DBS Checks in the Financial Sector

If a candidate works in financial services or plans on working in the financial sector in the future, it’s likely that they’ll need a DBS check before doing so.

But the check required often depends on the type of role concerned. So, which type of check is most likely to be required for a particular role?

We’ve put together this guide to help answer your questions about DBS checks in the finance industry.

Why Do Employers Carry Out DBS Checks?

DBS checks are carried out by an employer to ensure that the relevant candidate has a suitable background for the intended role that they’re under consideration for.

This often forms part of a safeguarding policy within sectors like childcare.

The financial sector is no exception, as DBS checks assess suitability and help to ensure that it’s appropriate for the prospective employee concerned to take on the role in question.

Standard DBS Check

The standard DBS check is more likely to apply to the majority of roles within financial services.

More detailed than a basic DBS check, a standard DBS check will include checks for any spent or unspent convictions, in addition to any reprimands, cautions or warnings given against the candidate.

It cannot be requested by the employee themselves and has to be organised by the employer directly. 

To meet the criteria for having a standard DBS check carried out, the job in question must be mentioned as requiring one within the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975.

Roles covered within the Act include, but are not limited to:

  • Chartered Accountants: Chartered Accountants and anyone who wishes to work as a certified accountant must have a standard DBS check carried out before they are permitted to work within this profession.
  • Financial Services Positions: This term includes any role which requires approval from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) due to involving a ‘controlled function’. This would include positions like overseeing a regulated firm’s systems and/or controls, serving as director of a regulated firm and all other roles that require the employee to comply with the FCA’s rules. 

As different controlled functions will apply to different companies depending on the services provided, it’s advisable to find out whether the relevant role will require a DBS check. 

If you’re unsure, please visit the FCA’s website or contact them directly.

Enhanced DBS Checks

An enhanced DBS check is the highest level available.

This level of DBS check includes everything from the standard DBS check, in addition to any information the local police force may hold in relation to the applicant if the local police force feels it’s relevant to share for the purposes of potential employment.

For particular roles, an enhanced DBS check will also indicate whether the applicant has been barred from working with children and/or adults who are classified as vulnerable.

As is the case with standard DBS checks, prospective employees cannot apply for enhanced DBS checks directly. The employer must apply on their behalf. 

The Basic DBS Check

If a candidate isn’t eligible for a standard or enhanced DBS check, the remaining option is a basic DBS check

This focuses on a criminal record check and can be requested by either an organisation or the job applicant. 

It gives organisations additional peace of mind about their prospective employees, as it’ll reveal any unspent (recent) convictions.

Credit Checks

Legal and financial firms are legally obligated to run a credit check on their future employees.

Credit checks determine whether the candidate is who they say they are. These checks also establish how much risk the applicant carries in terms of their money management skills by assessing their previous record of managing their finances.

If the applicant’s credit history is poor, they may be rejected for a job. This is especially the case in the financial sector, as employees are often responsible for handling other people’s financial affairs, offering advice on fiscal matters and making decisions about their finances. 

The credit check is separate from the DBS check. A credit history report will therefore not include information relating to the prospective employee’s criminal record. 

It also doesn’t give details of any student loans, and it will not reveal their current salary or the amount of money in their bank accounts.

Does your organisation need further information regarding DBS checks or clarification of which check can be carried out on a prospective employee? If so, contact us today.