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  • FIRST POST
    • Jlawson118
    • By Jlawson118 12th Oct 16, 5:24 PM
    • 382Posts
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    Jlawson118
    Is First Direct a hard bank to get in to?
    • #1
    • 12th Oct 16, 5:24 PM
    Is First Direct a hard bank to get in to? 12th Oct 16 at 5:24 PM
    I opened my first bank account with HSBC when I'd just turned 17 back in 2013, but after just over a year (2014), I was unhappy with them, and my grandad is with First Direct and he recommended them to me. So I applied and was accepted.

    But I never see anybody with First Direct accounts. And I remember having my internet banking closed off due to a fraud attack in 2015 and the guy from there helping me set it back up was telling me it was unusual for somebody my age (about 18 at the time, turning 19 a few months later) to actually have an account with them as it was mostly people much older and with more of a credit history and things who hold accounts with them.

    But seriously, the whole bank treat their customers like royalty most of the time, it's so quick and easy to get through to somebody. Last week I phoned them up to change my telephone number, telephone password and my memorable date and I was finished within 3/4 minutes. If ever I call other banks, I have to be on hold for 20 - 40 minutes at a time.

    Sometimes I feel like First Direct are too good for me but I rate them the best bank I've been with. I've tried other accounts from Halifax, Lloyds, HSBC again and none of them even compare anything close to FD. And even recently, I just phoned up tonight and applied for their Gold Credit Card and I was accepted. I needed to borrow some money about two months ago so they gave me a £1000 overdraft with no questions asked pretty much. Halifax wouldn't even give me a £300 one. And yet I'm glad they didn't, because borrowing £1000 for a week whilst waiting for a cheque to clear with First Direct, charged me 28p in interest. I found out today Halifax charge £5 a day.
    FD's savings accounts offer high interest, and low interest on loans. It really does feel like an elite club.

    Is it a hard bank to get in or something? Or do people just not really know about it or trust it?
    Last edited by Jlawson118; 12-10-2016 at 5:26 PM.
Page 1
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 12th Oct 16, 5:30 PM
    • 15,661 Posts
    • 11,359 Thanks
    agrinnall
    • #2
    • 12th Oct 16, 5:30 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Oct 16, 5:30 PM
    There are plenty of people on here with FD accounts (including me) but I'm not sure how many of them use it for their main account. I am with them only for their 6% Regular Saver (and a 1st account to feed it, plus a Savings account with very little in it so I don't have to pay the 1st account fee) and a lot of people will be the same. They are more difficult to become a customer of than some other banks, and while their telephone banking is regarded as about the best there is their online banking is pretty mediocre, and of course they have no branches which will put some people off.
    • zx81
    • By zx81 12th Oct 16, 5:33 PM
    • 9,374 Posts
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    zx81
    • #3
    • 12th Oct 16, 5:33 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Oct 16, 5:33 PM
    They're quite picky. There's also been something of a backlash against them in recent years, as their customer service, to be fair, isn't what it used to be.

    But I still rate them as a decent bank.
    • Jlawson118
    • By Jlawson118 12th Oct 16, 5:40 PM
    • 382 Posts
    • 23 Thanks
    Jlawson118
    • #4
    • 12th Oct 16, 5:40 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Oct 16, 5:40 PM
    There are plenty of people on here with FD accounts (including me) but I'm not sure how many of them use it for their main account. I am with them only for their 6% Regular Saver (and a 1st account to feed it, plus a Savings account with very little in it so I don't have to pay the 1st account fee) and a lot of people will be the same. They are more difficult to become a customer of than some other banks, and while their telephone banking is regarded as about the best there is their online banking is pretty mediocre, and of course they have no branches which will put some people off.
    Originally posted by agrinnall
    I definitely consider it my main bank. I originally opened a savings account too to avoid the fee, but then over the years I opened a Cash ISA with them too and earning 1.30% on that was really good (it's dropped to 0.95% now in the wake of Brexit but I still think it's really good. Well I thought so but I checked their website and it still says 1.30%)

    Their telephone banking is great most of the time, though I feel it depends where you're put through to really, I'm from Leeds and being put through to their Leeds call centre is always nice and the staff talk to you like friends. But I just got put through to Scotland this evening and it didn't have the same touch, seemed like they couldn't wait to get me off the phone really. And their mobile banking is pretty much the same style of HSBC's which isn't the best..but it still works most of the time and that's all I could ever want really
    • Jlawson118
    • By Jlawson118 12th Oct 16, 5:42 PM
    • 382 Posts
    • 23 Thanks
    Jlawson118
    • #5
    • 12th Oct 16, 5:42 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Oct 16, 5:42 PM
    They're quite picky. There's also been something of a backlash against them in recent years, as their customer service, to be fair, isn't what it used to be.

    But I still rate them as a decent bank.
    Originally posted by zx81
    I just replied to the other post as well about their customer service to me depends in which call centre you get put through to. Their Leeds one are always friendly and the Scottish team today seemed like they couldn't wait to get me off the phone, but the man on the other side accepted me for their Gold Credit Card so I guess it's not all bad news.

    I did have some friction with the fraud attack in 2015, where they refused to pay me my money back as it didn't look fraudulent to them. But after a complaint, everything was sorted out then
    • Heng Leng
    • By Heng Leng 12th Oct 16, 5:53 PM
    • 3,501 Posts
    • 1,047 Thanks
    Heng Leng
    • #6
    • 12th Oct 16, 5:53 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Oct 16, 5:53 PM
    They don't offer child, teenager or student accounts - this alone would discount them as people's first current account and would skew their demographic.

    They are also not a stand alone bank but a brand name of HSBC/Midland bank.
    You (strictly speaking) didn't move banks but changed brands.
    • Dird
    • By Dird 12th Oct 16, 8:04 PM
    • 2,384 Posts
    • 1,400 Thanks
    Dird
    • #7
    • 12th Oct 16, 8:04 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Oct 16, 8:04 PM
    I got refused the first time, accepted the 2nd time.

    How the hell do you deposit cash to First Direct? This is a reason you don't see so many of your peers banking with them, they like to just walk into a local branch and deposit cash

    You're a ridiculously positive person. You'd think their CS had cured cancer
    Mortgage (Nov 15): £79,950 | Cashback sites: £785 | Current accounts: 15
    Mortgage (Nov 16): £76,486 | £30k in 2016 #96: £27,530 (91.7%)
    • Deep In Debt
    • By Deep In Debt 12th Oct 16, 8:14 PM
    • 7,697 Posts
    • 11,226 Thanks
    Deep In Debt
    • #8
    • 12th Oct 16, 8:14 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Oct 16, 8:14 PM
    I got refused the first time, accepted the 2nd time.

    How the hell do you deposit cash to First Direct? This is a reason you don't see so many of your peers banking with them, they like to just walk into a local branch and deposit cash

    You're a ridiculously positive person. You'd think their CS had cured cancer
    Originally posted by Dird
    My understanding is that you can use HSBC to deposit cash in to your FD account.
    • Doctor Duke
    • By Doctor Duke 12th Oct 16, 8:18 PM
    • 256 Posts
    • 106 Thanks
    Doctor Duke
    • #9
    • 12th Oct 16, 8:18 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Oct 16, 8:18 PM
    Easy you deposit cash in an HSBC branch (as it's a subsidiary) or a Post Office no problems!
    • zagubov
    • By zagubov 12th Oct 16, 8:19 PM
    • 13,410 Posts
    • 118,275 Thanks
    zagubov
    I got refused the first time, accepted the 2nd time.

    How the hell do you deposit cash to First Direct? This is a reason you don't see so many of your peers banking with them, they like to just walk into a local branch and deposit cash
    Originally posted by Dird
    At HSBC branches and Post Offices.

    They seem to be a low-key bank as far as advertising goes.
    There is no honour to be had in not knowing a thing that can be known - Danny Baker
    • zx81
    • By zx81 12th Oct 16, 8:29 PM
    • 9,374 Posts
    • 9,210 Thanks
    zx81

    How the hell do you deposit cash to First Direct?
    Originally posted by Dird
    If it's notes, the easiest way is to fax it to them. The coins sometime cause a paper jam though.
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 12th Oct 16, 8:37 PM
    • 2,566 Posts
    • 4,374 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    I have an account with FD and a regular saver with them. My first account is active as all my personal spends go through there and you are right it is refreshing to ring up and talk to a real person. I had an issue yesterday setting up a new payment due to the internet security system FD uses so had to ring up for advice. 5 minutes speaking to the customer service and the digital team and problem solved. No queue to speak to them either.
    Debt and mortgage free and saving for early retirement
    • Dird
    • By Dird 12th Oct 16, 8:44 PM
    • 2,384 Posts
    • 1,400 Thanks
    Dird
    So presumably:
    Bank with HSBC -> instant deposits
    Bank with FD -> cash appears in your account within 24 hours maybe (or 3pm same day like TSB envelope deposits)
    Mortgage (Nov 15): £79,950 | Cashback sites: £785 | Current accounts: 15
    Mortgage (Nov 16): £76,486 | £30k in 2016 #96: £27,530 (91.7%)
    • Turtle
    • By Turtle 12th Oct 16, 8:46 PM
    • 925 Posts
    • 2,498 Thanks
    Turtle
    I definitely consider it my main bank. I originally opened a savings account too to avoid the fee, but then over the years I opened a Cash ISA with them too and earning 1.30% on that was really good (it's dropped to 0.95% now in the wake of Brexit but I still think it's really good. Well I thought so but I checked their website and it still says 1.30%)

    Their telephone banking is great most of the time, though I feel it depends where you're put through to really, I'm from Leeds and being put through to their Leeds call centre is always nice and the staff talk to you like friends. But I just got put through to Scotland this evening and it didn't have the same touch, seemed like they couldn't wait to get me off the phone really. And their mobile banking is pretty much the same style of HSBC's which isn't the best..but it still works most of the time and that's all I could ever want really
    Originally posted by Jlawson118
    The rate doesn't go down until 18 October, so you've a few more days at 1.30%

    • Jlawson118
    • By Jlawson118 12th Oct 16, 8:53 PM
    • 382 Posts
    • 23 Thanks
    Jlawson118
    I got refused the first time, accepted the 2nd time.

    How the hell do you deposit cash to First Direct? This is a reason you don't see so many of your peers banking with them, they like to just walk into a local branch and deposit cash

    You're a ridiculously positive person. You'd think their CS had cured cancer
    Originally posted by Dird
    You can deposit within HSBC branches anyway. And well my views on their customer services comes after hours of being on hold to HSBC just to get put through to somebody in India, or passed from pillar to post with Halifax today to close my account down, or even tell Lloyds my card was lost, and they don't send me a new one because I didn't ask them to when I reported it as lost.

    Hell, First Direct is a god send compared to all these other banks
    • Jlawson118
    • By Jlawson118 12th Oct 16, 8:55 PM
    • 382 Posts
    • 23 Thanks
    Jlawson118
    The rate doesn't go down until 18 October, so you've a few more days at 1.30%
    Originally posted by Turtle
    Oh I didn't know that. I know I got the email about it but I didn't read the date. Still the best interest rate I've seen around
    • Jlawson118
    • By Jlawson118 12th Oct 16, 8:57 PM
    • 382 Posts
    • 23 Thanks
    Jlawson118
    So presumably:
    Bank with HSBC -> instant deposits
    Bank with FD -> cash appears in your account within 24 hours maybe (or 3pm same day like TSB envelope deposits)
    Originally posted by Dird
    No not really, I've deposited money hundreds of times and it's there instantly
    • Jlawson118
    • By Jlawson118 12th Oct 16, 9:03 PM
    • 382 Posts
    • 23 Thanks
    Jlawson118
    I have an account with FD and a regular saver with them. My first account is active as all my personal spends go through there and you are right it is refreshing to ring up and talk to a real person. I had an issue yesterday setting up a new payment due to the internet security system FD uses so had to ring up for advice. 5 minutes speaking to the customer service and the digital team and problem solved. No queue to speak to them either.
    Originally posted by enthusiasticsaver
    I've had a few occasions where I've had to wait a little while and had the man at the beginning telling me that all agents are busy, but that doesn't bother me. I had an Aqua credit card and I phoned up to cancel the other day and the option numbers they told me to press weren't even relevant for what I wanted, so I just pressed 0 about 10 times and I was put on hold for an agent then

    I phoned FD up last week to initially change my mobile phone number, I was put through to somebody straight away, and then I asked him if I could change my security information, and he did it straight away, I thought he'd pass me on to somebody else but he didn't.

    I phoned Halifax up today to close my Ultimate Reward account down, I had to press this number, that number, tell the automated machine to "Close my account" and after 20 minutes holding, I got through to somebody, when I said I wanted to close my account, I got somebody else, and then even they said I need to downgrade my account, and then put me through to somebody else..
    And I went to cancel my Lloyds Credit Card today too, and I put the card number in, and then they still had to transfer me to credit card services, and then they passed me again..it's a joke the way some of these other banks work.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 14th Oct 16, 12:37 PM
    • 37,068 Posts
    • 41,000 Thanks
    G_M
    I switched to them 9 months ago.

    The account opening process, phone respnse times, and customer service was so bad I closed the account 6 weeks laer.

    It was so bad I didn't even want to wait the 6 months to get the £100 for not being satisfied.

    Can't imagine how they get the reputation they seem to have.
    • Djene
    • By Djene 14th Oct 16, 3:35 PM
    • 70 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    Djene
    I've tried about 3-4 times over the past 4 years or so to open a First Direct account. But they keep rejecting me. I've had accounts with all the high street banks, including HSBC, but for some reason FD won't entertain me. That's with a good history of credit, no missed payments etc. Guess they don't like me haha.
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