If you want to work for Bank of America, you’ll have to pass a background check. Background checks worry a lot of job seekers and that’s usually because they don’t understand what a background check is, or because they’ve got a criminal record or a spotty employment history.
In this guide, we’ll go over the most important information you need to know about the Bank of America background check, so you know what to expect, and so you can ensure that you pay close attention to the accuracy of the information you provide when you make your application.
Does Bank Of America Background Check Candidates For All Positions in 2023?
Every candidate applying for a job with Bank of America has to pass a background check during the hiring process.
Background checks are a legal requirement for banks and other financial institutions regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the FDIC sets some rules that banks have to adhere to (see below).
The background check is one of the last steps in the hiring process after all of the interviews and skills assessments have taken place.
Once Bank of America decides you’re the right candidate for the job, they’ll send you a conditional offer of employment which is contingent on a successful background check.
What Are The FDIC Rules On US Bank Background Checks?
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is the body that insures banks in the United States.
Section 19 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act prohibits FDIC-insured banks from hiring individuals with convictions or pre-trial diversions for crimes involving dishonesty, money laundering, or breach of trust unless they receive permission from the FDIC.
Section 19 does make some allowances, however, and crimes involving sums lower than $1000 do not need FDIC approval.
What Does The Bank Of America Background Check Look For?
The US bank background check is very thorough, and the background checking agency will investigate and verify your history in the following areas.
- Your identity.
- Your right to work in the United States.
- Your education history and qualifications.
- The professional certifications you hold.
- Your employment history *
- Your criminal record via an FBI fingerprint criminal record search **
- Your credit report.
* You’ll need to list every job you’ve had over the period specified. This includes jobs that you may have only held for a couple of weeks. If a job issued a W2, then you must include it. Failure to disclose accurate past employment details may be viewed as dishonesty and could cost you the job.
** For an FBI fingerprint criminal records search you’ll have to provide an electronic scan of your fingerprints.
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How Far Back Does the Bank Of America Background Check Go?
Some states have laws limiting how far back background checks can go. If you live in one of the following states, then your Bank of America background check can only go back 7 years, in other states they can go back as far as they want to:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- New York
The information about your credit report is also limited to 7 years by the rules of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
It’s difficult to say how far back your background check will go, but BOA employees and former employees who have shared their experiences online say that 10 years is a common search period.
What Background Check Does Bank Of America Use?
Bank of America uses an outside agency called BIG Report (Business Information Group) for its background checks.
Once you’ve received a conditional job offer, you’ll be given instructions to create an account on the background check portal.
Then you’ll need to provide your identity, employment, and education information, answer questions about criminal offenses, and make an appointment for your fingerprint scan.
Bank of America uses Fieldprint USA for fingerprinting, and you’ll be able to set up an appointment at the Fieldprint location most convenient for you.
How Long Does Bank Of America Background Check Take?
Background checks for Bank of America often take around 2 weeks, although a check can take longer and we’ve seen online reports where the background check has taken 5 or 6 weeks.
Because your provisional start date is contingent on a successful background check, if there are delays with your background report, then your start date will be pushed back.
This can be a problem if you’ve already given notice to your current employer based on your start date.
To make sure your background check goes as smoothly as possible, make sure that all of the information you put on your application, and the details you enter into the background check portal, are truthful and accurate.
Because the background checks carried out by financial institutions are very thorough, it’s best to be as specific as possible with information concerning employment start and end dates, exact job titles, and reasons for leaving an employer or having your employment terminated.
The same is true for your degree information, and you should provide accurate dates for the schools you attended.
If BIG can’t verify your information through their normal channels, they’ll call you and ask for more information.
To be prepared for this possibility, and to keep your background check moving along swiftly, obtain copies of your employment W2 forms and your college transcripts.
The easiest way to get hold of past W2 forms is by calling the automated IRS service on 800 908 9946 to order a wage and income transcript, or by visiting https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript. With both services, you’ll receive your W2 records within 10 days.
For your college transcripts, call the registrar’s office at the school you attended.
Another possible speed bump you should be prepared for relates to your credit report. If BIG find defaults or collections on your report, they may call and ask you for more information.
To prepare for this possibility if you know that your credit file isn’t perfect, pull a copy of your credit report and prepare a document that explains the reason and resolution for each negative entry.
This way you’ll have a reference sheet you can work from if you get a call about your credit report, and you’ll have a document ready to send to BIG with all the details they need.
Does Bank Of America Hire Felons?
Bank of America is a member of the Second Chance Business Coalition which promotes the benefits of giving individuals with criminal records a second chance.
We haven’t found an explicit BOA policy that mentions hiring felons, but a 2021 Bloomberg article titled – Banks Are Turning to Ex-Offenders as U.S. Jobs Market Tightens – covered the lobbying effort by The Bank Policy Institute which aimed to persuade congress to ease the rules which make it difficult for them to hire ex-offenders.
Bank of America is a member of The Bank Policy Institute, and given BOAs involvement with the Second Chance Business Coalition, there’s a good chance that they’re open to hiring individuals with criminal records.
Of course, the nature of the offense and how long ago it took place will be important factors that the bank would review before they made a decision.
If you’re working with a recruiter, it’s always a good idea to let them know about your criminal record because they will be able to give you more concrete information.
Once you’ve received a conditional job offer, you’ll need to pass the Bank of America background check.
As is the case with all banks and financial institutions, the background check is very thorough and has to comply with FDIC rules.
The background check will verify your identity and your right to work, and look at your education and employment history, your criminal record, and your credit report.
To avoid any delays with your background report, it’s a good idea to have a copy of your W2 record and your college transcript. If you’ve got problems with your credit report, you should be ready to explain those too.
Because of the nature of banking background checks, they tend to take longer than the background checks for other jobs, so you may have to wait up to 6 weeks before you’ll know if you’ve passed.
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