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  • FIRST POST
    • Jlawson118
    • By Jlawson118 12th Oct 16, 5:24 PM
    • 376Posts
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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 2
    • EarthBoy
    • By EarthBoy 14th Oct 16, 11:28 PM
    • 1,559 Posts
    • 900 Thanks
    EarthBoy
    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
    If you bank with FD you're banking with HSBC, because it's a trading brand of the same bank. Time-scales for paying in are the same for FD as for HSBC, i.e. instant deposits. I can guarantee this because I've done it, like others have already said above.
    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 14th Oct 16, 11:30 PM
    • 23,274 Posts
    • 9,174 Thanks
    forgotmyname
    Switched from Santander to a joint FD current account with no issues, but to open the joint savings account was a nightmare..

    They kept asking questions on exactly how much will you deposit in the next 3? months. I dont know what i will be doing next week never mind have a figure in my head on what im going to deposit.

    I had to choose some numbers, and will transfer that in in the month i said i would and cross my fingers.

    But its not as easy as that it seems, although its a joint account they wanted to know exactly how much i would be putting in and how much my partner would be putting in.

    Post 19, was in the back of my mind as they went through the questions and would only speak to one of us at a time, its a joint account why cant we both make the call? Problem is you cannot do a joint account online.

    Funny thing is i switched a joint current account to FD on my own and not once did they ask if i needed permission from the joint account holder and when i setup the passwords etc at no point did they ask for my partner to set one up.

    I still need to open a regular saver.. hopefully i can do one online.
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

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    • Doctor Duke
    • By Doctor Duke 15th Oct 16, 7:43 AM
    • 256 Posts
    • 106 Thanks
    Doctor Duke
    I still need to open a regular saver.. hopefully i can do one online.
    I am on my second regular saver and opened both online with no hassle! Mind you they seem to think I have banked with them for years. I have had my 1st Account for just over 2 years but they remember my previous account that I switched away. They have a long memory.......
    • olivetti
    • By olivetti 15th Oct 16, 5:09 PM
    • 211 Posts
    • 141 Thanks
    olivetti
    Vastly overrated bank with poor online offering and mostly nondescript products.

    Middle ground bank living off former glories that others have long since eclipsed.
    • benjus
    • By benjus 15th Oct 16, 5:47 PM
    • 4,724 Posts
    • 2,815 Thanks
    benjus
    I used them for my main account for a few years - it's now relegated to a semi-dormant account that just pays one direct debit per month.

    I don't remember the account opening process being particularly onerous, but it was 5 or so years ago so maybe things have changed. Although it certainly wasn't as easy as Barclays, where I did the whole thing online in a few minutes and had my new account number and sort code by the end of the process.

    Like others have said, I've found FD to be good on the phone, but there's not really anything else good about them. I rarely call my banks - it's really only if there's a suspect transaction or something of that ilk - but I do use online and mobile banking all the time, so I want that to be easy, fast and reliable. Which I can't say is the case for FD's online and mobile offering.
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    • starM
    • By starM 15th Oct 16, 6:13 PM
    • 1,213 Posts
    • 165 Thanks
    starM
    I opened my FD account 1999. I had no issues with them. Over the phone they are great. Allot of people here complain about there online banking but I had no issues with it and does everything which all other major bank does.

    Although I think First Direct need to change design of there internet banking and cards. I remember my brother used his credit card rather his debit card in cash machine at the airport when he was travelling. The card in design are so similar.
    • FOREVER21
    • By FOREVER21 15th Oct 16, 6:28 PM
    • 1,409 Posts
    • 918 Thanks
    FOREVER21
    I found my local bank hard to get in to, thankfully they now have an automatic door.
    • katejo
    • By katejo 16th Oct 16, 11:22 AM
    • 2,810 Posts
    • 1,066 Thanks
    katejo
    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.
    Originally posted by G_M
    I can't comment on today's current account opening times as I have had an account with them for over 20 years but I have never had any problems with the phone response time or customer service. You get to speak to a real person pretty quickly who isn't reading from a set script. Also no choosing from several menus of options only to be put on hold or cut off or told that the relevant service isn't available on that day.
    • Jlawson118
    • By Jlawson118 16th Oct 16, 3:30 PM
    • 376 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    Jlawson118
    I opened my FD account 1999. I had no issues with them. Over the phone they are great. Allot of people here complain about there online banking but I had no issues with it and does everything which all other major bank does.

    Although I think First Direct need to change design of there internet banking and cards. I remember my brother used his credit card rather his debit card in cash machine at the airport when he was travelling. The card in design are so similar.
    Originally posted by starM
    Their internet banking website and app copies the HSBC style, however, First Direct lag slightly behind HSBC. I know they're the same company and the app does what it's there for but I'm not a huge fan, and sometimes has technical problems but I don't mind it
    • Jlawson118
    • By Jlawson118 16th Oct 16, 3:32 PM
    • 376 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    Jlawson118
    I can't comment on today's current account opening times as I have had an account with them for over 20 years but I have never had any problems with the phone response time or customer service. You get to speak to a real person pretty quickly who isn't reading from a set script. Also no choosing from several menus of options only to be put on hold or cut off or told that the relevant service isn't available on that day.
    Originally posted by katejo
    I second that about the script. I mean some do skip to the script but I've spoken and had full on conversations with them before. I think I remember my grandad phoning them up to enquire about something once and he was asking them if they were in the Leeds call centre and they talked about it. We also live in Leeds to it's nice to stay local
    • Jlawson118
    • By Jlawson118 16th Oct 16, 3:34 PM
    • 376 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    Jlawson118
    I used them for my main account for a few years - it's now relegated to a semi-dormant account that just pays one direct debit per month.

    I don't remember the account opening process being particularly onerous, but it was 5 or so years ago so maybe things have changed. Although it certainly wasn't as easy as Barclays, where I did the whole thing online in a few minutes and had my new account number and sort code by the end of the process.

    Like others have said, I've found FD to be good on the phone, but there's not really anything else good about them. I rarely call my banks - it's really only if there's a suspect transaction or something of that ilk - but I do use online and mobile banking all the time, so I want that to be easy, fast and reliable. Which I can't say is the case for FD's online and mobile offering.
    Originally posted by benjus
    I just opened an account with Barclays too and I have to admit that the process was so easy, and when I joined First Direct in 2014, it was pretty difficult, I was constantly on the phone switching and things, but after all that, it was worth it.
    I rarely call banks either, but sometimes I've had issues where I can only talk to a person at the other end about it
    • iAMaLONDONER
    • By iAMaLONDONER 17th Oct 16, 4:17 AM
    • 1,570 Posts
    • 378 Thanks
    iAMaLONDONER
    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
    How good was it before? It is pretty stellar now IME?
    If you ever need any London travel advice just ask me!
    • Heng Leng
    • By Heng Leng 17th Oct 16, 2:09 PM
    • 3,494 Posts
    • 1,045 Thanks
    Heng Leng
    Stellar - are other banks nasty to you in London town?

    How good was it before? It is pretty stellar now IME?
    Originally posted by iAMaLONDONER
    • iAMaLONDONER
    • By iAMaLONDONER 18th Oct 16, 2:30 PM
    • 1,570 Posts
    • 378 Thanks
    iAMaLONDONER
    Stellar - are other banks nasty to you in London town?
    Originally posted by Heng Leng
    I haven't had much problems with banks myself lol
    If you ever need any London travel advice just ask me!
    • metrobus
    • By metrobus 18th Oct 16, 4:35 PM
    • 1,270 Posts
    • 607 Thanks
    metrobus
    I take it you switch after you open the account?

    I applied to open an account this afternoon and was accepted and told documents will be sent out to be signed,once that was done the
    actual account opening date will be 3 weeks (November 15th).

    I then tried to process the switching service but it did not let me,when I phoned they said its best to get the account opened before switching the Halifax one over,is this what others experienced.

    I originally thought the switch would take place at the same time as the opening of the account.

    Thank you.
    • eskbanker
    • By eskbanker 18th Oct 16, 5:11 PM
    • 3,613 Posts
    • 3,230 Thanks
    eskbanker
    I originally thought the switch would take place at the same time as the opening of the account.
    Originally posted by metrobus
    No, it's sequential, get the account opened first and then switch, although three weeks to open (or four weeks to 15 November) sounds excessive....
    • MallyGirl
    • By MallyGirl 18th Oct 16, 5:15 PM
    • 1,551 Posts
    • 3,749 Thanks
    MallyGirl
    I am on my second regular saver and opened both online with no hassle! Mind you they seem to think I have banked with them for years. I have had my 1st Account for just over 2 years but they remember my previous account that I switched away. They have a long memory.......
    Originally posted by Doctor Duke
    I had the same issue. I once had a FD account back in the early 90s. When I opened an account with them recently (for the regular saver) they wanted to know security answers from the previous account which I had absolutely no idea on. It took a while but we got there in the end - then a month later they came back asking for docs to be presented for ID. These were to fill in gaps in their details as checks weren't so comprehensive 20 odd years ago!
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    • Mr K
    • By Mr K 18th Oct 16, 5:56 PM
    • 1,060 Posts
    • 634 Thanks
    Mr K
    Its an incredibly difficult bank to get into as they don't have any branches . HSBC I can walk into easy, electronic doors too

    B****ger somebodies already done that one.....
    • TheShape
    • By TheShape 18th Oct 16, 7:19 PM
    • 419 Posts
    • 203 Thanks
    TheShape
    I take it you switch after you open the account?

    I applied to open an account this afternoon and was accepted and told documents will be sent out to be signed,once that was done the
    actual account opening date will be 3 weeks (November 15th).

    I then tried to process the switching service but it did not let me,when I phoned they said its best to get the account opened before switching the Halifax one over,is this what others experienced.

    I originally thought the switch would take place at the same time as the opening of the account.

    Thank you.
    Originally posted by metrobus
    I entered the details of the account I wanted to switch during the FD application process. When I phoned to do something on my account (may have been to activate the Debit Card) they asked if I wanted to be put through to the switching team, I declined as I didn't have time. Later that week I got notification that the switch was being processed anyway.

    When you first ring them after getting your welcome pack/Debit Card you will either be prompted or you can ask to be put through to the switching team.
    • Heng Leng
    • By Heng Leng 19th Oct 16, 4:58 PM
    • 3,494 Posts
    • 1,045 Thanks
    Heng Leng
    I most certainly was put through to India by First Direct.

    Their initial customer services is based in Leeds or Hamilton but then your call goes into the wider HSBC network if those people can't solve it.

    HSBC branches look nice but they make you order and use a cheque book for withdrawing cash. Their automated deposit machines have issues with Scottish bank notes (even in Scotland). Strange since HK has the same currency setup as Scotland.

    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
    Originally posted by Jlawson118
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