Georgia Department of Banking and Finance Revises Its Screening Rules
August 7, 2023
The Georgia Department of Banking and Finance revised several rules in a recent final rule-making. These revisions concern administrative fines, branch managers, employee background checks, record keeping, and other practices. It also updated rules involving the Department’s mortgage loan rules.
According to these revisions, the Department no longer requires branch managers to submit their fingerprints with their applications. However, applicants and licensees must have a commercial entity screen employees covered by this rule. This requirement emphasized not to request a check from the Georgia Crime Information Center.
Screening covered employees must take place before issuing a license. New employees must complete their background checks within 90 days of their hire date. In addition, currently licensed individuals must complete their screenings before the hire date. The revision also addressed what to do when an employee’s change in job responsibilities brings them under the law’s purview. It requires the employee to undergo a background check before the change.
The Department will email any necessary notices to the recipients on file with the NMLS. Should the Department not receive an affirmative response within five days, it will send the message to the recipient’s place of business. In addition, Department Rule 80-11-2-.01(1)(n) requires employers to maintain records of all terminated employees for five years. These records include books and accounts concerning the employee.
Furthermore, the final rules clarified the following:
“Any licensee that does not obtain a criminal background check on each covered employee prior to the initial date of hire, retention, or transition of an existing employee to a covered employee as set forth in Rule 80-3- 5-.04(1) shall be subject to a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) per occurrence. Proof of the required criminal background check must be retained by the licensee until five years after termination of employment by the licensee. Notwithstanding compliance with this requirement to perform a criminal background check prior to employment, failure to maintain criminal background checks as required will result in a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each covered employee for which the licensee is missing this documentation.”
With these new regulations, employers in Georgia’s banking sector should review their policies to ensure they comply with the latest and revised regulations. The best way to start is by partnering with a trustworthy employment screening provider. The right partner will use their experience to provide accurate and timely background checks.
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