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 Izabella Jagiello-Marks, Head of Background Checking, Experian

A banking institution’s workforce is often considered as one of its most important building blocks. Not only internally, as workflows are processed and jobs are completed by the team, but externally too, with the bank’s clients basing their decision to work together on their future partners’ reputations and behaviours.

With such importance placed on the workforce, how can a financial institution make sure that the team is all pulling in the right direction, that the organisation and brand is protected, and no employees are souring the environment through any illegal activities such as fraud or theft?

The only way to protect an organisation against fraud and theft is to perform thorough candidate checks upon enrolment, and establish annual re-vetting procedures. Without these checks in place, a candidate with poor judgement could jeopardise the organisation and its integrity. Therefore, it is vital to understand the candidate vetting landscape before any strategies are put in place to manage the workforce according to corporate policy.

Regulation requirements

Few industries are under more scrutiny than the banking sector. Headlines around fraudulent activity garner the most column inches and erode the faith customers have in even the most established of financial brands.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) keeps a strict eye on all facets of the banking sector to ensure all of the estimated 405,000 workers currently in employment can be relied upon to act in their organisation’s best interests. To ensure this is met, the FCA launched the Senior Manger Regime to support banks, and to help them establish their accountability with the public.

This regulation works on both an individual and corporate level and means that relevant checks must be completed that meet the FCA’s high standards. If organisations do not comply with these regulations, not only will they risk flogging in the media, resulting in reputational damage, but they will also have to foot fines from the FCA as well.

Protect and minimise

Employees up and down the country have access to a wealth of information that their organisation makes available to them. Without this information, they would be unable to do their job, yet, in the wrong hands this information can lead to theft and fraud from within – this is no different in the banking sector.

As reported by Experian’s latest Annual Fraud Indicator, procurement fraud is estimated to cost the UK private sector £121.4bn per year, with payroll fraud estimated at £12.7bn.

Having procedures in place to check and re-evaluate workforces can help organisations protect against theft and fraud from within businesses.

This minimises the risk of fraud and other misuses of information. With the right employment strategy, recruitment doesn’t need to be a nightmare scenario, but a dream, slotting more proven, willing, and hardworking candidates into your already stellar line up.

Other types of fraud to be wary of, according to Risk Advisory, include CV fraud (12%) and major CV discrepancies from those ages 25-32 (at 38%) – clearly illustrating the importance of appropriate vetting procedures.

Streamlining processes

A vetting process, while essential, can often be a laborious chain involving multiple departments and agencies and sometimes even third parties. This is because the differing fragments of information that are being checked can often need input from different levels and areas of the business causing delays and inaccuracies.

To ensure that the vetting process is as painless as possible, and also an activity that can be implemented with little fuss, it must be effectively streamlined.

Bringing together the disparate departments and consolidating into a single applicant view gives organisations the ability to complete candidate checks in good time with all information complete. This will mean candidates are not given a poor on-boarding experience.

Finding the right talent can be a long game, but once you have found that irreplaceable piece of the puzzle, hiring them must be a short game.This is why organisation need to find the right solution that allows them to store and manage background checking processes in one place. It will give organisations the ability to upload the necessary documents from anywhere they want, with the ability to check from anywhere else – saving time and effort for the multiple stakeholders, each of which can upload, check and re-verify, adding ease and efficiency to the process.

With so much information to be processed in such a highly regulated environment, banking institutions must have the best onboarding and vetting structures in place to remain relevant and on top of theft and fraud.

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