first direct current accounts July 2020

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


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First Direct
We say
Finder expert rating
You say
Customer satisfaction
Great customer service and digital experience
No physical branches - you have to go to HSBC
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.

It only offers one current account option, but the account comes with an enticing £100 switching incentive and access to a 5% regular savings account.

Starling Bank

Starling Bank: award-winning banking on your mobile

  • No monthly fees or fees overseas
  • Apply in minutes, direct from the app
  • Winner 2020 - Best Current Account, British Bank Awards

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.

What about digital banking?

Challengers such as Monzo, Starling and Revolut have been trying to change the traditional approach to banking by offering fee-free online accounts and smart mobile apps with a lot of techie features. You can check out the latest deals just below or head to our digital banking section to learn more.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Ratings Interest (AER) Arranged overdraft Key benefits Link Representative example
We say
You say
39.94% EAR variable
Interest and fee free overdraft
for first four months
Current account switch service guarantee badge
Up to 15% cashback at a range of major retailers
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you'll be charged interest at 39.94% EAR variable.
Starling Bank
We say
You say
15% EAR variable
Seamless easy switching within 7 days
Current account switch service guarantee badge
No fees for spending or withdrawing cash overseas - currencies are converted at Mastercard’s standard exchange rate
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you'll be charged interest at 15% EAR variable.
We say
Guaranteed acceptance plus a credit building feature
Account fee of £5.95 per month.
We say
Guaranteed acceptance
Current account switch service guarantee badge
Earn cashback on your purchases when you shop through the ThinkMoney rewards portal
Account fee of £10 per month or £15 per month.

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