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Switching your banking to first direct

Switching your bank account to first direct is as easy as banking with us - and just as helpful.

Our dedicated switching team will help you switch your banking using the Current Account Switch Service.

We're here for you every step of the way - so we'll start right now by explaining exactly how the process works.

Current Account Switcher Service (opens overlay window)

Thinking of switching?

Switching at a glance

What to expect

When we help you switch your account, we do everything we can to make the transition as smooth as possible. And just so you know, here's exactly what we'll do for you.

The Current Account Switch 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.

Contact us on 08 456 100 100 to arrange your switch.

Current Account
Switch Guarantee

The Current Account Switch Service has been designed to let you switch your current account from one bank or building society to another in a simple, reliable and hassle-free way. It will only take seven working days.

As your new current account provider we offer the following guarantees:

  • the service is free to use and you can choose and agree your switch date with us
  • we will take care of moving all your payments going out (for example, your Direct Debits and standing orders) and those coming in (for example, your salary)
  • if you have money in your old account, we will transfer it to your new account on your switch date
  • for 13 months, we will arrange for payments accidentally made to your old account to be automatically redirected to your new account. We will also contact the sender and give them your new account details
  • if there are any issues in making the switch, we will contact you before your switch date
  • 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 accounts as a result of this failure.

For more information on the Current Account Switch Service
go to



In the days leading up to switch date here's what will happen:

Day 1

Your new first direct 1st Account is open so we let your old bank know you're moving and once everything has been transferred safely, to close your old account.

Day 2

Your old bank will automatically send us details of your regular payments (Direct Debits, standing orders and bill payments).

Days 3 & 4

We set up all the payment mandates on your new first direct 1st Account, inform all your Direct Debit originators that you've moved banks and give them your new details, including your employer so your salary can be redirected.

Day 7

On the date that you choose to switch, your old bank account will close and you can see the credit balance from your old account in your new first direct 1st Account. We'll contact you to let you know the move is complete.

Thanks to the new Current Account Switch Guarantee, any credits or debits posted to your old account will be redirected safely to your new one for a whole 13 months, giving you plenty of time to make sure you're happy that everything is as it should be (if you leave a debit balance with your old bank, ask your Switching Advisor what this means for you).


Switching bank accounts isn't something you do everyday - so you're bound to have a few questions. Naturally, you can call us anytime if you'd like to discuss the process - but in the meantime, here are a few common queries.

What is the Current Account Switch Service?
It's a free service that lets you switch your current account from one participating bank or building society to another. It has been designed to be simple, reliable and hassle-free and is backed by the Current Account Switch Guarantee.

Will banks and building societies offer the same Current Account Switch Service?
Yes, it will be a standardised service. High street banks and building societies, as well as internet and telephone banks that display the Current Account Switch Service Trustmark will offer the Current Account Switch Service.

How secure is the new service?
Security is a key priority for the service. Only the account holder(s) can choose when and if to switch their account. No unauthorised person will have access or will be able to initiate the switch. There are robust protocols in place to ensure that data is secure.

Are account opening and account switching all part of the same process?
No, however the two actions are often at the same time. Once the account is open, you can choose a switch date as long as it is in at least seven working days' time. We do recommend an additional couple of days to enable us to deliver your card.

Can I switch my current account if I am overdrawn?
Yes, and your new bank or building society may be able to provide facilities to help you pay off any overdraft, subject to their normal lending criteria. If this isn't the case you must make separate arrangements to repay your old bank or building society what you owe.

What if I change my mind?
If the switch hasn't started you can stop the whole process. However, once the switch has started you can only cancel certain elements of the account switch, e.g. payments redirection. Your old account will definitely close. Your new bank or building society will guide you through this process if you have to do this.

If the switching process has started and I change my mind, can I still keep the old account open?
No, if the switch has started, your old account will definitely close.

What happens if there is a mistake or unnecessary delay in my switch?
The Current Account Switch Service is backed by the Current Account Switch Guarantee. This guarantees that any charges or interest incurred on your old or new account, as a result of a failure in the switching process will be refunded when you bring this to your new bank or building society's attention.


If there is a 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 interest and charge free overdraft for three months from the date that you open your account with us, subject to our usual credit assessment criteria.



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
  • 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





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.

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.