Bank With Conviction

Bank With Conviction

There are identical men wearing identical pinstripe suits across the banking industry! Of course this is rubbish, it’s just a stereotype.

However recruitment for finance sector jobs typically excludes people with criminal records, regardless of their talent or the relevance of their convictions. Often positions are excluded from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and recruiters are also barring people with very old, spent convictions.

The Bank With Conviction programme will work with the sector to establish what the barriers are and to seek workable solutions.

Recruit With Conviction is campaigning for improved workforce diversity by encouraging recruiters to understand the criminal record label. It is a misleading label, just like the financial services stereotype – except, it is a lot more stigmatising.

Useful information about candidates: The criminal record tick box is useless without context, so good recruiters understand the relevance of different convictions and know how to deal with disclosure in interviews. We call it screening with meaning!  Positive recruitment and diversity practice is underpinned by attending training to “recruit with conviction”.

Why the finance sector?

Reason1: Applying blanket bans puts additional pressure on other sectors particularly in locations where financial services dominate the labour market.

Reason 2: These blanket bans are also passed through the supply chains from banks to other industries, particularly the ICT sector. In one example a company desperately wanted to recruit an individual with an unrelated criminal conviction, however contractual obligations to financial services companies made it impossible.

Reason 3: People with right skill-set and mindset to for financial services careers, can have criminal records which are not relevant to the work.

Reason 4: It can be done! The original Recruit With Conviction campaign (ASERT) undertook work with Scottish NHS trusts starting in 1999. Since then there has been a sea-change in attitude from recruiters.

If you work or have influence in the finance sector and would be interested in becoming a Bank With Conviction ambassador, please contact for more information on how you can help.

Case Study

David worked in financial services for over 20 years in 3 different banking institutions. He achieved several promotions though his hard work and talent, however his dedication to the job was instrumental in the breakdown of his marriage.

Divorce was devastating for David. A subsequent period of binge drinking led to his most profound regret when he was involved in a drunken fight which went too far he caused considerable harm to someone.

David has served his prison term and seeks no sympathy; he recognises the impact of his footprints on the world and finance recruiters advise that his banking career is over, even though he is at low risk of re-offending and he has the skills they need.

Note: Some good recruitment practice does exist in the finance sector.