1st Account


Banking that fits your life

We designed our current account with one thing in mind. You. And with a range of features designed to help you get the most out of your money, you'll spend less time banking - and more time living. What's more, you don't have to take our word for it - as the UK's most recommended bank, you know we come with a great reputation.*

  • switch your banking to us we'll give you £100**
  • £250 free of overdraft interest
  • beautifully designed Internet Banking service
  • real people to answer your calls, 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • our dedicated switching team will help you switch your banking using the Current Account Switch Service
  • comes with our satisfaction guarantee - if you're not happy we'll give you £100.***
Current Account Switcher Service (opens overlay window)

Thinking of switching?


Current Account Switch Guarantee Logo


* From July to December 2013, 53% of first direct current account customers had actually recommended their bank in the last year. The closest brand over the same time period had 44% of current account customers recommend their bank. Source: Charterhouse Research Customer Contact Survey, covering 8 major banks in England & Wales, based on 19,415 contacts.

** Open a 1st Account, then transfer your banking and salary/income of at least £1,000 per month to your 1st Account using the Current Account Switch Service within three months of your account opening and we'll add £100 to your account. This offer is only available for people who haven't previously held any account with first direct and is limited to one payment per customer or joint relationship. Incentives are paid within 28 days of criteria being met. This offer may be withdrawn at any time without notice.

Our service guarantee

Banking with first direct is different. To start with, you can call and speak to a real person 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. If you prefer, you can access our Internet Banking service wherever you're online, or use any of our Mobile Banking facilities, including our Banking on the go App for Apple and Android devices.

But the truth is, it's difficult to imagine what makes banking with first direct so special unless you've actually had the experience. That's why we introduced our Service Guarantee: we're so certain that our service is better than anyone else's, if you're not happy banking with first direct after six months, you can move banks and we'll give you £100 for your trouble.

***Here's how it works. We'll pay £100 per customer or joint relationship if you close your 1st Account within 12 months of opening it, as long as a monthly salary or income of £1000 or more has been paid into that account for at least six months and you haven't previously had an account with first direct. You must contact us to claim the Service Guarantee prior to closing your account. You'll also need to have transferred your banking to that account using the Current Account Switch Service. We'll pay the £100 into your 1st Account prior to its closure. All accounts with first direct have to be closed and your 1st Account transferred to another bank/building society. Incentives are paid within 28 days of criteria being met.

Switch your banking to first direct

It's our job to make your life simpler, and that starts when you switch to first direct. We can transfer your banking using the Current Account Switch Service. This service covers the transfer of your Direct Debits and standing orders, credit/debit balances (subject to overdraft limit agreement), regular bill payment details and the closure of the account you are transferring from on the date you choose. You will also benefit from a 13 month redirection of incoming credits and debits from your old bank to your first direct account. If anything goes wrong with the switch, as soon as we are told, we will refund any interest (paid or lost) and charges incurred on either your old or new current account as a result of this failure.

Please note: As part of the Current Account Switch Service your old current account will close on the day that you choose to switch.

If there is failure in the switching process we will refund any charges or interest you've paid to us, and if you are a Northern Ireland customer your old bank should refund any charges or interest you've paid to them.

If you are a Northern Ireland customer and you use our switching service we can offer you an overdraft free of overdraft interest and charges for three months from the date that you open your account with us, subject to our usual credit assessment criteria.

Find out more

£250 free of overdraft interest

We give you an automatic £500 formal overdraft when you open your account and the first £250 is free of overdraft interest. We will charge you overdraft interest on overdrafts above £250 and we may apply an overdraft setup fee if you request an informal overdraft more than once every six months.

See interest rates and charges for details of our overdraft fees. If your account is linked to an offset Mortgage interest on your overdraft balance will be charged at your mortgage rate.


Banking with first direct usually costs £10 a month, but we'll waive the fee if you pay in at least £1,000 to your 1st Account each month or maintain an average monthly 1st Account balance of £1,000 or hold a selected first direct additional product. For new customers we waive the fee for your first six months. Take a look at our interest rates and charges section for details of the additional products.




1st Account at a glance

Sweep facility makes your money work harder

Our sweep facility makes it easier for you to get into the savings habit. Once a month (whichever date you prefer) we can automatically sweep up any money you haven't spent into one of the eligible first direct savings accounts***. Just let us know, and we'll do the rest.

***Eligible savings accounts are: Savings Account, Everyday Savings Account (removed from sale 20 March 2009) and Everyday e-Saver.

Real people, not machines

You'll always speak to a real person here in the UK when you call us. No automated routing systems, no punching in numbers on your keypad, no waiting at the tone to say 'yes' or 'no'. Just a friendly voice every time you call.

Beautifully designed Internet Banking

You can view your account online from the comfort of your chair in seconds, with much greater access and flexibility in managing your money. You can also choose to view your account statements online and save paper.

Text alerts

To make sure you're always in touch with your finances, we can send you text alerts at no extra charge when your salary's in or when your balance reaches a specific level. Just let us know what you'd like to know and when.

We never close

It's your money, so you should be able to access it whenever you like. So we're here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year - public holidays included. In fact, ever since we started, in 1989, we've never closed. So when we say you can give us a call anytime, we really mean it.


First Directory

We've put together a selection of services and benefits to go with your 1st Account so you're prepared wherever you are - at home, abroad, or on the road.

  • Worldwide Travel Insurance (for eligible customers aged under 70)
  • 24 hour Motor Breakdown Assistance (including at home)
  • Mobile Phone Insurance - up to £600 cover (subject to a £35 excess per claim)
  • Commission free currency for telephone orders
  • £15 per month for an initial 12 months, renewable monthly thereafter.

Learn more



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Android is a trademark of Google Inc.

How to apply for a 1st Account

Already a customer?

You can apply online through your Internet Banking. As you're currently logged in, just select Apply online from the left hand menu within Internet Banking

Log on to apply

Once you've logged on to Internet Banking, just select 'Apply', and choose '1st Account' from the left hand menu.

If you haven't yet registered for Internet Banking, simply click on the link below and follow the on-screen instructions.

Please note: You will need to have registered for telephone banking before you can access Internet Banking. You can do this by calling us on 08 456 100 100.

Register for Internet Banking

Not yet a customer?

You can apply online or talk to us anytime:

Apply for a sole account

Apply for a joint account

If you've previously been a customer or would just prefer to speak to one of our friendly staff, please call us on:
0800 24 24 24

Before you apply, please read the following:-

Please print and save a copy for your records.

Our downloads are in a PDF format. To read them you'll need to have Adobe Read 4.0™ or above - it's free and you can get Adobe Reader here.

first direct subscribe to the Lending Code. You can learn more about the Lending Code on the Lending Standards Board website.

For more information about accounts and other products you can refer to the Money Advice Service™ website.

Protecting your money

Your eligible deposits with HSBC Bank plc are protected up to a total of £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, the UK's deposit protection scheme. This limit is applied to the total of any deposits you have with HSBC Bank plc and first direct.

Any total deposits you hold above the £85,000 limit between HSBC and first direct are not covered.






Our downloads are in a PDF format. To read them you'll need to have Adobe Reader 4.0™ or above. It's free and you can get Adobe Reader here.

View the demo's transcript

Video Transcript

Thinking of switching your current account?

Apply online, or call 0800 24 24 24. Because we want to make sure we're doing a good job, calls may be monitored and/or recorded. We hope you don't mind.

Voice over: This is Adam. He's been thinking of switching his current account to first direct... but he's got just one or two reservations.

Customer 1: A lot of my friend's bank with first direct and they told me it's a great bank to bank with so thought why not give it a go.

Customer 2: I was scared if direct debits or things didn't change over properly or in time but it worked perfectly fine.

Colleague 1: We want to make sure that we get it right first time for the customer because that's the whole customer experience.

Customer 1: It was really nice, really easy, they took me through it really slowly, but made sure I understood what was going to happen. I picked my change over date and I was just banking with first direct.

Voice over: What Adam doesn't realise is the Current Account Switch Service makes moving everything over to first direct a doddle.

Customer 3: I just chose one day specifically that there was no wage going in or payment out and they hit that date bang on.

Customer 1: When you call up first direct the answer really quickly and it's a person who answers.

Customer 4: Everyone likes to speak to a cheery person on the phone, and definitely first direct customer service is the best I've ever come across.

Voice over: So if you're looking to switch to first direct, with the Current Account Switch Service youÂ’ll find its quick, simple and hassle free.