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NYS Department of Financial Services Licensing Requirements

Employment Background Investigations


Alliance Risk Group adheres to the guidelines of the New York State Department of Financial Services and bank licensing requirements in all states. (Alliance can also conduct Banking Department Background Investigations in other cities throughout the US.)

The following information has been posted online by the New York State Department of Financial Services:

Background Report Certification Requirements and Checklist

In connection with your application to organize/control a financial services entity supervised by the New York State Department of Financial Services, an investigative background report is required. It is the responsibility of the applicant and its principals (executive officers, directors, stockholders, partners or individuals, as applicable), to order such reports at their own expense from an independent licensed private investigation company.

Please note that all background investigation reports must be provided directly to the Department by the private investigation company.

The following listing relative to such background reports specifies all requirements and must be submitted as part of the application process.

New York State Department of Financial Services Required Background Investigation Information

No background report will be considered complete unless all the information requested is included in the investigation report.

  1. Comprehensive Credit Report (include the actual report as well as summary)
  2. Civil and Bankruptcy Court Records (for the past 10 years)
  3. Education Records
  4. Employment History – Verify and specify the prior job-related duties and responsibilities of the individual which clearly demonstrate the required number of years of experience in the business of making residential mortgage loans or similar lending and credit evaluation experience. Acceptable forms include a professional reference or confirmation from an individual in supervisory responsibility at the prior employer attesting to the job duties (in detail), title and length of time of employment.
  5. Professional References – Three individual written references, from a non-related individual who is in the position to verify the individual’s qualifications in terms of work duties and experience. Such references must specifically reference the period of time the individual performed the relevant job duties, the relationship and circumstances by which the person providing the reference has knowledge of the individual’s relevant work duties and experience and the length of time the person providing the reference has known the individual.
  6. Media History (if applicable) – Must include an electronic search of national and local newspapers and business publications
  7. Regulatory History (if applicable) – Must include any relevant information regarding the individual’s history with regulatory agencies such as HUD, FHFA, CFPB, NASD, etc.
  8. Department of Motor Vehicle Records
  9. Judgments & Liens – Must include, at a minimum, information on judgments and liens filed with the county clerk in counties where the applicant worked and resided and all counties contiguous to those counties (within the past 10 years).
  10. Other Licenses – List all licenses granted by any governmental agency or judicial body and indicate if they are still in good standing.
  11. Credit Relationships – List all credit relationships such as revolving credit, established credit facilities and any credit extensions, including defaulted loans.


$695 – U.S. based banking background search plus statutory fees

International banking background search (Price Varies by Country)

To get started, complete the form below.  For any additional questions, call 1-800-579-2911

Thank you!

Social Security and Address History Search

This search is conducted by running the applicant’s social security number through a database, which will populate a list of previous residences in which the applicant has lived. This data is compiled from applicants’ utility bills, credit and loan applications, and the like. Any alias or maiden names previously used by the applicant will also appear in this search. Should any additional areas or names appear within the previous 7 years, the client will be notified and asked whether they would like additional searches on each additional name and area. This search also verifies the validity of the social security number provided by the applicant.

This search is a building block of every background investigation!

Why is this search so important?
  • Verifies the validity of the social security number and issue date
  • Provides a list of names and aliases used
  • Provides a list of addresses reported and associated with the applicant
Statewide Criminal Search

Statewide Searches are available in most states.

A search of statewide criminal convictions for misdemeanors and felonies in a state. Most states require a statewide statutory fee to conduct this search. New York State searches are conducted through the Office of Court Administration. (See Pros and Cons Below)

  • PROS
    • Generally, felony & misdemeanor records throughout the entire state
    • Comprehensive, includes many jurisdictions and several towns and villages
    • Eliminates need to search counties as it covers ALL jurisdictions with most states, with some exceptions
  • CONS
    • Statutory Fees ($96 in NY!), generally less in others
    • Requires additional due-diligence if an adverse record is found
    • Not available in several states
    • Not all areas are reporting to state, some smaller towns/jurisdictions not reporting
DMV Searches

The driver’s license history search is conducted by running the applicant’s driver’s license number through the DMV database. This search will verify the status of an applicant’s driver’s license as valid, suspended, or other. It will also populate a list of any traffic infractions by the applicant, such as DWI’s, speeding, accidents, failures to appear in court, etc. Should any adverse findings be discovered, the report will be flagged, so the client will be alerted.

Bankruptcy/Liens/Judgment Search

The Bankruptcy, Liens and Judgments Search is a great alternative to credit reports. Use this search when applicable to position(s). Benefits of the Bankruptcy, Liens and Judgment Search:

  • Comprehensive, non-discriminatory
  • Clear/Black and White
  • Identifies major red flags that would be issues in a hiring decision
  • Similar information as a credit report, but non-discriminatory and non-invasive

Be aware that there are guidelines and restrictions with regard to reporting on adverse findings as they relate to specific background investigations. To learn more about the time frames and what is reportable, please contact one of our FCRA certified experts or download our blog regarding State FCRA Laws and Best Practices!

County Civil Search

A countywide civil search researches a specific county for liens, judgments, civil cases and bankruptcies that may be listed in the applicant records. This search is conducted by exact name and date of birth. We may need to also verify the applicants address and/or middle initial depending on the information stored in the civil records. This is a county level search for civil court records. Civil records are generally divided between the upper and the lower courts based on the monetary amount of the claim. Alliance will always search both the upper and lower courts for our clients. Civil records contain records of lawsuits, small claims, and judgments, and other money related matters.

Federal Civil Search

The Federal Civil Records Search is a District level search for civil cases filed in United States District, Bankruptcy, and Appellate Courts. Report results include comprehensive docket summary information, including returns file date, parties involved, cause of action and case status when cases are uncovered. A few Federal District court fees impose access fees.

Credit Report – Depending on the role and responsibility of the employee

The legal use of credit reports during background investigations depends upon many factors including the role and responsibility of the employee. Conducting a credit report is illegal in many states for pre-employment purposes unless you have a permissible purpose based on the applicant position.

  • Employment Credit Reports provide insight into an applicant’s credit history and identifies trade accounts, credit limits, balances and payment history.
  • Illegal to use as a means to make an employment decision in CA, CO, CT, IL, MD, VT, WA, DE, HI, NV, OR.
  • Some cities have also passed laws – including Chicago, NYC and additional legislation pending in several other states.


  • Discriminatory and Subjective.
  • Per SHRM, 47 percent of employers conduct credit on some or all applicants.
  • Pending Senate Bill proposed to prohibit employers from asking applicants to disclose credit history.
Employment Verification

Employment verifications are conducted by contacting the applicants’ current and previous employers. Typically, we will verify applicants’ previous employment over the past 7 to 10 years. The information we obtain includes, but is not limited to position held, hire and termination date, wage/salary, type/status, and reason for leaving. This information is verified through the Human Resources department in which employee records are kept. Per company policy, many entities are only able to verify the position held and start and end date for employees. However, the effort to obtain all information will always be made. Our efforts include 5 attempts to contact the employers. Should we find a discrepancy in the information provided by the applicant and the information provided by the employer, the report will be flagged, and the responsibility will fall on the applicant should he/she wish to dispute such discrepancy. We also flag an employment verification if we were unable to compete the verification for whatever reason.

Education Verification

Education verifications are conducted by contacting the applicants’ educational institutions in which they received their highest degree. Current enrollment may also be verified for internships, applicants who are minors, and per client request. The information we obtain includes, but may not be limited to, graduation date, degree received, major(s), GPA, and honors claimed. This information is obtained through the registrar’s office or guidance office, depending on the type of institution. General Education Diplomas may also be verified. Five attempts at verification will be made. Should we find a discrepancy in the information provided by the applicant and the information provided by the educational facility, the report will be flagged, and the responsibility will fall on the applicant should he/she wish to dispute such discrepancy.

References – Professional and/or Personal depending on the position

Reference verifications are conducted by contacting individuals, provided by the applicant or client, with whom they have worked in a professional capacity or know personally. Examples include, but are not limited to, supervisors, colleagues, and clients. Upon contacting each professional reference, a series of questions are asked relating to the applicants’ skills and abilities in a work environment. Five attempts will be made to speak with each reference via telephone and/or email. We have a set of 25 questions that we ask the personal or professional references. If preferred, our clients can provide their own set of questions.

Professional License Verification

This search is conducted to verify vital information regarding licensed professionals who offer services, including the licensee’s name, profession, license number, location, date of original license, registration status, and any disciplinary action taken on such license.

Federal Criminal Search

This is a criminal search at the federal level. Federal crimes include bank robbery, drug trafficking, embezzlement, crimes that cross state lines and crimes that occur on federal property such as a military base. The federal-level criminal convictions search is based upon jurisdiction of residency.

  • Misdemeanor – A minor crime, punishable by fine or confinement in other than prison (local jail/county correctional facility.) EXAMPLES INCLUDE:  petit larceny, DWI, assault, battery
  • Felony – A serious crime that is punishable by more than one year of imprisonment up to death by execution. EXAMPLES INCLUDE:  rape, murder, burglary, serious drug-related offenses
Media Search

We use the applicants name and area of residency to search local and national newspapers, magazines and online publications to locate any information on the applicant which is reported within the background investigative report in accordance with the FCRA guidelines.

Regulatory Search or MARI Search

Must include any relevant information regarding the individual’s history with regulatory agencies such as HUD, FHFA, CFPB, NASD, etc.

Overwatch Continuous Criminal Monitoring

Have your existing employees been arrested post hire? Mitigate risk, maintain a safe work environment and avoid lawsuits with OverwatchSM continuous criminal monitoring. OverwatchSM is a solution which can proactively alert you to criminal activity among your existing workforce including embezzlement, theft, assault and more. According to some studies, nearly 12% of an employers’ workforce may be arrested, in some cases repeatedly, within the next five years. In many industries, that statistic is just too dangerous to overlook. In addition to pre-hire background screening, potential criminal activity should be monitored throughout the course of employment. Mitigate risk with OverwatchSM continuous criminal monitoring – Email

Income Tax Return and Employer Verification (ITRV)

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) administers an income and employer verification solution called Form 4506-C (Sept. 2020) IVES Request for Transcript of Tax Return. This search provides direct access to the official IRS database which mitigates fraud by matching the applicant or business name, SSN, ITIN or EIN and Address. It also prevents misrepresentation of employment by revealing employers omitted by the applicant and unequivocally confirms income. This is an excellent employer verification for up to 10 years.

Contact Alliance if you have questions.

You can schedule a webinar with one of our experienced staff members to review the different searches available, review clients/subcontractors requirements for background investigations, demo our secure website, review the background investigation process, and review sample reports. We can answer any questions you may have.

CEO Mario Pecoraro recently published “Avoiding Costly Hiring Mistakes” available on Amazon.  You can download the introduction here!