Written on: 05/01/2014
This has been my worst account opening experience ever. My partner and I applied online first, then were told we had to apply again over the phone, and spent one hour each with an operator. Two months later, we haven't heard back yet from First Direct. After complaining, all they tell us is we need to retrieve the application again online, something their website wont let us do. In summary: absolutely awful, dishonest service. Avoid at all costs. (read more)
Written on: 22/08/2013 by Reginaldfw (1 review written)
Wish someone had told me about this so called bank! Took out current accounts for my wife and myself....took ages to set up and reams of paper and pamphlets. Security process when telephoning was laughable...I never seemed to get it right....but was it just me? Paying in £1500 per month was a pain and my wife decided it was not worth the effort and tried to close her account. She wrote a letter,they phoned, and it took three hours to close. They immediately denied her Internet access, so... (read more)
Written on: 29/06/2013
I have had an account for over twenty years and throughout that time I have experienced excellent service almost throughout. Not perfect, but so much better for most of the time than it might be reasonable to expect. I would have no problem recommending First Direct to any friend of member of my family. There is an incentive scheme for people who make referrals, but I am receiving nothing for writing this review! For most of the time I have had an account I have used the online service,... (read more)
Written on: 29/04/2013 by Charlotteadelesmith (5 reviews written)
I've been with first direct for a few years now. Find them to be good customer service, well trained staff and answer within at least 3 years. I have to say, better than some banks. In addition to this, Online banking system is easy to use and customer friendly. Whenever i have requested an overdraft or a bit of information on new accounts, they all know there stuff so this is good. Negatives include there mortgage process is lengthy and they are very very tight on lending. I went through a... (read more)
Written on: 09/04/2013 by mcmatt (3 reviews written)
I joined First Direct a few years ago, with the offer of £100 free to join, and another £100 if I left within a year. I never bothered to collect the second £100, as they have provided consistently excellent service. The main benefit - when you call up to discuss your account, you get straight through to a human being with a brain. No computerised menus or moronic scripts - and so far they have fixed issues quickly and fairly. Thoroughly recommended. (read more)
Written on: 10/03/2013 by ken.webb (8 reviews written)
Use them every day, rarely hear from them and they rarely hear from me, perfect! I joined them from Lloyds Tsb about 10 years ago and use their internet banking. Everything has always run as smooth as silk. If I ever have had the need to call them, maybe 4/6 times, they have always been helpful and quick to advise. They actually called me a week or so ago and checked some transactions that had appeared, seems someone had tried using my account details to obtain a pay day loan! New debit... (read more)
Written on: 04/01/2013 by Mozchops (1 review written)
If you like being treated like an utter muppet, then I would highly recommend 1st Direct. I have banked with them since 1996, but not anymore. My experience of late has been the pits and I have closed my account due to the insulting and patronizing way I was treated as a so called loyal customer. I wanted to try them for a car loan as they more competitive than the car dealer...Big mistake, I was experienced to a 40 mins phone interrogation by some half- wit picking over ever area of my... (read more)
Written on: 22/11/2012
been with them for 25 years ie since the start and very happy, quick to pick up the phone helpful and polite and 100% satisfied( UK call centre Scotland I think) but, the visa dept I am pretty sure is on another continent and it has a different feel, not as reassuring, I had a BIG problem with a charge back issue and there is a big gap in my opinion between the UK general centre and the VISA dept. (read more)
Written on: 25/07/2012 by Ihatefirstdirect (1 review written)
One day I was a valued customer the next day they closed my account with no explanation. I didn't overdraw and had a very generouse salary going into the account? Ohh yes they closed it a day before pay day and left me totally stranded. BE WARNED they appear nice but they make up their own rules as I go along. (read more)
Written on: 22/06/2012
FIRST DIRECT CURRENT ACCOUNT: FD is part of HSBC, but the call centres are based in Yorkshire, not India. As a result, the 'phone service is efficient and punchy. However, and it's a big however, the internet banking service is really poor. Other banks and building societies had better internet banking services at the turn of the millenium let alone now. You have to set up payees using FD's names - you can't enter details yourself. Similarly, you can't rename or amend payees yourself. ... (read more)
Written on: 13/04/2012
I have held a 1st account with First Direct for 6 months and I received a £100 incentive within a month of switching from HSBC. I agree with the review below - at last there is a bank with decent, courteous and helpful customer service. The best feature of First Direct is that you call up and straight away get through to an adviser. For other banks you have to enter anything up to 3 different security numbers (how the elderly use telephone banking is beyond me). Internet banking is... (read more)
Written on: 12/04/2012 by dicey (1 review written)
I switched from Lloyds TSB to First Direct years ago, and have been delighted with their service ever since. They are prompt, helpful and courteous. This should be the norm, but it's like the sighting of a rare animal in the banking sector, so I felt compelled to report it. Definitely worth the switch! The only drawback is that you have to credit so much into your bank account every month to get it for free. If you can afford to do that, it's totally worth it! (read more)
Written on: 12/04/2012 by dennispj (19 reviews written)
Been with these guys for quite a while. They have won loads of awards so you shouldn't have any concerns about banking with them. Telephone is always picked up near instantly and they are very helpful. Shame they don't offer Buy To Let mortgages. Keep it up First Direct! (read more)
Written on: 27/02/2012 by TonySomerset (13 reviews written)
Maybe a fine current account for all you singles. It sexually discriminates against married couples. I understand the law against money laundering requires them to make checks on individuals. Now you may routinely trust organisations competence and be perfectly happy to let key original documents out of your sight. Never having had any experience of First Direct I was not agreeing to the original driving licence being posted to them. Let alone trusting the PO not to lose another letter.... (read more)
Written on: 16/02/2012
I no longer have a bank account. I get paid in cash. It's the only way to not get messed around with banks and their, quite frankly, disgusting customer care. I was sucked in by First Direct's "Holier than thou" attitude towards other banks, and all the hype regarding their customer service after many years of putting up with dreadful service from both Barclays and Abbey National. Sadly, they're just like all the others, indeed (not that I had any) but their unpaid DD/SO charges are the... (read more)
Written on: 11/02/2012 by apkirkby (2 reviews written)
Customer service is second to none. All calls are answered within seconds, no holding in queues and then getting put through to an overseas call centre. If they can't help you immediately they will take contact details and WILL call you back when they say they will. The call centre staff will take personal ownership of requests and follow up with calls, sometimes weeks later if requested, to ensure that everything has been completed to your satisfaction. I've dealt with first direct on... (read more)
Written on: 24/01/2012 by knitandswim (2 reviews written)
I have always had my personal account with First Direct, since I was 18 (which is quite a while now). They always impress me. When you ring up, you are never on hold for ages, you go straight through to a UK call centre, to a human being. They are always helpful and none of these recoreded messages that I tend to not listen to the first time and have to replay. Reently I rang up about using my debit card abroad and they were so helpful and put me through to their travel department. I... (read more)
Written on: 12/01/2012 by Dani28 (1 review written)
I would love to go back to first direct,I got into financial problems & they were fantastic & gave advice & were really helpful! All the other banks like Lloyds tsb were only interested in getting money from me & offered no advice or help. First direct deserves a medal for their customer service! Excellent bank (read more)
Written on: 15/11/2011 by gwengrant (1 review written)
Having just moaned about another bank, I realised that I should praise First Direct. In about 13 years of using them, they have always given excellent service, whether by phone or internet. I've used them for current account, mortgage, loans, and savings and have always found the service to be customer oriented and friendly. Highly recommend them. (read more)
Written on: 06/10/2011 by PimlicoGirl (1 review written)
It appears despite First Direct'ss 'we're so friendly, we're so lovely, aren't we a great bank to be with, not like the other nasty horrible banks out there' holier than thou brand image that they must spend millions of £s on to make sure we all believe the hype - well sadly it appears to be all hype and no substance. What a surprise coming from a bank! Its the time of month to pay my First Direct visa card, my statment tells me I need to pay £1000 in order to clear it and not receive... (read more)
Written on: 06/06/2011
Have banked with FD for over 10 years now (current account + savings account, have never borrowed anything from them). The only bank I know of where you don't have to through an annoying series of menus when all you want to do is talk to someone. I rang this weekend and got through to a real person on the 1st ring. My call was over within a minute. For all other banks you'd still be wading through menus or having to listen to adverts. (read more)
Written on: 24/05/2011 by Smiffffy (9 reviews written)
DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE! First Direct offer a great service if you don't need anything. However, the minute you have one query or miss one payment, even by a day, they change their attitude completely. After 14 years of banking with them, they are now being completely unreasonable. We paid our mortgage money, in cash, in to our account on the day our mortgage goes out and yet they returned the DD as unpaid and charged us £25 for doing so! You call to sort things out and each time you get a... (read more)
Written on: 12/04/2011
I've just slatted my old bank Citibank on this site (my first internet review!) so though it was only fair to sing the praises of my new bank, first direct. I've been using them as my main accont for the last year and they are great. Great customer service, UK call centre with no voice response system, friendly capable staff. Highly recommended. (read more)
Written on: 07/09/2010 by hywel (20 reviews written)
I have been with Lloyds TSB for 15 years and just opened two business accounts with Nat West, and First Direct towers above them both with excellent customer service and ease of use. (Nat West customer service lady:"For security reasons I must ask which year you started your business?" I said "This year." She said "That is not the answer I have." "But it is this year." say I. "I'm sorry." she said. "Are you looking for 2010?" I ask. "Yes." she said...)
I would have given them 5 starts if... (read more)
Written on: 21/06/2010
First Direct are superb. They offer a consistent service which I cannot fault. The contact centre is open 24/7. Some departments such as personal lending etc are only available during the day.
When you call, you are connected to a person in the UK, so no menus or irritating options to choose from. The call opening starts with a standard security process. Once this is completed your requests will be dealt with efficiently.
I have been with First Direct for over 10 years and they have... (read more)
Written on: 17/05/2010 by Zen James (5 reviews written)
First Direct Current Account
I love First Direct. I used to be with HSBC, whose service was dire due to going through far too comprehensive security checks - SEVERAL times, for the simplest of queries only to be put through to someone at a call centre abroad - who I was rarely able to understand, never mind help me with any queries simply. Communication was awful through poor English accents and a lack of understand how our banking system works here in the UK. Furthermore, HSBC's rates and... (read more)
Written on: 23/04/2010 by myederts2 (6 reviews written)
We have banked with First Direct since it was launched in 1989 and we have been delighted with the service. We joined because it was difficult for us to get to one of the branches and as we were HSBC (Midland then) it was made very easy for us to change. Using the telephone was easy and we didn't miss going into the bank at all. When it came online it was even easier. Everyone is efficient and helpful and we have had no problems at all. (read more)
Written on: 31/01/2010
In my many years as a customer I have never had any cause for complaint.Also I find the share dealing service excellent : when I made an error they were quick to phone the broker and correct it over the phone. The phone bank service does phone you back promply if you have a query and the secure message system works well : you do get an answer the next day.
Overall, very pleased with the bank, and surprised to read of some bad experiences here. (read more)
Written on: 22/01/2010 by mgprewett (3 reviews written)
First rate. I moved to First Direct, soon after it started, when Lloyds continually mixed up my and my wife's accounts, and was immediately impressed by the rapid response and competence of its telephone banking. It is an indication of the service that it eschews a voicemaze system, so that calls are answered by a human, rather than a machine, and its call centre is UK based, so that the whole process of communicating with the person on the other end of the phone is vastly easier and more... (read more)
Written on: 16/11/2009
- extremely responsive both by telephone & internet; haven't dropped the ball yet in the 10 years I've been with them.
- UK call centre with operatives who have the authority to make decisions on the spot rather than start the call centre pass the parcel game. Only been transferred twice and both times got an answer from the person I was transferred to.
- pretty intuitive internet banking website (& I'm not the most patient of people)
Bad: account monthly charging policy... (read more)
Written on: 15/07/2009
I had a complaint about overdraft charges. When First Direct customer services couldn't help I emailed the CEO. They sent me a letter the next week cancelling my credit card and closing my account. I used to think they were really good but I've had problems on and off for more than a year. Their customer service staff were really rude. Couldn't recommend them. (read more)
Written on: 06/04/2009 by Saunders174 (6 reviews written)
After 18 years I am closing my account with First Direct. Expect for a few errors over the years, the call centre is fine. The problem initially lay with the Foreign Department. Due to an error, I received two deliveries of Euros instead of the one that I had ordered. The people in the Foreign Department were both curt and poor. Promised phone calls never happened and I was actually accused of not returning one of the sets of Euros when I had already been credited with the money. This was... (read more)
Written on: 01/04/2009 by SusanH67 (23 reviews written)
I have been with First Direct for over 15 years and, unusually for me, I have no complaints. Customer service is excellent, and their charges are reasonable. I use internet banking mostly now, but it's nice to know that I have the back-up of the call center if needed.
In all my 15 years the bank have made one error - they apologised at once and it was sorted out immediately with no fuss. (read more)
Written on: 01/04/2009 by kingofreviews (89 reviews written)
It's hard to feel passionate about a Bank, particularly now, and generally extreme emotion is reserved for the negative side of things, but so far (6 months) I have only got good things to say about First Direct's current account. Switched from Intelligent Finance and believe me the service is significantly better.
And I love their account aggregation service that with a single log on allows me to see balances for all accounts I hold, even if they aren't with HSBC/FD (read more)
Written on: 26/02/2009 by speakout (86 reviews written)
I have been banking with First Direct for over 10 years and was intiially drawn to them because of the 'no branch' philosphy. I was impressed with the service then because In my experience someone was always at the other end of the phone if needed and the call centre staff were polite and knowledgeable. 10 years on, I can honestly say that I am as impressed now as I was then and that is why I'm still with them. I don't use the call centre as I did back then as online banking has come on... (read more)
Written on: 01/06/2008 by gmck (1 review written)
Been with First Direct for a number of years, sadly their attitude has declined, never anyone available for specialist advice (eg mortgages) and promised call backs never materialise. O% interest on current accounts, long delays in answering calls and generally a bad attitude. (read more)
Written on: 23/03/2008 by tricianorton1 (6 reviews written)
We are very impressed with FIrst Direct Bank. They sorted out transfer very efficiently and despite a few hicups (which were sorted quickly) we are very happy. Plus they give you £100 to open your account !!! (read more)
Written on: 20/02/2008 by nt500 (6 reviews written)
Been with First Direct since they first set up and not once have I been let down. They have always delivered a good level of customer service and never have to wait long to speak to someone. They are a pro-active, forward thinking bank and have always been leading the field with new type of accounts and mortgages.
Their text message alerts are very useful and being able to use your local HSBC bank for deposits is very useful. (read more)
Written on: 11/02/2008
Been with First Direct for 13 years now and basically all I can say is simple to use and no problems. Thoroughly recommended. (read more)
Written on: 24/12/2007 by Deneshae (4 reviews written)
I would recommend first direct in a heartbeat!!! I have been with them 2 years and during this time I have successfully claimed back my bank charges, had them pay for a taxi home for me when their systems were down on a weekend and I couldn't get home as well as wire money to another one of my accounts and they covered the cost.
They are always ready to go the extra mile - even if it means they have to foot a minimal bill (a £12 Western Union charge or £40 black cab bill!) and will explain... (read more)
Written on: 17/11/2006 by XX (39 reviews written)
I closed my account 2 days ago. I did not want to be associated with a bank that trail-blazed charging. I remember they were the first bank started to give cash rewards if you switched to bank with them, now First Direct are also the first one to charge customers. Shame! I did not dislike banking with them. (read more)
Written on: 05/09/2006 by Rachybaby1234 (3 reviews written)
I switched to First Direct after being fed up of not having a branch of NatWest in the country (I live in Northern Ireland) and having to wait five working days for money to be credited through a branch of the Ulsterbank. I saw First Direct's website and thought it sounded an excellent idea. I wasn't wrong - a simple online form and it came back to me the next day through the post, printed with the correct details. I just had to sign and that was it. Days later I received a welcome pack... (read more)
Written on: 07/08/2006 by ajk52 (1 review written)
You can call First Direct 24 hours a day and you get put straight through to an English speaking person. No ridiculous menus, and no Indian call centres.
My debit card was cloned and my identity was used to set up some direct debits with various people, and First Direct were very very helpful. Their fraud department is top notch, and they got my new card out to me in days.
They don't have any branches so you can't see anyone in person, but you can do a lot of things at HSBC branches anyway... (read more)
Written on: 03/08/2006 by tastyle19 (1 review written)
I switched to a First Direct Current Account two years ago, just after I started a new job.
I am very disappointed with the whole experience, and I feel First Direct are confusing and difficult to work with, and frankly rubbish.
Just a few of the problems I encountered:
1) First Direct debit cards have the longest number EVER. 18 numbers vs. 12 on most cards.
2) Your account number is inconveniently hidden in the card number (not to be confused with a second card number, also written... (read more)
Written on: 31/07/2006 by johnrholmes (2 reviews written)
Bad points of bank charges outweigh any good points I can think of. (read more)
Written on: 15/06/2006 by sallyjb (3 reviews written)
First Direct are amazing! You get straight through to the service desk and they can always help you from transferring money abroad to more mundane every day banking matters to the unusual request! I had my purse stolen, and they not only cancelled my bank cards, but they rang my other card companies (unrelated to First Direct) to let them know too!
They are amazing as a bank.
A great way to bank. Easy painless and a UK based called centre to cap it all off. (read more)
Written on: 21/05/2006 by wayo231 (1 review written)
The First Direct Current Account is easy to use when using the internet banking. They ask for an internet password (not case sensitive and different to the telephone password). No need to remember your father's dog's name and if it was capitalised or not.
When you ring them it goes directly to a human being in a UK call centre! They are also very friendly.
Excellent all round service. (read more)
Written on: 05/12/2005 by foxview (71 reviews written)
I have been with First Direct for 6 months and found them excellent. The internet banking is very good and easy to understand, and when you telephone them you always get through to a real person. (read more)
Written on: 21/09/2004 by naw (1 review written)
I've had my First Direct Current Account for over 10 years. I have a couple of bank accounts with other banks and my partner and I have merged all our accounts together. Frankly I'm astonished at how awful the other banks call centers are compared to FD. The Halifax (now HBoS) is an incredible example of incompetance.
FD can make immediate decisions, they show flexibility and 9/10 times you're speaking to a real person within 3 rings. None of this awful "Call (avoidance) Center" Press 1... (read more)
Written on: 28/01/2004 by lesleymark (1 review written)
I moved to First Direct a few months ago when my previous bank decided to withdraw free overdrafts. So far, I've been very impressed. They handled the transfer of direct debits, standing orders, etc very smoothly. Call Centre staff have been very helpful. So far, I'm delighted! (read more)
As rated by real users
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