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  • Heather McGee

Why thorough background checks are so critical in the financial services industry

Updated: May 13

Completing employee background checks has become a fundamental part of the hiring process for almost every business, in every industry. But some industries and sectors have more specific requirements and regulations around the checks that must be carried out, including financial services. This is because businesses in this sector typically handle money and transactions, along with high levels of confidential, sensitive data, meaning that employers in this sector must be confident that their staff are trustworthy and do not pose a risk to the organisation.  

Individuals who work within a regulated financial institution will have to undergo Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) screening, which comprises a series of background checks to confirm the honesty, integrity and reputation of their employee and whether they are ‘fit and proper’ for the role they will be undertaking. Organisations that might require this level of screening could include banks, building societies, insurance companies, consumer credit businesses and investment firms, suppliers to a regulated company, and many others. 

Background checks have become more important in recent years due to the increase in fraud, identity theft and other financial-related crimes. Therefore, it’s important to not only complete background checks on new employees as part of the hiring process, but also to periodically complete them on current members of staff. By completing these checks before employment commences, as well as recurringly, companies can have more confidence that they’re not employing individuals who threaten their compliance and integrity.   

The level of checks required can vary by organisation or by role seniority, but typically include:


  • Identity Checks  

  • Right to Work Checks  

  • Adverse Financial (Credit) Checks  

  • FCA Checks   

  • Education Checks  

  • 5-10 years’ employment history and referencing  

  • Basic or Standard DBS Checks   

  • Sanctions Checks 


For more senior roles, they may also need to complete Directorship Checks and Social Media Checks to further protect the organisation. 


Even if the company is not regulated by the FCA, it is still best practice to complete thorough background checks in order to make safer hiring decisions, particularly in high-risk environments. The selection of background checks to be carried out will largely be deemed by the role the candidate will be fulfilling and the responsibilities it entails.  


VettingGateway is committed to simplifying background checks for every organisation and every applicant. By using VettingGateway, you can complete all of your FCA screening in one central location, by ‘building your own bundle’ of required checks within the platform.  


Ready to find out more? Simply book a demo with a team member to find out how you can streamline and simplify the often lengthy and complicated process of background checking your financial services applicants.  

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