Most employers, including small business owners, run background checks on employees to ensure that they are hiring trustworthy people and comply with anti-terrorism and immigration laws. This is especially true in the banking industry, where mortgage lenders deal with large sums of money on a regular basis. If you are a small business owner, you might not be able to afford to outsource your background checks, but you should definitely run them. In addition to alerting you to potential problems, you might be able to get a sense of whether the employee will fit well with your business, especially if you require an aptitude test along with the background check.

Background Check

The Federal Deposit Insurance Company, or FDIC, requires all mortgage lenders to submit to a background check before beginning employment. Mortgage lenders may not have a criminal record related to dishonesty, theft or money laundering. These activities suggest that the potential lender is not trustworthy. Most banks require new hires to provide fingerprints so that they can search for criminal records.

Sensitivity of Position

Bank managers must determine the appropriate level of pre-employment screening for each employee. The type of position an employee is being considered for, including how much access the employee has to money and bank computers, informs the manager's decision regarding pre-employment screening. At minimum, bank managers should consult FDIC lists of people who are barred from the banking profession, or who were assessed civil penalties by a banking institution.

Getting Authorization

Managers should get potential employees' authorization in writing before performing a background check, with the exception of checking public records such as records of cease and desist orders, which can be accessed by anybody. Hire Safe recommends having employees fill out a written application and putting a disclaimer on the application stating that the applicant agrees that falsifying information is grounds for termination and gives the employer permission to verify his statements.

Fair Credit Reporting Act

You must provide a disclosure that you will be running a consumer report on the potential employee and state that the report will be used in making a decision regarding employment. If you choose not to hire the employee after running a background check, you must provide him with the name and address of the agency that ran the check so he can order a copy of the report for himself.