Rise in employers checking staff credit records

Employers are increasingly using credit checks when deciding who to hire, according to financial information service Call Credit.

In the past, credit checks have been the preserve of government or the financial services sector but, with concerns rising over internal fraud, others are investigating potential workers' financial history.

While an individual must give permission for these checks to take place, in reality candidates keen to secure a job may feel like they have little choice but to give the go ahead.

"Many employers outside of the financial services sector are turning to credit reference agencies as a means of verifying a candidate's identity," Owen Roberts of Callcredit said.

Credit files can also provide an insight into an individual's character by revealing how personal finances are managed. "Missed payments, regularly applying for further credit, being issued with a County Court Judgment or even being declared bankrupt, are all indicators that the candidate could be financially overstretched," Mr Owen added.

And it's not just new staff being checked, said Call Credit, but also existing employees, particularly those being considered for promotion.