SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (12/21/10)--The Association of Vermont Credit Unions recently conducted a survey asking member credit unions about their practices regarding the use of background checks on potential new employees. Results showed more than half perform checks. The survey’s main question asked if the credit union conducted background checks on applicants and/or new employees. More than half indicated they did, with three clarifying that they pulled a credit report after obtaining written consent from the applicant (NewsLines Express Dec. 17). More than 80% of those who conduct background or bondability checks use an outside agency, with the rest performing their checks internally. Also, all respondents said they do not conduct background checks on current employees. The breakdown of what kinds of information accessed in the background checks was varied, with credit unions asked to check all that apply from a list that included credit reports, criminal records, past employers, education and references. Other options included professional licenses, medical history and driving record. However, these three options were not selected by any survey responder. Less than half the respondents said that they felt sufficiently informed about which circumstances require permission to conduct a background check and/or give notices to prospective employees. Survey responders represented a cross section of all sized credit unions, ranging from those with less than five employees to those with more than 100.