First Direct

first direct current accounts October 2022

If you're looking for reliable customer service and a nice switching incentive, consider a current account with first direct.

4.2 ★★★★★ (151 reviews) Write a review
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Great customer service and manned 24/7 phone lines
No physical branches - you have to go to HSBC for counter services
first direct has no physical branches but it’s well known for its 24/7 call centre where you can always find actual human beings answering the phone, no matter how late in the night it is.

first direct’s current account

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Name Product Ratings Account fees Funding requirement Interest (AER) Arranged overdraft Incentive Representative example Link
first direct
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No minimum funding requirement
0% AER
An interest-free, arranged overdraft up to £250, then 39.9% EAR (variable)
£175 for accounts switched using Current Account Switching Service or a £20 welcome cash offer to open an account.
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200, you’ll be charged interest at 30.5% (0% EAR variable p.a on first £250, 39.9% thereafter).
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The benefits of banking with first direct

  • Switching incentive. If you’re unhappy with your bank, don’t hesitate to switch. These days you can easily get the equivalent of a couple of free dinners for two in cash as an incentive, and not only with first direct.
  • Multiple ways to bank. As we said, there are no physical branches, but you can bank on the phone, online or via the app. And if you need to pay cash or a cheque into your account, you can do it at one of HSBC’s branches or at the post office.
  • Access to a high-interest savings account. first direct’s Regular Saver Account allows you to pay in up to £300 a month for a year, and it pays a 5% AER (Annual Equivalent Rate), which makes it one of the top-paying accounts in the market.
  • Mobile banking app. first direct’s app is very easy to use, although it doesn’t offer loads of functionalities – no budgeting tools or categorisation of your spending here, sorry.
  • Global acceptance. first direct’s cards are either Mastercard or Visa, so you can shop pretty much anywhere in the world without having to worry about acceptance.
  • A wide range of related products. first direct also offers mortgages, loans, credit cards, insurance and savings accounts.
  • Round-the-clock assistance. You can give first direct a call at 3am and there will still be someone there to answer your call and help you out with whatever problem you’re having.

Opening an account with first direct

To open an account with first direct, you’ll have to provide the following information:

  • How much you expect to pay in each month
  • Your salary details and any assets you have
  • Your nationality/citizenship
  • Your residence status/tax residence status
  • Proof of identity (passport, UK driving license)
  • Proof of address (bank statement, utility bill)

You can open a first direct account online and send the documents online or by post.

Why should I compare current accounts anyway?

Different people have different banking needs. Depending on how you like to manage your finances (online, in person) and what you want to get out of your account (perks, rewards, an interest rate), there will be current accounts out there that are more or less suitable for you.

Also, banks often offer some kind of switching incentive to try and lure as many new customers as possible. If your bank isn’t treating you well, it’s worth checking what the competition has to offer.

Pros and cons of first direct current accounts

  • Great customer service scores. first direct consistently tops customer polls for the quality of its customer service.
  • Switching perks. The bank regularly offers switching payments to entice customers to switch their current account.
  • Access to HSBC’s branch network. first direct customers can also manage their account at any branch of HSBC.
  • Only one current account option. first direct only offers one type of current account.

Our verdict

You’ll earn a reward for switching to first direct, plus you can earn interest on its associated regular savings account. A great choice if you’re looking to make your money work for you. If first direct’s current accounts are not for you, you can also compare other current accounts here.


Banking ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor

The customer satisfaction score ("Customers say") is based on a survey of 2,282 customers carried out in December 2021.

Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

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We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

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