Legals

Important notes

We'll be the first to admit legal copy isn't the most thrilling of reads, but in short these legals set out some important details about first direct, our commitment to our customers and generally what to expect from our products. We've tried to make it as user-friendly as possible - but if you have any questions, just give us a call.

For written details of our services telephone 08 456 100 100. first direct 1st Account and other services are not available for business use. Applicants must be aged 18 or over. Calls may be monitored and/or recorded for training/security purposes. All applicants must have a private telephone and a UK residential address. first direct has a Minicom Text Telephone Number which is 08 456 100 147.

We reserve the right to decline to open an account. first direct credit facilities are subject to status.

We are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The FSCS can pay compensation to depositors if a bank is unable to meet its financial obligations. Most depositors - including most individuals and small businesses - are covered by the scheme.

In respect of deposits, an eligible depositor is entitled to claim up to £85,000. For joint accounts each account holder is treated as having a claim in respect of their share so, for a joint account held by two eligible depositors the maximum amount that could be claimed would be £85,000 each, making a total of £170,000. The £85,000 limit relates to the combined amount in all eligible depositor's accounts with the bank, including their share of any joint account, and not to each separate account. first direct and HSBC are both trading names of HSBC Bank plc and customers who hold deposits under both trading names of HSBC Bank plc will only be eligible for one claim of £85,000 in total.

Marks & Spencer Money is a trading name of Marks & Spencer Financial Services plc and is part of the HSBC Group. Deposits held with Marks & Spencer Money will be covered separately to deposits held with HSBC Bank plc, under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, as both organisations are covered by separate banking licences. Therefore, customers who hold deposits with both Marks & Spencer Money and with HSBC or first direct would be eligible to claim up to £85,000 from both companies (up to £170,000 in total).

For further information about the compensation provided by the FSCS (including the current limits, amounts covered and eligibility to claim) please refer to the FSCS website www.FSCS.org.uk or call the FSCS on 020 7741 4100 or 0800 678 1100. Please note only compensation related queries should be directed to the FSCS. For all other enquiries on your account please contact first direct on 08 456 100 100.

Deposits made with our offices in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are not protected by the rules made under the UK's Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 for the protection of retail clients, including the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and the Financial Ombudsman Service. Deposits made with these offices are subject to local arrangements. Please contact your local branch for information.

All rates are quoted per annum. With the exception of our Personal Loan, Regular Saver Account and Fixed Rate Savings rates, all our rates are variable. Personal Loan rates are subject to change but are fixed for the duration of the borrowing once the loan has been drawn down. Annual Equivalent Rate (AER) is a notional rate which illustrates what the gross rate would be if interest was paid and compounded each year. We pay gross interest (that is, the interest paid before the deduction of tax applied to the interest on savings) to customers who register as non-taxpayers or non-UK residents and net to all other customers. The net rate is the rate after the deduction of tax on interest, currently 20%. Higher rate tax payers will have an additional liability. This tax rate may change. Tax deducted may be reclaimed by non-taxpayers. If you are eligible for the payment of gross credit interest and require a registration form, please telephone 08 456 100 100. All borrowing interest rate changes are usually advertised in The Independent, The Times and The Guardian newspapers.

first direct is fully committed to following requirements of the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority who regulate the financial services industry in the UK. The Money Advice Service produces a number of useful guides for consumers. Copies of these are available online at www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk .

first direct is a division of HSBC Bank plc which is a member of the Financial Ombudsman Service. Further details of the Scheme are available from South Quay Plaza, 183 Marsh Wall, London E14 9SR.

Sharedealing service: Please remember that the value of shares and the income from them can go down as well as up: you may not get back the amount you invested.

You must have a minimum mortgage of £30,000 to qualify for an offset Mortgage. With an offset Mortgage, a charge is taken over the property to secure the house purchase loan and any linked borrowing.

Useful definitions

Term What we mean

AER:

The Annual Equivalent Rate is a notional rate which illustrates what the gross rate would be if interest was paid and compounded each year.

Gross:

The rate before the deduction of tax applied to interest on savings.

We pay gross interest (that is, the interest paid before the deduction of tax applied to the interest on savings) to customers who register as non-taxpayers or non-UK residents and net to all other customers.

Net:

The rate after the deduction of tax applicable to interest, currently 20%. Higher rate tax-payers will have an additional liability.

Tax free:

Free of income tax.

Variable rate loan:

With a variable rate loan, the interest charged will alter from time to time. This means that when interest rates rise, the interest will increase, but will become less when the interest rate falls. first direct mortgages are subject to status and security.

For written quotations and full details of our services, write to first direct, 40 Wakefield Road, Leeds LS98 1FD, or call 08 456 100 100. first direct credit facilities are subject to status. first direct reserves the right to decline to open an account for you.

first direct will supply information and product details to enable you to make an informed decision as to the most appropriate mortgage from our range, we do not provide advice on mortgage lending.

Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

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

Useful contacts and advice

Financial Services Compensation Scheme

We're part of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which can pay compensation to depositors if a bank can't meet its financial obligations. You'll find further information about first direct and the FSCS by downloading our PDF guide . Alternatively, you can contact them directly.

www.fscs.org.uk or call on 0207 741 4100 or 0800 6781100.

Money Advice Service

The Money Advice Service is an independent service set up by government to provide free unbiased money advice for everyone.

Money advice service: www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk or call on 0800 123124.