What is an NYSDFS Background Investigation?

The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) requires a specific type of background check to be conducted on people or entities who want to start a bank or expand their banking business into New York State. The goal of the NYSDFS is to modernize the regulatory oversight of the financial services industry, thus requiring these background checks to be conducted.

From the NYSDFS website:

“If you are a financial institution such as a bank, trust, budget planner, check casher, credit union, money transmitter, licensed lender, mortgage broker or banker, consumer credit reporting agency, or the like, it is the responsibility of the applicant and its principals (executive officers, directors, stockholders, partners or individuals, as applicable), to order such reports at their own expense from an independent licensed private investigation company.”

In addition to performing this required background check, reputable services such as North American Investigations can also assist in providing an in-depth background check to help confirm a person’s qualifications, solidify their character, verify their educational background, and alert the NYSDFS to any potential issues relating to criminal history, credit history, and legal working status. This is all information entities such as NYSDFS need in order to make the best decisions when it comes to approving and licensing mortgage, credit, and banking institutions.


Applicants are required to hire a licensed private investigator to conduct this particular kind of background check. The NYSDFS requires the following information to be included:

  • Comprehensive credit report.
  • Credit relationships. List all credit relationships such as revolving credit, established credit facilities and any credit extensions, including defaulted loans.
  • Civil and bankruptcy court records for the past 10 years.
  • Department of Motor Vehicle records.
  • Education records.
  • Employment history. Must include a verifiable and specific list of job-related duties and responsibilities that clearly demonstrates proficiency in the banking or mortgage loan business or similar lending and credit evaluation areas. Must include a professional reference from a former supervisor that includes the job responsibilities, job title, and the length of time of the applicant’s employment.
  • Professional references. Must include three written references from individuals who are not related and able to verify the applicant’s job duties and experience qualifications. These reference letters must include the span of time that the applicant performed these job duties, how the reference knows the applicant and what relationship they had, and the amount of time the reference has known the applicant both personally and professionally.
  • Media history (if applicable). Must include an electronic search of national and local newspapers and business publications of the applicant.
  • Regulatory history (if applicable). Must include any relevant information regarding the individual’s history with regulatory agencies such as HUD, FHFA, CFPB, NASD, etc.
  • Judgments and liens. Must include any information on judgments and liens filed with the county clerk in counties where the applicant worked and lived and all counties contiguous to those counties within the past 10 years.
  • Other licenses. List all licenses granted by any governmental agency or judicial body and indicate if they are still accurate and in good standing.

North American Investigations is uniquely qualified to provide any background check services you may need in order to start a financial services entity or expand your services into the New York State area. NAI is a full-service, licensed and bonded New York private investigation agency based in Manhattan, in business for 45 years.

If you need an experienced and licensed private investigator to conduct these specific background checks, contact North American Investigations today.

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