first direct

first direct current accounts May 2023

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

4.2 ★★★★★ (152 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. If you need to deposit money or prefer to access any services in a phyical branch, you can get these services in a branch of parent company HSBC.

It only offers one current account option, and regularly offers an enticing switching incentive and access to a very competitive regular savings account.

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
Switch to first direct and get £175 plus get access to a 7.00% AER/gross Regular Saver Account.
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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 7% 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.

first direct customer reviews

First direct was ranked thirteenth out of 18 current account providers in our independent 2023 customer satisfaction survey. Its users gave the brand 4 out of 5 stars and 73% said they’d recommend the current account service. Customers highlighted the bank’s strong customer service record and cash incentives to new joiners as a key reason for recommending them to friends and family. Here’s what some of those first direct customers had to say in our survey:

“Great customer service 24 hours a day.”

“They are honest, reliable and don’t try to sell me products and services I don’t want.”

“Good incentive for joining and an OK mobile app.”

On the Apple App Store, the first direct mobile banking app scored 4.8 out of 5 stars, based on a total of 382,000 user reviews. On the Google Play Store, it scores 3.4 out of 5 stars, based on 17,100 reviews (last updated, February 2023).

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.

Frequently asked questions

Banking ratings

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

The customer satisfaction score ("Customers say") is based on a survey of 2,944 customers carried out in December 2022.

Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

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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