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Does Bank of America Hire Felons in 2021?

By Last update February 4, 2019
jobs for felons, company profile, Bank of America, Financial Services

Bank of America is one of the largest international financial institutions, handling banking services for individuals, businesses and corporations. So, if you think you’d like to work in the financial sector, you might ask: Does Bank of America hire felons? This is the question Relaunch Pad contacted the company directly to ask.

We’re committed to finding out what you need to know about how to get a job at Bank of America with a felony. Why? Because we have experience working with former felons, or have criminal records ourselves. We know how tough it is to find a job with a record, and we want to help!

We also do the hard work of researching questions such as:

  • How does Bank of America do background checks?
  • What are some good entry-level jobs?
  • What’s the best way to apply to work for the company?
  • Does Bank of America hire people with misdemeanors?

Does Bank of America hire felons?

jobs for felons, company profile, Bank of America, Financial Services

Official company policy for hiring felons

We received the following statement when we reached out to Bank of America:

“We follow all applicable laws and regulations and do not ask about prior convictions on our employment application; however, as a heavily regulated financial institution all of our hires must successfully complete a thorough background check.”

Has Bank of America hired felons in the past?

This is unclear. We could find no proof that they’ve hired someone with a felony.

Does Bank of America hire people with misdemeanors?

Yes, they do. There are online comments confirming this from employees.

However, even though misdemeanors are less serious than felonies, the hiring manager will want to know the details.

Is Bank of America on the Ban the Box list?

We could find no record that Bank of America is on the Ban the Box list. Companies on this list remove the box asking about your criminal record on job applications. They don’t review an applicant’s criminal record until they’ve considered their qualifications.

Another program is the Fair Chance Business Pledge. Employers sign the pledge to show they’ll give all applicants a fair chance, even if you have a criminal record. This means your criminal record will not automatically be held against you. Unfortunately, Bank of America doesn’t seem to have signed the Pledge.

It’s understandable that financial institutions want to know about your criminal record due to the type of business they’re in.

However, don’t focus on the fact that they aren’t involved in these programs. Remember, their official statement says they won’t ask upfront about prior convictions on the job application. So, you can make a good first impression before they check your background.

Does Bank of America have special programs for hiring felons?

The company doesn’t appear to have any special programs for hiring felons.

What are the odds someone with a felony will get hired?

Low likelihood of being hired with a felony

In our opinion, the odds you can get hired at Bank of America with a felony are low.

We believe this because:

  1. Bank of America is not on the Ban the Box list, nor have they signed the Fair Chance Business Pledge.
  2. As a financial institution, they’re regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (FDIA). This means they won’t hire you with a history of dishonesty, breach of trust and money laundering.
  3. We found no online comments from employees who were hired with a felony. Several people advised anyone with a felony to have their record expunged before applying.
  4. The official statement Bank of America gave us says potential hires must successfully complete a thorough background check.

What are some entry-level jobs?

Bank of America serves over 56 million customers and small businesses across the United States. With that much business, you can be sure they’re always hiring.

Here are some examples of entry-level jobs we suggest you look at:

  • Inbound Call Center Specialist
  • Use computers and software programs.
  • Provide sales solutions to clients.
  • Client Service Representative (Bank Teller)
  • Process customer transactions such as deposits and cashing cheques.
  • Answer customer questions and help solve problems.
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Compose correspondence for manager.
  • Compile and report information using a variety of software programs.
  • Card Issuance Machine Operator
  • Prepare customer statements and correspondence for mailing using high speed insertion and printing equipment.

None of these positions ask for particular education or qualifications .This is good to know as it suggests you’ll be given on-the-job training. Also, depending on the job, you may be working some evening and weekend hours.

How to get hired at Bank of America with a felony

Take a look at the careers section of the company website, since this is the only way to apply. You can search for job openings near you and see what qualifications are needed. Remember, it’s critical to spend some time making sure you have a good resume to improve your chances of being selected for an interview.

As a former felon, your resume will likely have some gaps. Therefore, spend some time making it the best it can be. Here’s a few basic resume tips to get started:

  • Write up your skills and experience so they respond to the specific position you’re applying for. Try to use the same words from the job description where you can.
  • Add a short section up-front that describes your overall strengths. For example, are you well-organized, a quick learner or a team player?
  • Highlight any special certifications, courses completed or awards received.
  • When describing your previous jobs, keep it brief. However, include accomplishments you’re proud of, such as helping to train new staff or having no recorded sick days.

Also, this FAQ link to the bank’s website will help you find out how to get hired at Bank of America. There is information about such things as the application process, background checks and the type of interview questions to expect. Interestingly, if you’re not selected for an interview, Bank of America will store your resume and profile to match with future job openings.

Expect some of the interview questions to be behavioral or scenario-based. This is a good thing because it can help the hiring manager get to know you faster.

Scenario-based questions are about typical situations you may have to handle working for Bank of America. These are harder to prepare for. But don’t worry — you’ll be given time to collect your thoughts.

Here’s how to prepare for a behavioral question. Imagine some typical questions like:

  • Tell us about a time when you had to handle a difficult customer.
  • Give us an example about how you dealt with failure.

Then, think of good examples to give (they don’t have to be work-related). Plan what to say about how you handled things well. If you didn’t handle things as well as you could have, that’s okay! Prepare an answer to show what you learned from the situation and explain what you’d do differently next time.

Finally, demonstrate that you have transferable job skills and a strong willingness to learn. You’ll put yourself that much further ahead!

Does Bank of America do background checks?

Yes, they do. You must complete a pre-employment background screening. This includes providing proof that you’re legally allowed to work in the United States.

The FAQ page gives you more information. For example, the company confirms that “as part of the background check process, you may be required to provide certain information such as employment references, criminal history information, etc.”

Some employees said online that they were required to provide fingerprints. Here’s an article that explains how fingerprints are used to verify your criminal record.

Furthermore, a former recruiter shared what most banks look for under the FDIA. This includes checking for section 19 violations such as breach of trust, money laundering or dishonesty. So, this helps us understand how does Bank of America hire felons.

Also, they’ll likely check your credit history for any red flags. This is in case you could be tempted to take advantage of handling funds at the bank.

Here’s important information about background checks:

In certain states, employers will only take the last seven years into account. These are the states:

  • California
  • Colorado*
  • Kansas*
  • Maryland*
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire*
  • New York*
  • Texas*
  • Washington*

(* sometimes certain pay or salary bracket positions require one.)

In a handful of states, hiring managers will not see any not guilty findings. Here are the states where this happens:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Indiana (limited check)
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New York

More importantly, however, employers in a number of states will see your entire record in a background check. And yes, this includes not guilty verdicts. Those states are:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • DC
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Indiana (extensive check)
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Company ratings

Overall, Bank of America is rated highly online by current and former employees.

On glassdoor.com, the company gets 3.6 out of 5. This is based on over 21,000 reviews. Interestingly, in 2016, they were the employees’ choice of Best Places to Interview.

Here are a few pros and cons people gave:

Pros:

“Good place to work, good salary and bonus, flexible work hours, good place to [a] build career. I recommend this organization.”

“Good work-life balance, good atmosphere, smart managers.”

“Money, manager, culture, vacation, career path.”

“Diversity, work life balance, cross-functional training.”

Cons:

“Sometimes work can be very hectic and may require work off hours and weekends. Since it’s a large organization, sometimes it’s difficult to network between employees.”

“Stress, sales goal, unreasonable customers.”

“Large corporation, don’t always agree on some of the organizations we support.”

What felony convictions might have a hard time getting hired here?

If you have a history of fraud or theft offenses, you’ll likely not get hired at Bank of America. The FDIA mentions background checks for these types of offenses. This means you can expect the bank to review your criminal record very closely to make sure they’re in compliance with the FDIA requirements.

A criminal history that includes violence may be a concern for the employer, as well. For example, they’ll want to know that you can control your temper when dealing with a difficult customer.

Above all, if you really want to get a job at Bank of America with a felony or misdemeanor, be prepared to be honest about your criminal record.

Does Bank of America drug test?

We’re not sure. There’s no information on the company website about whether or not they drug test job applicants.

There are online comments from some staff who say they had to pass a pre-employment drug test and others who didn’t. Therefore, it may be up to the hiring manager.

Have you applied for a job or worked here? Share your experiences!

We’d love to hear your comments!

Share your experience working for the company. What was your interview like? What questions did they ask you?

Anything you have to say will really help others like yourself know how to get hired at Bank of America.

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Sandy Bell-Murray
Reentry Educator

Sandy Bell-Murray worked for more than thirty years for the Ontario public service, mainly in adult and youth justice. She began as a Probation and Parole Officer, then became a policy analyst, program supervisor and manager. Currently, she delivers workshops focused on building personal resilience and managing stress. She is an active member of Toastmasters International.