Ratings based on 747 reviews Last review 1 week ago
4.75 / 5Amazing overall rating

First Direct reviews written by our Smart Money People can help you to find out more about life with this bank. Multi-award winning First Direct claim to "listen, have a conversation and recognise that it's your money, not theirs." Smart Money People...

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First Direct reviews written by our Smart Money People can help you to find out more about life with this bank. Multi-award winning First Direct claim to "listen, have a conversation and recognise that it's your money, not theirs." Smart Money People is the UK's independent financial services review site. Read and write First Direct reviews, and together we can help to increase trust and transparency in financial services.

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Your first direct Reviews (747)

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24th January 2020

Past their sell by date

I have been a loyal customer of First Direct for 32 years. They are an excellent telephone bank (although sometimes it takes ages to get through) but they have not kept up with the times and the move to digital banking....

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I have been a loyal customer of First Direct for 32 years. They are an excellent telephone bank (although sometimes it takes ages to get through) but they have not kept up with the times and the move to digital banking.

Although they have an app it is not customer focussed, very clunky and not friendly to use.

Their customer service is excellent and you always get a helpful friendly person to speak to but when I telephoned to set up a standing order recently and was pushed in the direction to do it myself on the app and would I like help I realised that it was time to move on.

For anyone else that recognised the change then look at Starling Bank. They are leading the way with digital banking in the manner that First Direct did with telephone banking 30 years ago.

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19th January 2020

Bank that is losing its way

I have been a first direct customer for 30 years and it led the way in telephone banking for all this time. But the era of telephone banking is ending and FD hasn’t kept up with digital banking. Its app is mediocre, clunky to use and just not up t...

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I have been a first direct customer for 30 years and it led the way in telephone banking for all this time. But the era of telephone banking is ending and FD hasn’t kept up with digital banking. Its app is mediocre, clunky to use and just not up there with banks such as Starling.

Their strength is still their people on the phones but when I rang up a few weeks ago to set up standing order I was asked did I know I could do this on-line. I replied yes and was then asked “would you like me to show you how to do it?” I replied “No, this is why I am ringing you”.

After that and the significant reduction in their interest rate for the regular saver account, I switched my main account to Starling and my regular saver to Kent Reliance.

FD are still a good Bank but ate no longer the best. They need to provide the same cutting edge banking they did in the 80s and 90s and that is being leaders in digital banking.

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3rd January 2020

Brilliant.

Was tempted over to the dark side from NatWest due to the cashback offer. Definately a great choice. Very simple to swap, every time I've spoke to someone they're very easy to understand (UK call centres) and professional. I think out of the half a...

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Was tempted over to the dark side from NatWest due to the cashback offer. Definately a great choice. Very simple to swap, every time I've spoke to someone they're very easy to understand (UK call centres) and professional. I think out of the half a dozen times I've called them I have been put on hold only once. There's absolutely nowhere else I've experienced that.

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4th November 2019

Becoming a legacy bank... fast

Been with them for over twenty years, yes twenty. They were fantastic to start with, however they have not kept up with the times, their online banking is a mess on the screen and the wife cannot get on with the app (which has not got that much better...

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Been with them for over twenty years, yes twenty. They were fantastic to start with, however they have not kept up with the times, their online banking is a mess on the screen and the wife cannot get on with the app (which has not got that much better over the years either!)

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24th October 2019

Unbelievably stubborn and stupid! What has happened to first direct?

We joined first direct eight months ago, based on their excellent customer service. Reading the many recent negative reviews, this appears to have drastically changed in a few months I have been with them. I am now in the process of switching my...

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We joined first direct eight months ago, based on their excellent customer service. Reading the many recent negative reviews, this appears to have drastically changed in a few months I have been with them. I am now in the process of switching my account to another bank after what happened yesterday!
I phoned first direct (spoke to Simon) to ask for help setting up access to my account using fingerprint recognition on my phone. All was going well, until I asked if my wife could also set it up on her phone. Simon said yes (we both had been speaking to him on speaker phone) then asked her, if anyone was able to hear the conversation or see the passwords. My wife said no, apart from my husband who he had just been speaking to. Simon then said that in order to proceed, I would have to leave the room. I joked that I would pretend to leave now, so that he could continue to speak to my wife. The tone of the conversation suddenly changed, and Simon said that he could not proceed with me listening anymore and so could not help my wife! I pointed out that when my wife and I opened the JOINT bank account (with a cheque book and statements with BOTH our names on) we were not told that the logon details and passwords we had set up together were only for one of us, and under no circumstances was the other one to know what those passwords were. I told Simon that my passwords were on my laptop (with a password), in a spreadsheet with a password, and in a locked house with an alarm. Simon said that my Wife of 22 years and who I have no secrets from, was not allowed to see MY logon details and immediately suspended access to OUR bank account! I demanded to speak to his supervisor and after 26 minutes on the phone, a women spoke but then immediately cut me off. I waited for her to phone me back, but she didn't, so I had to phone back again and go through the whole story with two other people. After banging my head against a brick wall for another 26 minutes, I was passed through to the security department to reset my passwords. At no point at all did they ask me if my Wife was listening! Once my account was accessible again, I started the bank switching process.
DO NOT BANK WITH THESE STUPID PEOPLE! You have been warned (by many people!)

Further to Andrew's reply below ...... you see; stubborn as mules! How did we used to apply for loans etc in the 'good old days' before 'progress'? Don't worry Andrew - I am taking my custom and money elsewhere. I suggest you look for another job ASAP before the First Direct ship sinks!

Update ..... I have had a letter from FD (Marianna Behan). No apology at all for the poor service; just a letter to say that FD "are obliged to suspend the service until we can speak to the customer". They WERE speaking to the customer; my Wife and I were both there, so there was no need to suspend the account.
She also said that security details should not be disclosed to a "third party" - it wasn't the window cleaner that knew my details. It was my WIFE who I share everything with and have done for 22 years - we have no secrets, but FD would now like us to! My Wife is also the joint account holder, so it's HER account also!!
Finally, the supervisor that I spoke to originally said (when I asked her to) that she would find the phone call that was made when we originally opened the account earlier this year, that proved FD told us that we had to have separate passwords. No surprise that this 'evidence' has NOT been produced, or mentioned in the letter from Marianna!!
I have now changed bank accounts - good riddance to FD!

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2nd October 2019

Excellent Customer Service

I switched to First Direct a few years ago and I must say I have received fantastic customer service on every occasion that I have contacted them. I have recommended First Direct to family and friends however, my only issue is that as they don't have...

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I switched to First Direct a few years ago and I must say I have received fantastic customer service on every occasion that I have contacted them. I have recommended First Direct to family and friends however, my only issue is that as they don't have an actual site they may not be able to provide all the services one may receive from other financial institutions (for e.g. I made enquiries about opening an Executor's Account but they don't provide this service). I will continue to bank with First Direct as I am generally happy with their overall service.

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19th July 2019

Not the revolutionary, fantastic system it was years ago

I have been with First Direct for over 25 years and, initially, was totally impressed with everything they do. They were revolutionary and I loved that about them. ...

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I have been with First Direct for over 25 years and, initially, was totally impressed with everything they do. They were revolutionary and I loved that about them.

As the years went on I noticed that other banks were offering better deals and long-standing, loyal customers weren't seeing these benefits.

I doggedly stayed with them, partly because I didn't want the hassle of moving accounts but, mostly because their UK-based telephone service was superb (lovely staff!) and their internet banking was quick and straightforward.

Sadly, the changes they have made to their internet banking over the past few years have made quick and straightforward a thing of the past and, when I ring because I can't access my account online, I am waiting for an average 5 minutes before I get past the recorded messages to speak to a real, live person. When I mentioned this to one of the telephone staff I was told that all banks operate the same system now. This made me wonder, "Why am I staying with you then?".

I am now in the process of switching my bank account and going to be paid for doing so. I shall be sad to leave First Direct but times have changed and, regrettably, my loyalty has counted for nothing.

(The two stars awarded are because the staff are still lovely - as you long as you don't mind hanging on until you get through to them)

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23rd June 2019

Fantastic, friendly service

I have had an account with First direct for around 6 Years now and have found the 1st account fits my needs perfectly. The account comes with a £250 fee free overdraft facility that takes away the worry of going slightly overdrawn and incurring fees. ...

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I have had an account with First direct for around 6 Years now and have found the 1st account fits my needs perfectly. The account comes with a £250 fee free overdraft facility that takes away the worry of going slightly overdrawn and incurring fees. When I have called their Customer service department , I have always found them a pleasure to deal with and they deal with the enquiry promptly every time . Great account, excellent service.

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