Introducing: Politically Exposed Persons (PEP) checks

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Gabriella Scott-Lister
May 15, 2024
Updated on:

For a while now, we've been exploring different areas, striving to consistently delight our users. Towards the end of last year, we found ourselves drawn into the financial services sector, with companies left, right, and centre expressing interest in joining Zinc. As we engaged in numerous conversations, one term kept cropping up: Politically Exposed Persons (PEP). While our adverse media check occasionally surfaced PEP-related results, courtesy of the online presence of influential figures, it became evident that this approach didn't quite meet the security standards demanded by today's tumultuous political environment.

We are now thrilled to be releasing our Politically Exposed Persons (PEP) check. Designed to identify how a candidate’s affiliations, past or close relationships may impact your business risk. The core drivers to run this check that we heard time and time again were:

  • Compliance with core regulatory bodies such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to prevent money laundering and corruption - More on that below.
  • Safeguard Reputation - Employing individuals with a PEP status without proper scrutiny can damage a company's reputation if any misconduct or scandal involving these individuals comes to light.
  • Prevent corruption - PEPs  often hold positions of influence or power, which can potentially increase the risk of corruption within an organisation. By identifying employees who are PEPs, businesses can implement additional oversight and controls to mitigate the risk of corruption and unethical behaviour.
  • Financial risk mitigation - As a politically connected individual the candidate may have significant financial resource, influence or networks which may pose financial risk to your company.

FCA guidance on Politically Exposed People checks

Further guidance provided by the FCA advises that the results must be treated on, ‘a case by case basis is required with the risk assessed of individual PEPs rather than applying a generic approach to all PEPs.’

Financial Conduct Authority (2017) Finalised Guidance. Available at:

(Accessed: 14 April 2024)

Different types of matches

Zinc will display to you two distinct types of matches.

High confidence

These matches are dual identifier matches, meaning that both the name and date of birth identified are the same as the candidates.

Low confidence

These matches only match on the candidates full name. They are absent of a date of birth match as there may not have been one on the source.

What results will be returned

When running a PEP check, the results that you may expect vary in potential significance to your hiring process. To assist in interpretation of the result, we’ve identified how layers of these results are widely interpreted.

High risk

  • Heads of state and government
  • Members of government or parliament (national and regional)
  • Heads of military, judiciary, and law enforcement
  • Board members of central banks
  • Top-ranking officials of political parties

Medium/high risk

  • Senior officials of the military, judiciary, and law enforcement agencies
  • Senior officials of other state agencies and bodies and high-ranking civil servants
  • Senior members of religious groups
  • Ambassadors, consuls, and high commissioners
  • Senior management and board of directors of government-owned businesses and organisations.

Low risk

  • Mayors and members of local, country, city, and district assemblies
  • Senior members of international or larger-than-national organisations

How to start using PEP checks

To start using PEP checks on existing packages, navigate to packages → select the three vertical dots to the right of the package name → select customise checks. From there you will be able to toggle on PEP checks in the left hand side menu.

When adding this check to a new package, simply toggle it on in the modify checks step.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your account manager, connect via live chat, or drop us an email at for assistance with PEP checks. We're here to help!

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