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Jobs in the Financial Services Sector: The DBS and Credit Check

  • July 27, 2018

We specialise in jobs within the Financial Services Sector and you’ve probably noticed, when applying for these roles, that they have an endnote stating that the successful candidate will need a DBS and Credit Check.

But what is a DBS and Credit Check and why do you need it?

Due to the regulated service, you provide for your clients and company it is protocol for your new employer to conduct a range of vital financial services background checks. This is due to the roles involvement and accessibility to access personal customer data. It is for this reason that roles will be heavily checked by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

It’s not surprising that this is something your employer will check given that according to The Guardians statistics Banking scams push up UK financial fraud 'by more than 25%.' It’s an extremely trusting and powerful potion, being in charge of other people’s personal information and money, so whilst the statistics aren’t just  down to employee fraud, it’s evident why companies take precautions.  

A DBS check

It can be misunderstood that this check is something you will get a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ mark for, it just, instead, highlights any criminal past you have or if you don’t have one.

Also, just because you may have criminal information on your certificate doesn’t mean that you’ve failed the test, just that your potential employer will need to assess the severity and whether it will impact on your ability to do the job.

Since 2013, a filtering system was introduced by the government to omit some convictions and cautions from appearing on your DBS check. It was done to prevent employers unfairly discriminating candidates for irrelevant offences.

 There are here levels of criminal record check:

  • Basic Disclosure

  • Standard DBS

  • Enhanced DBS

To have a standard or enhanced DBS check you’ll be in a job that is for example working with vulnerable people. Your employers can then request this higher level of check.

Enhanced DBS Checks

This check allows employers to include a bared list check: this is a heck will be made against either the children’s or vulnerable adult’s barred list, or both, to confirm whether the applicant is barred from working with these vulnerable groups.

Standard DBS Checks

If you’re in a role that requires you to handle sensitive information for example a profession like Financial Services, you’ll most likely receive a standard DBS check. 

It discloses to your employer an in-depth background check detailing all cautions, warnings, reprimands, as well as all spent and unspent convictions held on your criminal record.

Basic Disclosure

This is not a DBS check, but a criminal record check offered by another governing body and can be requested by an individual. It reveals any unspent convictions (recent/serious) the applicant may have.

Spent vs unspent convictions?

A conviction, after a period (depending on its severity) , becomes ‘spent. Until this time the conviction is ‘unspent’.

What’s a credit check?

It is actually a legal requirement for law and finance firms to perform a credit check, other companies may still ask for your permission to run a credit check too.

What does a credit check ...check?

Most importantly, it checks that you are who say you are. It also checks how much risk you are with managing money and your track record of managing finances.

Ultimately, they want to make sure that your financial behaviour won’t impact your work. Especially when dealing with other people’s money or offering them advice and making decisions on their finances you may be rejected for a job based on your credit history.

What is included in a credit report?

  • your name, address and date of birth

  • whether you are on the electoral roll at your current address

  • how much money you currently owe

  • whether you meet regular payments

  • any missed payments on existing or past accounts

  • Public information, such as whether you’re bankrupt, have entered in to an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) or you have a County Court Judgement

  • whether your home has been repossessed or you have moved away owing money

What's not included?

  • the amount of money in your current account or savings account

  • Any student loans

  • Your criminal record

  • Medical history

  • Your current salary

It’s important to know when applying for certain jobs that require these checks your expectations are realistic if you know any of the above apply to you.  


You can click here to see our latest Financical Professional jobs 






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