the past. The bank check checks if the mistake is something that can be risked.


Background checks allow these financial institutions to know the character of the candidate. It’s easy to find out what kind of character a person is by looking deep into his background.

Mental Health

Looking at the health records, banks can determine if a candidate is fit mentally for the job. If the records are bad, then it is easy to deem the candidate as unfit for the job.

Financial Status

From background checks, the financial status of a candidate. A candidate with a financial burden will be considered a bad hire. But a candidate with good finances and ambitions will be preferred.


We can see how these banks take background checks when trying to hire new staff. It is advisable that you project your baggage and do not in any way hide it. The bank will always find out.

When submitting your applications in banks, do make sure that you do not hide any shady past of yours. Try to submit the files required and wish yourself luck.

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