DBS Checks & Criminal Record Checks

Care Check is a leading umbrella body for the Disclosure and Barring Service and has been named one of the top 8 providers for criminal record checks in the UK.

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DBS Checks for Finance

Do You Need a DBS Check to Work in Finance?

When it comes to working in the finance sector, maintaining trust, integrity, and regulatory compliance is of utmost importance. One way this is achieved is through conducting appropriate background checks, such as Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks. In this article, we will explore the question of whether a DBS check is necessary to work in finance and delve into the reasons behind its importance.

Understanding DBS Checks

DBS checks are comprehensive background checks carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service. These checks aim to provide information on an individual’s criminal history, helping employers make informed decisions about the suitability of candidates for certain roles. DBS checks are available at different levels: Basic, Standard, and Enhanced, each disclosing varying degrees of information.

Applicability of DBS Checks in the Finance Sector

DBS checks are commonly required for various roles within the finance industry. These positions typically involve handling sensitive financial information, working with vulnerable individuals, or maintaining regulatory compliance. 

Examples of roles that require a DBS check include:

  • Financial Adviser
  • Mortgage Adviser
  • Compliance Officer
  • Investment Manager
  • Bank Teller
  • Financial Analyst
  • Wealth Manager
  • Chartered Accountants

Regulatory Framework for DBS Checks in Finance

In the UK, regulatory bodies such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the DBS play a role in overseeing DBS checks within the finance sector. The FCA provides guidelines and regulations for firms to ensure appropriate screening and suitability assessments of employees. Compliance with these regulatory requirements is crucial for maintaining professional standards and trust in the industry.

What DBS Check is Needed for FCA?

In the financial sector, professionals who perform controlled functions are obligated to undergo a Standard DBS Check as mandated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). These controlled functions encompass various roles, including overseeing the systems and controls of financial organisations and ensuring adherence to FCA rules and regulations. Additionally, individuals holding senior positions, such as chief executives, partners, or directors, within regulated companies are also eligible for a Standard DBS Check under the FCA guidelines.

DBS Checks and the Fit and Proper Test

The Fit and Proper Test is an assessment used by regulatory bodies to determine an individual’s suitability to hold senior positions within the finance sector. DBS checks are often a component of this test, helping evaluate an individual’s integrity and fitness to hold such positions.

Exceptions & Exemptions for Financial Professionals 

While DBS checks are generally required in the finance sector, there may be exceptions or exemptions. Some administrative or back-office roles that do not involve direct client contact or handling sensitive information may not require a DBS check. However, it is essential for employers to carefully assess each role’s requirements to ensure compliance with regulatory standards

DBS Checks & Criminal Record Checks

Employer Responsibilities and Best Practices

Employers in the finance sector have a responsibility to conduct and manage DBS checks for their employees appropriately. They should understand the specific requirements set forth by regulatory bodies, implement robust screening processes, and maintain proper record-keeping. Adhering to best practices ensures compliance, protects against potential risks, and upholds the integrity and reputation of the organisation.

Do You Need a DBS Check to Work in Finance?

In the finance sector, a DBS check is often a necessary component of the recruitment and vetting process. These checks help safeguard sensitive information, protect vulnerable individuals, and maintain regulatory compliance.


While there may be exceptions for certain roles, it is essential for both employers and individuals to understand the specific requirements and guidelines related to DBS checks in the finance industry. By prioritising thorough background checks, the financial sector can continue to uphold its integrity and trustworthiness.

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