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    • ah23
    • By ah23 6th Dec 17, 1:58 PM
    • 44Posts
    • 3Thanks
    ah23
    What are your 'honest' thoughts on First Direct?
    • #1
    • 6th Dec 17, 1:58 PM
    What are your 'honest' thoughts on First Direct? 6th Dec 17 at 1:58 PM
    Hi all

    Those who are banking with (or have banked with) First Direct, what sets them apart from the other high street banks? Is it worth switching to them (from Halifax)? I am looking to make First Direct my new 'long term' account.

    Thanks
Page 1
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 6th Dec 17, 2:04 PM
    • 7,282 Posts
    • 9,007 Thanks
    PeacefulWaters
    • #2
    • 6th Dec 17, 2:04 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Dec 17, 2:04 PM
    Two main benefits.

    1. They're lovely on the phone. If you like chatting to bank staff.
    2. They have a 5% regular saver.
    • YorkshireBoy
    • By YorkshireBoy 6th Dec 17, 2:07 PM
    • 29,609 Posts
    • 17,458 Thanks
    YorkshireBoy
    • #3
    • 6th Dec 17, 2:07 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Dec 17, 2:07 PM
    I am looking to make First Direct my new 'long term' account.
    Originally posted by ah23
    Why? Or more specifically what will they give you that Halifax don't/won't? Don't say the 5% regular saver because you could have that without switching to them.
    • ah23
    • By ah23 6th Dec 17, 2:10 PM
    • 44 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    ah23
    • #4
    • 6th Dec 17, 2:10 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Dec 17, 2:10 PM
    Two main benefits.

    1. They're lovely on the phone. If you like chatting to bank staff.
    2. They have a 5% regular saver.
    Originally posted by PeacefulWaters
    Thanks PeacefulWaters.

    Yes, customer service is key going forward. Although given that I rarely if ever go into branch (everything is done online for me).

    Re the 5% saver, is this on any amount, and is the interest given monthly or annually?
    • ah23
    • By ah23 6th Dec 17, 2:12 PM
    • 44 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    ah23
    • #5
    • 6th Dec 17, 2:12 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Dec 17, 2:12 PM
    Why? Or more specifically what will they give you that Halifax don't/won't? Don't say the 5% regular saver because you could have that without switching to them.
    Originally posted by YorkshireBoy
    Hi YorkshireBoy,

    Yeah, the 5% saver was one of the reasons - I haven't found a saver account with as good an interest rate as this thus far. The £125 switch is also another incentive.
    • BoGoF
    • By BoGoF 6th Dec 17, 2:14 PM
    • 2,689 Posts
    • 1,934 Thanks
    BoGoF
    • #6
    • 6th Dec 17, 2:14 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Dec 17, 2:14 PM
    Customer service isn't much of an issue for me. Thankfully haven't had any need to speak to mine for ages and only ever in a branch if I geta cheque. I did switch one of my accounts to FD purely for the £125 and found the accounting procedure a bit dated, but went smoothly enough.
    • ah23
    • By ah23 6th Dec 17, 2:17 PM
    • 44 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    ah23
    • #7
    • 6th Dec 17, 2:17 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Dec 17, 2:17 PM
    Customer service isn't much of an issue for me. Thankfully haven't had any need to speak to mine for ages and only ever in a branch if I geta cheque. I did switch one of my accounts to FD purely for the £125 and found the accounting procedure a bit dated, but went smoothly enough.
    Originally posted by BoGoF
    Thanks.

    How are you finding the Mobile App and Website for transfers, checking balances etc? Is it user friendly?
    • Gary_Dexter
    • By Gary_Dexter 6th Dec 17, 2:17 PM
    • 134 Posts
    • 86 Thanks
    Gary_Dexter
    • #8
    • 6th Dec 17, 2:17 PM
    • #8
    • 6th Dec 17, 2:17 PM
    Thanks PeacefulWaters.

    Yes, customer service is key going forward. Although given that I rarely if ever go into branch (everything is done online for me).

    Re the 5% saver, is this on any amount, and is the interest given monthly or annually?
    Originally posted by ah23
    You do everything online?

    Then don't use First Direct - their Online Banking page and App are terrible, especially compared to others in this day and age
    • BoGoF
    • By BoGoF 6th Dec 17, 2:20 PM
    • 2,689 Posts
    • 1,934 Thanks
    BoGoF
    • #9
    • 6th Dec 17, 2:20 PM
    • #9
    • 6th Dec 17, 2:20 PM
    If you want the switching bonus/regular saver then I would suggest setting up a donor account to transfer.

    I also have the 5% regular saver. Max is £300 per month for 12 months. After this I will be closing or switching elsewhere
    • YorkshireBoy
    • By YorkshireBoy 6th Dec 17, 2:25 PM
    • 29,609 Posts
    • 17,458 Thanks
    YorkshireBoy
    Yeah, the 5% saver was one of the reasons - I haven't found a saver account with as good an interest rate as this thus far.
    Originally posted by ah23
    Nationwide have one, as do M&S, HSBC, and Santander.

    Nationwide will also pay you 5% on £2.5K in one of their current accounts, albeit for only the first 12 months. EDIT: And Nationwide's 5% regular saver is far more flexible than FD's, should you need access to the cash in an emergency.

    And if you do want to switch, Nationwide will also pay you (and a friend who recommends you) £100.

    But as another poster above alludes, if online banking is a key factor then you'll be disappointed you left Halifax for FD (in my opinion).
    Last edited by YorkshireBoy; 06-12-2017 at 2:31 PM.
    • BoGoF
    • By BoGoF 6th Dec 17, 2:26 PM
    • 2,689 Posts
    • 1,934 Thanks
    BoGoF
    and found the accounting procedure a bit dated, but went smoothly enough.
    Originally posted by BoGoF

    That was supposed to say account opening procedure.
    • RG2015
    • By RG2015 6th Dec 17, 2:39 PM
    • 578 Posts
    • 301 Thanks
    RG2015
    If you want the switching bonus/regular saver then I would suggest setting up a donor account to transfer.

    I also have the 5% regular saver. Max is £300 per month for 12 months. After this I will be closing or switching elsewhere
    Originally posted by BoGoF
    You can open a new regular saver @ 5% once the first one has matured.
    • 18cc
    • By 18cc 6th Dec 17, 2:42 PM
    • 68 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    18cc
    My honest opinion is to use FD if you like using telephone banking.

    If you like online banking then look elsewhere - even try Starling you will love it.
    • RG2015
    • By RG2015 6th Dec 17, 2:51 PM
    • 578 Posts
    • 301 Thanks
    RG2015
    Hi all

    Those who are banking with (or have banked with) First Direct, what sets them apart from the other high street banks? Is it worth switching to them (from Halifax)? I am looking to make First Direct my new 'long term' account.

    Thanks
    Originally posted by ah23
    They started off as a telephone bank and they still stand out in this one aspect. I wouldn’t call them a high street bank though as they aren’t.

    Their online banking feels strange and takes a bit of getting used to, but does most things ok. I only opened the FD account to qualify for the regular saver.
    • caveman38
    • By caveman38 6th Dec 17, 3:30 PM
    • 888 Posts
    • 287 Thanks
    caveman38
    Hi all

    Those who are banking with (or have banked with) First Direct, what sets them apart from the other high street banks? Is it worth switching to them (from Halifax)? I am looking to make First Direct my new 'long term' account.

    Thanks
    Originally posted by ah23

    If as you say they would be your main, long term account. That would suggest all your main monies, namely salary will pass through them. Also any other accounts that require nominated accounts will pass their monies to FD.
    In that case I would say an unqualified yes to FD. I have a Midland bank a/c (now HSBC) for 50 years and 20 years ago opened FD as well.
    FD for service are head and shoulders above HSBC.
    The strong point for me is that you are answered immediately, don't have to navigate through menus or furnish any info until you are actually speaking to a CS rep. This I find important if you have a problem and want a quick response.
    • bobobski
    • By bobobski 6th Dec 17, 3:40 PM
    • 668 Posts
    • 1,525 Thanks
    bobobski
    I honestly do not understand the negativity towards First Direct's online services. It does everything which all my other banking apps do and just as easily - both mobile and desktop.


    However, I am wondering whether OP is an employee doing some market research?
    #18: Save 12k in 2017: £11,385.86 / £12,000 (94.8%) | #86: Save £12k in 2016: £8,476.09 / £10,000 (84.76%)
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    • ah23
    • By ah23 6th Dec 17, 3:49 PM
    • 44 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    ah23
    If you want the switching bonus/regular saver then I would suggest setting up a donor account to transfer.

    I also have the 5% regular saver. Max is £300 per month for 12 months. After this I will be closing or switching elsewhere
    Originally posted by BoGoF
    Thanks! Sounds like a good idea. One question... how do you set up a donor account? Is it really as easy as e.g. opening up a basic account with X bank, then switching to FD almost immediately?

    I honestly do not understand the negativity towards First Direct's online services. It does everything which all my other banking apps do and just as easily - both mobile and desktop.


    However, I am wondering whether OP is an employee doing some market research?
    Originally posted by bobobski
    Lol, I'm just looking to consolidate my accounts.

    Thanks everyone for your responses!
    • heatherw_01
    • By heatherw_01 6th Dec 17, 3:53 PM
    • 4,945 Posts
    • 3,579 Thanks
    heatherw_01
    Their customer service is brilliant but their online banking is horrible
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    • martinthebandit
    • By martinthebandit 6th Dec 17, 3:57 PM
    • 3,317 Posts
    • 5,616 Thanks
    martinthebandit
    Got to agree with the comments re how terrible (OK awkward) their online banking is, which was the main reason I switched from them to Halifax.


    But each to their own.
    Politics -
    from the words Poli, meaning many
    and tics meaning blood sucking parasites


    (thanks to Kinky Friedman (or Larry Hardman) for the quote}
    • ah23
    • By ah23 6th Dec 17, 4:00 PM
    • 44 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    ah23
    Got to agree with the comments re how terrible (OK awkward) their online banking is, which was the main reason I switched from them to Halifax.


    But each to their own.
    Originally posted by martinthebandit
    Did you manage to get the elusive £100 exit fee from them?
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