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Pre-employment screening and identity verification is becoming increasingly more common in a wide range of different industry sectors. Every employer differs in what they want to check, but most will look at identity documents such as passports to verify right to work, check references and perhaps contact universities or colleges about academic results. One of the industries which commonly carries out extensive pre-employment screening is banking and financial services, especially in contract roles. If you are applying for a job in this sector, knowing what employers are typically asking for and looking into will help reduce processing delays and get you into that new dream job even more quickly.

Preparing for Pre-Employment Screening

An increasing number of banking and financial services organisations carry out detailed pre-employment screening for new hires, whether on a permanent or contract basis. Most firms will want all of the screening checks done before your start date. This can in some cases lead to substantial delays, especially when you have to gather lots of paperwork together to show the employer or screening company. Some of the documentation may take time to obtain, so it’s a good idea to know what is in store so that you can get through the process as quickly as you can.

Key Documentation Required

Each employer will differ in what documents they will ask you to provide. However, there are some key items which are asked for by nearly every employer, and not just those in the finance sector. These are:

  • Proof of Right to Work: Employers are legally required to make sure you have the right to live and work in the UK. They will ask you to provide a passport or national identity document both to verify that you are who you say you are, and to check your nationality. People with non-UK passports will need the right Visa stamp in their passports to allow them to work in the UK.
  • Proof of Address: Employers might ask for an original bank statement or utility bill to prove where you live. This information may be cross-referenced with the Electoral Register, so it’s important to register to vote if eligible. Many of us have gone digital with our bank statements, so if you need to provide a paper copy, allow time for it to get to you in the post.
  • Credit Checks: These checks are looking for any serious financial red flags such as county court judgments (CCJs) registered against you, or whether you’ve experienced bankruptcy or entered into an individual voluntary arrangement in the last six years. You can check your own credit report to make sure that the information held about you is accurate.

Other Checks

In addition to the basic checks, companies may also look into verifying academic or professional qualifications so be clear about what qualification you were awarded, and when. Give employers as many ways as you can to contact your referees – email is best. Finally, don’t worry about the process as no one thing in screening will go against you; it’s about building a full picture.