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During the interview process, can an airline company ask for bank statements?

I am in the final process of interviewing for a Customer Service position for a major airline company. One of my previous positions was as a Freelance Musician for the Archdiocese of Chicago in which I was a substitute musician for weekend masses as well as weddings and funerals. I have provided this company with my current parish's W-2 forms and paystubs, which they requested, now they have told me that if I do not provide them with my bank statements from 2013-2014 that show I was receiving a check from different parishes, they cannot move forward with the interview process. I have given them more than sufficient contact information for the pastors and business managers who hired me for these temporary assignments, which they have gotten in contact with and were told I did the work, but I was told by the airlines that this was not enough. I have gone above and beyond in getting this information and my background check has come back free and clear. Why the interrogation?

Answers

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

IMHO, I would never give an employer or potential employer my bank statements or W-2 forms/paystubs. For that matter, I won't tell them what I've earned. It is immaterial.

Plain and simple: It is none of their business.

I would seek out a management person outside of HR and discuss this with them (as well as an Employment/Labor attorney). Something seems amiss.

EMERSON GALFO
Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

I wonder if asking them to get their request IN WRITING will change their mind.

Anonymous
(Music Director) |

I have a call in to their Vice President of Hiring and have yet to hear from them. I was told by the outsourcing company that they hire to do their screening of candidates that I have until Wednesday, August 3rd, at Noon to have this information to them otherwise I will forfeit my chances for hiring.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

If you are uncomfortable at this juncture of the process, I would do research on how the employees are treated....

Anonymous
(Music Director) |

This company was rated as one of the best companies to work for. At this point I am at a loss as who to take my complaint to within the company. If they hire the screening company, is the airline aware of how the contracting company handles the interviews or do they let them do their thing. Also, do I continue to be a thorn in their side to show that I am well qualified for the position and be persistent about contacting a higher up at the airline to see if this situation is normal or basically "deal with it".

EMERSON GALFO
Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

As an FYI, Massachussetts has a new law regarding this. The Cali law (AB 1676 i believe) is on the Senate....the previous bill was vetoed by the Gov.

As I recommended earlier, ask for a written request or email. If they can't put it in paper, then the practice should questioned and not tolerated. Of course this is without saying that it may hurt your chances. The written request also gives you documentation if you do decide to file a complaint with the main company.

To answer your question.....It really depends on how much you want to stand on your principles and how much do you really want to work for them. IF I was in your shoes, I would ask for a written request....probably swallow my principles (in the meantime) furnish the information, get hired, then raise the issue with HR. That way you have more standing, will know whom to complain to, and have necessary documentation for your complaint.

You can also broach the issue with the VP you are going to interview with....but that is going to be a chicken or egg decision.

David Smith
Title: Manager
Company: Private
(Manager, Private) |

Gentlemen, these are all great suggestions and I totally agree with you in principle. Thing is, as the person who doesn't need the job it is too easy to say "you should refuse" or "stand on principle" or "ask for it in writing."

The fact is, this person will most likely not get the job if s/he follows your advice.

It really comes down to how badly do you want the job? If you want the job badly enough, give them what they ask for. Given your work history and the fact that you say it's a great company to work for, I wouldn't blame you if you agreed to it. Hell, if they wanted a quarter inch of your little finger and you really needed that job badly enough, then that's what it takes. Like it or not, that is the transaction that is available.

BTW, I wouldn't blame you if you didn't provide bank statements either. Just realize what will most likely happen.

Richard Wong
Title: Partner
Company: First Choice Capital Advisors
(Partner, First Choice Capital Advisors) |

I agree that when you need a job when you need a job but think about this from a risk management point of view. What happens if your bank account gets hacked and the bank asks who has that information and you say your employer.

I would imagine that the fraudulent activity on your account would not be covered under unauthorized use policies by your bank so the potential for loss could be much greater than the pay you get from the job, not likely but potentially.

Or what you could do is give them the account information and then open a new account and then close the account after you've been told you either have the job or not. This way you can take steps to make sure that the bank information they have is no longer relevant.

Topic Expert
Barrett Peterson
Title: Senior Manager, Actg Stnds & Analysis
Company: TTX
(Senior Manager, Actg Stnds & Analysis, TTX) |

Absolutely not. Ask for a written request and a written confidentiality agreement, but do not respond by supplying. You do NOT want to work for this kind of organization. More scam than legit.

Anonymous
(Sr. Analyst) |

This puts up red-flags for me.

My brother recently thought he was getting a job working on an assembly line for a local factory. While he didn't tell me all the details he did say that they asked for the same type of information. Long-story-short it turned out to be a scam.

While I'm not saying that this outsourcing company is a scam, I would be super extra careful in vetting the company before supplying them with bank statements or anything that would lead to my identity being stolen.

Anonymous
(Finance Specialist) |

Totally agree!!

David Smith
Title: Manager
Company: Private
(Manager, Private) |

To Richard and Laura's point, just black out the account number.

To Laura's point, well you also wouldn't want to give your social security number to a scammer who could also be impersonating the company you applied to. And yet, one has to give their new employer a social. So, it's no different than any other caution you'd take over making sure you're dealing with the correct hirer.

To Barrett's point, large companies hire outside firms to check references. There could be an overzealous outside reference checker that in no way reflects the company s/he would be actually working for.

Remember, having or not having a job can be literally a matter of life and death in so many ways.

Again, super easy to take a stand when it's not yourself that needs the job.

I'm not saying give the bank statements. I'm saying understand what you are weighing.

Robert Neeser
Title: CTO
Company: Trax Holdings, Inc.
(CTO, Trax Holdings, Inc.) |

Perhaps you can "re-dact" (print out a statement, use black marker to cover up and then make a copy) specific information like account numbers and other personal identifiers- likely the search firm is not interested in your accounts only your amounts.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

Did you hear that Massachusetts just outlawed asking potential employees their prior salaries (after a written offer, there is some wriggle room).

And I just saw Emerson noted this as well...

Betty Meneghin
Title: Owner
Company: Syntaxworx
(Owner, Syntaxworx) |

Wow.. never should a company ask for since information. You are better off without this job

Greg Gay
Title: CFO
Company: Mac Papers
(CFO, Mac Papers) |

If you provide your bank statements, I would suggest blacking out all but the last 4 digits of your account number.

Topic Expert
Paul Benedetto
Title: CFO, Director of Finance, Consultant
Company: Nextwave Software, Rethink Fabrics
(CFO, Director of Finance, Consultant, Nextwave Software, Rethink Fabrics) |

Not much more to add here, other than I do not see this type of question having any relevance to the position or role, here, or at ANY company. It is a character/credit filter for HR at best, and certainly an invasion of privacy.

This company may have a strong rating somewhere about being a great company to work for, but this type of tactic gives me major cause for concern, and would likely give them a brand reputation hit if widely publicized... I run the recruiting process for an IT consulting company (along with many other hats - am CFO & Co-Founder); this in a very competitive hiring environment. I would NEVER ask a question or make a requirement of this nature of a candidate, nor should any company.

If I was applying for a job, the only thing that I would submit to may be a blanket credit check, only after reviewing and signing the required authorization, which is normally legally required, and after receiving at least a contingent offer.

Roland Allred
Title: Controller
Company: Enpower Corp.
(Controller, Enpower Corp.) |

HR reports to me and I would never allow such an outrageous request. You can be sure someone is going to analyze all the transactions on your bank account and form an opinion. However the fact is you may need this job. You might consider a compromise by redacting all transactions on the bank statement unrelated to the paychecks in question as well as the bank account number.
I also wouldn't blame you if just refused to provide the bank statements.

Bottom line: life is unfair but we need to pay the mortgage somehow.

Anonymous
(President and CEO MobileAccountantAZ) |

Two words come to mind but I cannot repeat them here. No way would I give them my personal bank statements.

Anonymous
(Manager) |

I can see that with substitute week end church musician as the previous work history, the company checking references may just be looking to at least verify that meager work history.

My wife had a thing where she owned a business 15 years ago and put it down on her application to a big software company. The overzealous firm hired to do the reference checking wanted extensive documentation to verify the years the now closed business was open and therefor her work history... like tax returns.

I'm not saying this request is reasonable. Just saying it may not be as unusually detailed as you might think.

Jeffery Steelman
Title: Engagement Director
Company: CLA CAST (formerly Monaghan Group)
(Engagement Director, CLA CAST (formerly Monaghan Group)) |

Since they are asking for sensitive information, they shouldn't mind if we know the sensitive name of the major airline that treats potential (and most likely full time) employees in this manner. Would you mind sharing the name of the airline? I see this request as unprofessional and unethical. I would steer away from this company in all manner of business.

Jason Chroman
Title: Finance Director
Company: Streetline, Inc.
(Finance Director, Streetline, Inc.) |

I'm guessing that it isn't the airline directly. If it is, which airline is asking? That would be interesting.

L. Keith Jordan
Title: Sole Proprietor
Company: L. Keith Jordan, CPA
LinkedIn Profile
(Sole Proprietor, L. Keith Jordan, CPA) |

Let's back up a moment and look at this from the perspective of the forest instead of the trees. The position for which you are interviewing is Customer Service -- not CFO, not CEO, not Treasurer or Director.

You say you have provided them with Forms W-2 and paystubs (which I would not have provided), and "more than sufficient contact information for the pastors and business managers who hired me." This is NOT a credit application; this is an employment application.

I, too, realize that reality can trump philosophy any day, but this whole thing seems questionable and highly risky. The risk of loss to your finances, personal identity, and reputation may far exceed any potential gain from employment or prospective employment.

You say the company "was rated as one of the best companies to work for." By whom?

If I understand you correctly, the outsourcing company simply does the screening. Have you considered contacting the actual employer to discuss these requests?

Have you considered that the screening company may, in fact, be a scam? Is it possible that the company that "was rated as one of the best companies to work for" has no knowledge of, or relationship with, the screening company?

Personally, I believe you have already put yourself at too great a risk. I would advise you to run, not walk, away from this situation as quickly as possible.

Carla Gordon
Title: Accountant
Company: Govt
(Accountant, Govt) |

W-2's should be adequate. No way would I show anyone my bank statements.

Thomas McNiven
Title: Accounting
Company: None
(Accounting, None) |

It smells like social engineering to get your bank information. I would verify with the employer company that they have indeed contracted the third party for that position before going any further.

Jan Spiegel
Title: Owner
Company: Your Bookkeeping Matters, current
(Owner, Your Bookkeeping Matters, current) |

A little late here, but this same thing came up in a different forum as to presenting the W-2 and other info. In most states, it is illegal to ask for this. Why would the hiring company really need to have the bank statements? Especially from 2013-14. That was over a year ago, shouldn’t be relevant. I could see running a credit report for a customer service position but not bank statements. I say it’s none of their business. Besides, Anonymous (Music Director) mentions “with my bank statements from 2013-2014 that show I was receiving a check from different parishes”. How are they going to do that? Bank statements only show “Deposit” as a description with amounts. These won’t show the different parishes.

This reminds me of when I re-financed my mortgage in 1993 and they asked for my brother’s bank statements and asked where he got the $3000 he gave to me. Wasn’t their business.

Anonymous
(Fin/Management Accountant) |

No way, it's is unacceptable request and definately unacceptable at the stage of shortlisting for interview. In certain employments security clearance etc is required especially in Government positions, but it is clearly stated in the job description or in job advertisement and at application stage that the security clearance will be required and security clearance is performed by authorised companies NOT by the prospective employer. I find it very odd to ask for bank statements.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

I have a government security clearance (Secret) and at my level no one asked for financial info (they use the credit reporting services).

For higher levels, I haven't heard of asking for bank statements either.

EMERSON GALFO
Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

Another comment.......Ask for the company's own bank statements. I say...If you can't provide the prospective employee with the same requirements you ask from them, then you should question your requirement.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

Emerson,

I agree, but that's a blatant request to be shown the door.

EMERSON GALFO
Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

Wayne, It was just a sarcastic P.S. (to make the point but still valid) The effects of possible actions have been said all through out the thread.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

I actually would ask that question :)

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