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What to expect from the Wells Fargo background check
Last updated: October 1, 2022
Paul Baker
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What to expect from the Wells Fargo background check
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Wells Fargo is one of the biggest banks in the U.S. The company has around 8,050 branches and over 260,000 employees.

The financial institution is an inclusive and diverse place to work, and employees get a range of benefits. There are different opportunities to choose from, including jobs as tellers, associate personal bankers, analytics assistants, and mortgage loan officers.

To work at Wells Fargo, you’ll need to complete the application process and attend an interview. And as a job applicant, one of the final steps is a background check.

Because you’ll be dealing with finances and sensitive data, Wells Fargo needs to know you're trustworthy.

So, what can you expect from the background check process? What's Wells Fargo looking for, and how long does it take? Read on to find out.

What is Wells Fargo?

Wells Fargo is a banking institution with a suite of services, including checking accounts, credit cards, loans, financial advice, investment opportunities, and merchant accounts.

Its main headquarters are in San Francisco, but there are branches and offices across the U.S. Wells Fargo is often called one of the Big Four Banks, along with its top competitors Bank of America, Citigroup, and JPMorgan Chase.

The company was first started in 1852 by Henry Wells and William G. Fargo. What began as a small business delivering finance by stagecoach has now become a brand that relies heavily on technology.

These days, the Wells Fargo bank has over 70 million customers.

The bank has different departments, including personal, investment, wealth management, small business, commercial banking, and corporate banking.

Wells Fargo is a company that prides itself on a professional team, excellent customer service, and secure transactions.

Why would you want to work at Wells Fargo?

Part-time and full-time employees at Wells Fargo get a comprehensive benefits plan. They can receive coverage for health, dental, vision, and prescriptions.

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Plus, the health plan comes with support for substance use disorders, wellbeing, and mental health.

There's paid parental leave, adoption reimbursement, and paid time off. And, you'll get a 401(k) plan and stock purchase options to help you save for your retirement.

Wells Fargo is an equal opportunity employer. There are opportunities available for people with disabilities and veterans.

It's a friendly work environment, and if you work hard, you can build a long-term career with the company.

What is a Wells Fargo background check?

Depending on the Wells Fargo job type, you can expect multiple interviews, a drug screen, and a background check. The screening process is there to verify your employment history and education and to look for any red flags.

While most companies do these types of checks, the Wells Fargo hiring process is thorough.

Because Wells Fargo is an insured financial institution, they need to have an extensive background screening process. The company can't legally employ anyone with a criminal history, including breach of trust or dishonest behavior.

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They check federal, state, and local databases and run a fingerprint check through the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation). Wells Fargo only uses the background check for employment purposes to help them make the final hiring decision.

If you do have a criminal history that includes financial crimes or identity theft, you won't be able to work at Wells Fargo.

What kind of background check does Wells Fargo do?

Like most banks, Wells Fargo has insurance through the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation).

Bank employees regularly deal with personal data. For example, they can look up someone's credit standing and open new accounts. So, the FDIC has strict rules about who can access sensitive customer information. If the bank breaks the rules, there can be serious penalties such as jail time or a fine.

The Wells Fargo background checking process includes a criminal background check and a credit check. They'll also use this opportunity to confirm your employment and education history and reach out to any references.

The background report will usually go back at least seven years. In some states, this can be even longer. They'll be looking for evidence of criminal activity such as aggravated assault. And there'll be a focus on financial crimes such as simple theft and fraud.

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Before they do the criminal background check, you'll need to sign an authorization form. If you say no, you won't be able to continue with your application for employment.

If you're worried about your background but want to work at Wells Fargo, you do have options. During the hiring process, you should be honest about your history.

You can tell the hiring manager about any convictions and explain the situation. For example, have you had rehabilitation? Or, have you made changes to your life?

And you can contact the FDIC to explain your circumstances and ask if they'll make an exception.

When the bank employment background check is complete, you'll be able to view your report. If you think there's been a mistake, you can file a dispute or seek legal advice.

How long does a Wells Fargo background check take?

The time frame for a financial services background check is usually between three business days and one week. After the first background check report, Wells Fargo will check your criminal record at least once every year.

If anything is flagged after you start your job, you may lose your position with the company. It's important to be upfront and honest with Wells Fargo if there are any incidents.

Once you've filled out the job application forms, the entire hiring process can take around two months.

Tips for getting hired at Wells Fargo

Want to work at Wells Fargo? Here are our top tips to help you get a job:

1. Highlight your skills

Getting a job at Wells Fargo can be a competitive process. If you want to be a bank worker, you'll need to stand out from other applicants.

The company is looking for a range of hard skills and soft skills, and you should try to give them examples of each. They'll be looking for technical skills such as computer skills and cash handling experience.

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And, they'll want examples of times when you've demonstrated soft skills such as customer service and good communication.

2. Run your own background check

If you're not sure what will show up on your criminal background screenings and credit checks, you can do your own.

A range of background check companies will give you a report for a small fee. When you see your report, you may find there are mistakes. You can try to fix these before Wells Fargo does the actual background check.

3. Dress for the job

Wells Fargo is a professional workplace. If you want to improve your chances of getting a job, you should dress appropriately for the interview.

We recommend professional business attire. This means a suit with pants or a skirt, a collared shirt, and a tie. Never wear jeans or sneakers to a job interview.

4. Be on time

If you've been asked to attend a job interview, make sure you're on time. Try to get there ten minutes early to give yourself time to check-in and have a glass of water.

If you arrive any earlier than 15 minutes, go for a walk or grab a coffee. You can use this time to think about the interview questions.

5. Prepare your references

Depending on the position you're applying for, Wells Fargo may ask you for references.

Before the interview, check in with people in your network to see if they'd put in a good word for you.

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Previous managers, colleagues, teachers, and friends who can vouch for your personal characteristics and work habits are good people to ask.

6. Be honest about your history

If you have a criminal history, be honest about it. You should tell the hiring manager about a criminal offense or misdemeanor that might show up on your criminal background screening results.

Why? It'll show them you're honest, and it'll improve your chances of working for the company.

Entry-level positions won't have such strict bank background check requirements, but you still shouldn't try to hide anything.

Where to find a job at Wells Fargo

Want to work at this financial institution?

You can start by searching for Wells Fargo on our job board. And, you can read conversations about the company in our community discussions.

Getting a job at Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo is a good place to work. The company is inclusive and prides itself on having a diverse workforce.

Because it’s a bank, the hiring process is thorough. Besides the interviews and drug tests, Wells Fargo does a criminal background check and credit check.

They’re an insured company, and bank workers deal with sensitive client information, so any financial crimes will usually be seen as red flags.

If you think you’d be a good fit for Wells Fargo, make sure you highlight your skills. You can run your own background check to see if anything comes up. Remember to be honest about your history.

Don’t forget to prepare your references, dress for the job, and be on time for your interview.

Ready to start your job search? You can look for positions in your area on our job board. And, if you want more articles like this one, check out our resource center.

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