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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 2
    • YorkshireBoy
    • By YorkshireBoy 6th Dec 17, 4:31 PM
    • 29,610 Posts
    • 17,459 Thanks
    YorkshireBoy
    Did you manage to get the elusive £100 exit fee from them?
    Originally posted by ah23
    Why do you term it "elusive"? I got it (years ago), and many more have got it since. In fact I'd go as far as to say I've never seen a report of someone being denied it (that had complied with the T&Cs covering it).


    EDIT: Just in case you're aiming for both the regular saver and the £100 leaving present, you'll find they're mutually exclusive.
    Last edited by YorkshireBoy; 06-12-2017 at 4:34 PM.
    • takman
    • By takman 6th Dec 17, 5:04 PM
    • 2,884 Posts
    • 2,402 Thanks
    takman
    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?

    Lol, I'm just looking to consolidate my accounts.

    Thanks everyone for your responses!
    Originally posted by ah23
    Your definitely don't want to consolidate your accounts, you should be aiming to open more accounts to take advantage of the switching bonuses and "high" interest on savings.

    In regards to donor accounts i just open a standard current account and then switch it once i get the card. I have done this 4 times with Natwest without any issues (although) i was surprised they let me open and close so many accounts with them so easily.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 6th Dec 17, 6:38 PM
    • 23,633 Posts
    • 13,761 Thanks
    xylophone
    I only keep the current account for the regular saver.

    I have rarely had to contact them and the on line banking is adequate for my purposes.
    • Silvester89
    • By Silvester89 6th Dec 17, 7:12 PM
    • 80 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    Silvester89
    We were with HSBC previously, but we were amazed by how much better First Direct are for general day to day banking.

    We find all the staff friendly, we like that you don't need to go through countless IVR options when you ring and can call them 24/7. A lot of their rates are better than HSBC too

    We did have some problems with them when it came to switching our mortgage to them, but this was sorted after having a bit of a complain to a manager.

    Overall we are really pleased and can't see us moving anytime soon.
    • gettinnerdy
    • By gettinnerdy 6th Dec 17, 11:23 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    gettinnerdy
    Switch to Barclays, first direct are just for posh people and have no branches. Owned by the sham which is HSBC. Old tech, Boring deals. Very picky with who they want as customers. Barclays is the best by far
    • Anthorn
    • By Anthorn 7th Dec 17, 12:13 AM
    • 3,263 Posts
    • 838 Thanks
    Anthorn
    My honest thoughts about First Direct are that FD is used for the same reason that American Express used to be used. It's harder to get so it's a status symbol. Personally I applied, got rejected and never tried again: There are plenty of fish in the banking ocean.
    • Hazzanet
    • By Hazzanet 7th Dec 17, 6:28 AM
    • 1,625 Posts
    • 910 Thanks
    Hazzanet
    I've banked with them in the past for out four years. My description of them would be "competent" but not spectacular.

    Telephone service is above average, internet banking was rudimentary but quite adequate if you're not bothered about fancy graphs and statistical analysis of where your money goes etc.
    4358
    • SuperHan
    • By SuperHan 7th Dec 17, 9:28 AM
    • 1,993 Posts
    • 1,160 Thanks
    SuperHan
    My honest thoughts about First Direct are that FD is used for the same reason that American Express used to be used. It's harder to get so it's a status symbol. Personally I applied, got rejected and never tried again: There are plenty of fish in the banking ocean.
    Originally posted by Anthorn

    Interesting you would get declined after the number of times you have told me I operate my accounts inefficiently (as I pay everything off in full, never incur interest charges) and so I would be seen as an unprofitable customer, and yet I was accepted (albeit I've since closed the account)...


    But yes, to echo the above. They're great on the phone, but I have needed to call my bank once in about the last 3 years. Their internet banking is awful (and the reason I left), and as I use that daily I have stuck almost exclusively to the Lloyds/Halifax/TSB brands which I think have the most user friendly online banking. I probably go into branch to pay in cash/cheques etc more frequently than I call, so branches and better online facilities won out for me.
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 7th Dec 17, 9:50 AM
    • 7,288 Posts
    • 9,018 Thanks
    PeacefulWaters
    Switch to Barclays, first direct are just for posh people and have no branches. Owned by the sham which is HSBC. Old tech, Boring deals. Very picky with who they want as customers. Barclays is the best by far
    Originally posted by gettinnerdy
    They'll make you redundant one day. Then you'll hate them.
    • JuicyJesus
    • By JuicyJesus 7th Dec 17, 10:53 AM
    • 3,052 Posts
    • 3,165 Thanks
    JuicyJesus
    I don't get the hype, at least not now. Maybe back in 2009 they were genuinely great but they've devolved into largely being the same as everyone else just with a snooty attitude.

    I noticed a very distinct attitude from them that if you're not their "type" of customer they make it abundantly clear they don't really want you. It p*ssed me off enough that I switched to Halifax, who may have been bog-standard but weren't promising to be anything else. Since then I've landed on Nationwide, who are decent, have great internet banking, better products and no snooty holier-than-thou "you should be grateful to bank with us" idiocy. They believed and internalised their own hype, essentially.
    urs sinserly,
    ~~joosy jeezus~~
    • Anthorn
    • By Anthorn 7th Dec 17, 12:32 PM
    • 3,263 Posts
    • 838 Thanks
    Anthorn
    FD was
    Interesting you would get declined after the number of times you have told me I operate my accounts inefficiently (as I pay everything off in full, never incur interest charges) and so I would be seen as an unprofitable customer, and yet I was accepted (albeit I've since closed the account)...
    Originally posted by SuperHan
    I don't remember claiming that against you. Link please.

    FD was one of the rejection surprises I'm subject to. I also had Paypal credit which I closed and a year later was then rejected by them when I attempted to get an iPhone 7 on credit. There's also Tesco bank who rejected me for a credit card but then later allowed a BT card with a £4,500 limit. There's Barclays Bank who reject me for everything whether it's a current account or credit card and MBNA who reject all applications to increase my limit. Personally, rejections don't get to me and I just move on.
    • badger09
    • By badger09 7th Dec 17, 12:57 PM
    • 5,567 Posts
    • 4,876 Thanks
    badger09
    I only keep the current account for the regular saver.

    I have rarely had to contact them and the on line banking is adequate for my purposes.
    Originally posted by xylophone
    what xylophone said
    I'm a supporter of dunstonh
    • Marvo5
    • By Marvo5 7th Dec 17, 1:13 PM
    • 103 Posts
    • 79 Thanks
    Marvo5
    First Direct are one of six banks I currently have accounts with, to be honest I rate them all as much of a muchness. FD's online stuff is laborious, but I guess that makes it more secure. I liked the Coop actually but didn't stay long as another switch came up. Now waiting on the next one.

    Have never had a Barclays account, they've never enticed me in with any offer I can recall. HSBC turned me down.
    • SuperHan
    • By SuperHan 7th Dec 17, 2:15 PM
    • 1,993 Posts
    • 1,160 Thanks
    SuperHan
    FD was

    I don't remember claiming that against you. Link please.

    FD was one of the rejection surprises I'm subject to. I also had Paypal credit which I closed and a year later was then rejected by them when I attempted to get an iPhone 7 on credit. There's also Tesco bank who rejected me for a credit card but then later allowed a BT card with a £4,500 limit. There's Barclays Bank who reject me for everything whether it's a current account or credit card and MBNA who reject all applications to increase my limit. Personally, rejections don't get to me and I just move on.
    Originally posted by Anthorn

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4989074&highlight=anthorn


    Here you advocated for paying interest as it would make you more appealing to lenders...


    Post 21:
    Let's look at credit cards in more detail:

    First of all we can dismiss the fallacy that lenders make a lot of money on card transaction fees. If that were the case retailers would be kicking up against it.

    Now where does a credit card lender's profit come from? That comes from interest.

    Now we consider that every penny we pay over and above the required minimum reduces the lender's profit. If we pay all of the balance we are preventing the lender from making any profit at all.

    The point that paying the whole balance is best in the relationship with the lender doesn't stand up to scrutiny. It doesn't even make sense. It doesn't even make sense in the (re)building of a credit history: All it tells the lender is that a cat-in-hell has a better chance of making a profit.

    Lastly if you're going to be a sheep be the sheep at the front and choose your own direction.




    We've had this debate a number of times, this was just the first one I found and I didn't have the inclination to provide multiple links.
    • Zanderman
    • By Zanderman 7th Dec 17, 2:18 PM
    • 1,309 Posts
    • 3,733 Thanks
    Zanderman
    First Direct great on phone as others have said.

    But, also as others have said, they are very clunky online - lots of other banks do better than them online. That's using the website - I haven't tried their app.

    I only stay with them for the 5% Reg Saver. It's not an account I'd use for other things as I don't tend to do phone banking and don't like their website.

    Don't know why they top the consumer polls really - nothing outstanding about them - except that their customer service on the phone is miles better than their awful parent HSBC. If only HSBC could treat everyone like they do at First Direct!
    • datlex
    • By datlex 7th Dec 17, 6:28 PM
    • 1,449 Posts
    • 1,235 Thanks
    datlex
    I used to have a first direct account. I only stopped because of when I lost my job due to redundancy when the company I worked for closed several years back I had difficulties with a loan I had with them. They were really helpful. They let me set up an affordable payment arrangement and did not default or flag the payments to credit agencies. They stopped me from going into unaffordable debt. So I would recommend them, even though I no longer have an account.
    • colsten
    • By colsten 7th Dec 17, 7:48 PM
    • 8,811 Posts
    • 7,497 Thanks
    colsten
    Only reason I have accounts with them is because they still have a good Regular Saver.
    • Anthorn
    • By Anthorn 8th Dec 17, 9:56 AM
    • 3,263 Posts
    • 838 Thanks
    Anthorn
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4989074&highlight=anthorn


    Here you advocated for paying interest as it would make you more appealing to lenders...


    Post 21:





    We've had this debate a number of times, this was just the first one I found and I didn't have the inclination to provide multiple links.
    Originally posted by SuperHan
    The link you posted and quoted has nothing at all to do with your previous accusation against me. Read back. So therefore if you cannot prove it I have to deny it.

    Your current post has absolutely nothing to do with this thread and is therefore off-topic and is also quoted out of context.If you want to discuss credit cards then start a thread!

    Back to the topic!
    • zerog
    • By zerog 8th Dec 17, 12:40 PM
    • 2,306 Posts
    • 785 Thanks
    zerog
    I use FD and don't understand why nobody likes their online banking. It does everything I want it to, and it lets you contact them by email / secure message / whatever. In contrast you can't even do simple tasks on Lloyds group websites such as change your address.

    I have phoned FD exactly once, just after opening the account to set up some password, and have never needed to phone them in the past 5 years. Using the device to send payments is better than having to get out my iPad (which receives the phone calls from Lloyds group).

    This is probably the world's most trivial complaint , but the only minor niggle I have is with FD that it forces you to type the trailing 0 i.e. if I want to send a payment of £1.50, I can type 1.5 into Lloyds group websites and the scripting will add the 0 for me, whereas with FD I have to type the 0.
    • takman
    • By takman 8th Dec 17, 12:51 PM
    • 2,884 Posts
    • 2,402 Thanks
    takman
    I use FD and don't understand why nobody likes their online banking. It does everything I want it to, and it lets you contact them by email / secure message / whatever. In contrast you can't even do simple tasks on Lloyds group websites such as change your address.
    Originally posted by zerog
    The Android app has now been updated so you can use your fingerprint to log in. But before you had to type a full password which made it more clunky than other banks apps.

    The online banking via a web browser opens in a pop up window which is extremely annoying and that alone makes it worse than other banks.
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