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User Reviews for First Direct: 1st Account

Type of service: Current Account

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Review by cellosoul5 submitted on 01 May 2019

Likes: They used to be excellent (I joined early on - in the first year, I think - however, complacency has set in and they are now arrogant and self-satisfied.

Dislikes: They are impossible to use, in terms of taxes - you spend hours wading through their non-user-friendly system. Also, they are security-mad (and I appreciate that security is an issue - just to access one's account is like trying to get into Fort Knox

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(to continue).

They are also unhelpful and even rude. Complain, and nobody cares - not in the least! They give no interest anymore, whether with regard to one's money or to their clients. I was disrespectfully treated by a youngster, and, when I complained, the manager could not have cared less.

That - along with the desperately badly-designed online system - was the final straw, for me.

Avoid, is my advice.

Review by gba123 submitted on 13 March 2013

Likes: Avaialble online and by phone. They are trained well and know when to advise/sell.

Dislikes: None, except no interest

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Review by webwiz submitted on 29 January 2011

Likes: Best service level of any UK bank

Dislikes: Not really but see below

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I have been with them for over 18 years. Recently they have started to lose the plot just slightly, but I suspect that this is because their parent, HSBC, have started to take more of an interest due to their success and may have begun interfering in their marketing. They introduced a £10 a month charge, but at the same time made it effectively voluntary because they will waive it if you open a savings account with £1 in it! I wonder if this was HSBC testing the water? They also stopped paying interest on the current account and their savings account rates are not the best.

So, provided you avoid the monthly charge and keep any savings elsewhere you can enjoy the very best in customer service just for the opportunity cost of the interest on your average balance which you could get elsewhere. For most people this will be minimal, eg with an average balance of £500 you would be losing the opportunity of about £10 a year in interest.

Review by chasingrainbows submitted on 11 November 2010

Likes: Very helpful

Dislikes: None so far

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We've used First Direct for our current account over the last five years, so far their service has been excellent. Most things can be done online, but their call centre is very helpful and efficient when required. We could earn interest and get some freebies by switching to another bank, but the service is so good we're staying put.

Review by thomas submitted on 12 May 2010

Likes: Great phone banking 24/7 speak to real people

Dislikes: No recedit interest

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Been a customer of First Direct for 11 years, and I must say it does not matter at what time of day or night you call them they are just great. Professional and give you confidence that your request will be done (and done correctly).
Having said that, I dont call them much these days, its mostly internet banking. Its simple and easy to use.

The bad points are the interet rates, a big zero % for the current account and the savings accounts I recall were 0.05%.... which again is nothing more than zero.
Best to keep the savings elsewhere as its easy to switch money with other places using faster payments, almost instant.

I know I'm very hard to please, so giving them top marks is a rare, very rare moment from me!

Review by serendipity submitted on 15 October 2009

Likes: Does what it says on the tin, friendly & efficient UK call centre.

Dislikes: Pays no interest, £10 monthly fee if average monthly balance below £1,500.

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Had the account several years and service has been excellent. The UK based call centre is very friendly and efficient, far better than any overseas call centre I've dealt with. Most transactions can also be carried out very easily online.

Cheques can be paid in at HSBC branches (First Direct's parent company) and they're a member of the Faster Payments Service (FPS), whicg means free same day transfers with other member banks.

Only downsides I've come across are no interest and a £10 monthly fee if you don't pay in, or have an average balance of, £1,500 per month.

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