First Direct

First Direct

First Direct is a retail bank based in the United Kingdom, headquartered in Leeds. It is a telephone and internet-based bank, with no physical branches, and has 1.35million customers in the UK.

Reviews Rating
82%
Review Score
This figure is an average of the reviews score, taken from customer reviews and the overall rating of the bank.
71%
BankRank® Score
This figure is the average of the bank’s total sentiment score and the review scores.
Matt Crabtree
Senior Editor
Matt Crabtree
Matt Crabtree is a senior editor at CompareBanks. He has over 10 years experience in writing about all aspects of finance and is passionate about helping consumers make informed decisions about their money.
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Overview

First Glance

First Direct is a retail bank based in the United Kingdom, headquartered in Leeds. It is a telephone and internet-based bank, with no physical branches, and has 1.35million customers in the UK.

Features

Contact Info

Address
40 Wakefield Rd, Leeds LS10 1DU, UK
Phone
0345 600 24 24

About First Direct

First Direct is a retail bank based in the United Kingdom, headquartered in Leeds. It is a telephone and internet-based bank, with no physical branches, and has 1.35million customers in the UK.

First Direct was founded in 1989 by Midland Bank, then one of the UK’s ‘Big Four’ banks. First Direct became part of HSBC three years later after HSBC’s acquisition of Midland. The bank had reached 250,000 customers by March 1993 and 500,000 by April 1995.

First Direct has two major UK call centres, in Stourton, Leeds, and Hamilton, South Lanarkshire. The Leeds call centre serves as the bank’s head office. Initially offering telephone banking only, First Direct launched SMS banking in 1999 and launched its online banking service in August 2000. A first-generation mobile banking service, pre-dating mobile banking apps, followed in 2006.

In September 2016 First Direct introduced voice recognition technology for customers calling the bank, becoming the first UK bank to introduce this technology on a large scale. A new Apple and Android mobile app were launched in 2017.

First Direct Products and Services

Customers who set up a current account with First Direct can access 24/7, 365 days a year banking services by mobile, telephone or online. All customers have, subject to status, a £250 interest-free overdraft. Cheques and cash can be paid in at branches of HSBC.

Current accounts are free for six months, and £10/month after – customers can avoid the charge by either maintaining a monthly balance of at least £1000 or paying at least £1000 into the account each month.

First Direct also gives current account customers the option to set up a ‘sweep’, which transfers monies held in their current account into a savings account on a date of their choosing.

Savers also have a range of options; the Regular Saver account, which rewards customers with the bank’s best interest rate for committing to 12 months without withdrawal, at 5% AER. Customers who need more instant access to their savings can open a standard savings account, or the Bonus Saver account – which allows withdrawals but rewards customers who leave their money untouched.

First Direct has an online loans calculator where customers looking for personal loans between £1000 and £50,000 can see for themselves how much they could apply for. Customers can also take out credit cards – one for balance transfers and one for spending.

First Direct also offers offset and repayment mortgages, at fixed and tracker rates.

First Direct Awards

First Direct is well-known for excellent customer service and was awarded Most Trusted Financial Provider by Moneywise. The bank also won first place in the Which? Best Customer Service survey in 2015.

First Direct Security

First Direct requires customers to log on using a username, password and memorable answer. Mobile banking customers can also use Touch ID if they’d prefer. Extensive information on how customers can keep their information safe is available on the First Direct website.

First Direct Contact Details

40 Wakefield Road
Leeds
LS98 1FD

Telephone: 0345 600 24 24

Best First Direct Deals

First Direct £100 Switch Offer
First Direct £100 Switch Offer First Direct
Key offer details £100 Free & 5% Paid on Your Savings First Direct provide current account...

Have a question about First Direct?

Find answers in Q&As and ask your question

my husband and myself are thinking about changing our bank. I do quite a lot of internet banking,if I had a problem with something can I speak to a person online not the telephone — Betti Norkett

I live in Thailand but I'm a UK citizen and have 2 pensions plus savings in the UK, would an account be available to me. — Dave nye

My income is in England however I am currently living in Iceland. Can I open an online account to receive my income? — Halldora

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First Direct Reviews

Bridget Wilson
March 26, 2024

“We have been a customer at First Direct since the 1980s and always found them an efficient and helpful bank”

We have been a customer at First Direct since the 1980s and always found them an efficient and helpful bank. We have seen many changes in the service brought about by new technologies. Dispite this, whenever I have occasion to phone, I always speak to a friendly, knowledgeable human being straight away. This week a very kind, and extremely patient, man called Alex, talked us through setting up the app on my husband's phone. He was brilliant, thank you so much.

Date of experience: 04 November 2023

Catherine Oatway
March 26, 2024

“First Direct is a great bank to be with. I would definitely”

First Direct is a great bank to be with. I would definitely recommend them

Mary Horsburgh
March 26, 2024

“Kind of crap when you can't withdraw money out of”

Kind of crap when you can't withdraw money out of royal Bank of Scotland or tsb when you need money out of keycard card will not be associated

Marilyn Cule
March 26, 2024

“Unrivalled internet function and outstanding customer service”

Unrivalled internet function and outstanding customer service.

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First Direct Accounts

1st Account
1st Account
Current
Free
Monthly Fee
1.00%
Interest Rate
Yes
Overdraft
0% EAR variable on the first £250, 39.9% EAR variable thereafter, giving a representative rate of 30.5% APR variable
Overdraft Rate
Savings Account
Savings Account
Savings
Monthly Fee
0.01%
Interest Rate
Overdraft
Overdraft Rate
Regular Saver Account
Regular Saver Account
Savings
Monthly Fee
1.00%
Interest Rate
Overdraft
Overdraft Rate
Cash ISA
Cash ISA
Savings
Monthly Fee
0.10%
Interest Rate
Overdraft
Overdraft Rate
Bonus Saving Account
Bonus Saving Account
Savings
Monthly Fee
0.05%
Interest Rate
Overdraft
Overdraft Rate
Fixed Rate Savings
Fixed Rate Savings
Savings
Monthly Fee
0.15%
Interest Rate
Overdraft
Overdraft Rate