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Privacy & Cookies
Let's start with privacy.
We don't collect any personal information from people just visiting public areas of our site (the ones you can see before you have to log in), except if you choose to apply for one of our products. All we do is gather some basic anonymous information, for example how many people view each page, so that we can make sure we're doing a good job and to make our site better.
Obviously as your bank, we'll know each other pretty well - and while we don't mind you talking about us (as long as you say nice things), we won't share information about you with just anyone. We have a strict code about how we use your information, fully complying with the Data Protection Act 1998 and adhere to The Standards of Lending Practice.
Find out more on our site terms page.
- Show the section FAQs
- Show the section Manage your cookie preferences
Cookies are your friends. We use them to make using our site even better, they help you log on to Internet Banking, apply for products and services online and use our handy tools like our 'find and compare' mortgage calculators.
Your questions answered
What are cookies?
We will resist the temptation to talk about chocolate chips... Cookies are small text files that are sent to and stored on your computer, smartphone or other device when you visit a site. Cookies are useful because they allow a site to recognise your device.
Want more information on cookies? Look here: allaboutcookies.org opens an overlay
Do cookies mean I could get cold calls or junk mail?
Can cookies pass on my personal information to others?
Do cookies compromise my security when I'm logged in to Internet Banking?
The cookies we use are completely safe. In fact, many of them are used purely to provide important security features like protecting your data and your accounts.
How do cookies make your website safer and easier to use?
Cookies can also allow us to tailor the content of our website to suit you. For example, instead of displaying promotional messages about products you already have, they let us show you other services you might be interested in.
Finally, we use 'analytics' cookies to help us make our website better for those who visit it regularly. They help us work out what users like and don't like and how we can improve things for you.
When we include links to other websites, please bear in mind they'll have their own privacy and cookie policies. We recommend you read their policies as we're not responsible or liable for anything they get up to.
Yes. Third parties are trusted suppliers to first direct, and include our insurance policy providers as well those partners who provide important functionality to our website.
You'll only ever be shown first direct branded ads on our website - never those from other companies. Of course, you might see first direct branded ads when browsing other companies' websites too. Some of these will be general campaign-related ads but others will be tailored to your likely interests based on your previous web browsing activity. These can be easily identified as they feature a small blue AdChoices icon in the corner of the advert.
Do you collect info from the emails you send?
Yes. We use email analytics and reporting tools to see how many of our emails are opened and which links receive the most clicks. Knowing which articles and topics our customers like, and which they don't, helps us improve our content and make our emails more relevant.
We maintain strict security standards and procedures to prevent unauthorised access to your information. We'll never contact you by email or otherwise to ask you to validate personal information like your user ID, password or account numbers. If you receive a request like this, it's probably someone up to no good - please call our online security team on 03 456 100 234.
If you want to unsubscribe from marketing emails, simply follow the link in the footer of any marketing email you've received from us.
How can I manage my cookie preferences?
Please note, these preferences apply to firstdirect.com and all sub-domain websitesmortgages.firstdirect.com.
Can cookies allow others access to my computer's hard drive?
The cookies we use cannot look into your computer, smartphone or web-enabled device and obtain information about you or your family or read any material kept on your hard drive.
If I use a public computer, will someone be able to get my details from the cookies?
Our cookies cannot be used by anyone else who has access to the computer to find out anything about you, other than the fact that someone using the computer may have visited a certain website. Our cookies do not in any way compromise the security of Internet Banking.
Why are cookies required to log on to Internet Banking?
To ensure we can provide suitable content to meet our customers' needs, all cookies have to be enabled if you want to access Internet Banking.
Why can't I amend my cookie preferences when I'm logged on to Internet Banking?
All cookies have to be enabled if you want to access Internet Banking. You can amend your preferences after you have logged off if you wish but we will ask for your consent to enable all cookies when you log on again.
Which cookies can I opt-out of?
While browsing our public website, you can choose to opt-out of tailored content cookies. However, when you log on to Internet Banking all cookies will need to be enabled in order to ensure we can provide suitable content to meet your needs.
Can I opt-out of first direct advertisements I see on other websites?
There are two types of first direct adverts shown on other companies' websites. The first are general campaign-related adverts that are not targeted based on your browsing behaviour, from which you cannot opt out. The second are targeted adverts which are being shown to you because of your likely interests based upon previous web browsing activity. These can be easily identified as they feature a small blue AdChoices icon in the corner of the advert.
To disable all targeted adverts from first direct, please visit Your Online Choices where you will be able to opt out of the Microsoft Advertising network. Please note, by opting out of Microsoft Advertising, this will disable targeted adverts for HSBC and any other companies that use this network. For further details, please visit the AdChoices website.
Can I opt-out of all cookies?
If you wish to opt out of all cookies for this website and any other website, you can do this through your browser settings. Your browser's 'help' function will tell you how to do this.
However, please remember that cookies are often used to enable and improve certain functions on our website. If you choose to switch certain cookies off, it is likely to affect how our website works. For example, if your browser is set to disable 'session' cookies, although you will still be able to view our public website, you won't be able to log on to Internet Banking.
More information about how to disable cookies, visit allaboutcookies.org
Manage your preferences
Know your cookies
We use several different types of cookie, which we call "essential cookies", "functionality and performance cookies", and "tailored content cookies". Each one works in a slightly different way, and you can find out more about each one here.
As you might guess, essential cookies enable essential functionality of the site to work, for example ensuring you can move between pages on Internet Banking securely.
Cookie name What is the purpose of this cookie pfmDownloadCookie Added to ask a user permission before downloading Personal Finance Manager within Internet Banking. Once it has been downloaded it expires to avoid asking the user permission again. bcap cookiesenabled Used to check Netscape browser settings to ensure that the functionality on Internet Banking is compatible with the version being used. friendly name This cookie is used to ensure you remain logged in for your Internet Banking session, ensuring that log in credentials don't need to be re-entered each time you navigate between pages on Internet Banking. JSESSIONID This cookie is used to makes sure it's only you navigating through your session. It checks that no one else is accessing the same session from a different browser, such as potential fraudsters (hijacking). isMobile / isiPhone Records your device and detects if it's a mobile or not, in order to direct the user to the correct log in page i.e. desktop or mobile (Android, BlackBerry, iPhone etc.). LB_COOKIE_1 Several servers are used to run the site. This cookie ensures that users are split equally between these servers when accessing the site to stop traffic building up on one particular server and slowing down the service. FIRSTDIRECT-IB-WDC / FIRSTDIRECT-AO-WDC Ensures your session stays stuck to the same server. Without this cookie users would be disconnected from the server on a regular basis. It's a session cookie that expires when the session expires. fd_msc / fd_tid This cookie is used to track your journey from an affiliate website to ensure the correct campaign offer is displayed when reaching our website. For example our exclusive offers with partners such as moneysupermarket.com. com.ibm.portal.SUA_WPReqURL This cookie is added when you need to be authenticated mid-way through a process. For example, making a payment and Verified by Visa. The cookie will make sure you're returned to the correct page (the page you left) after entering your security credentials. FDAUSERNAME / EWUSER Ensures your Internet Banking Plus session stays stuck to the same server. It is a session cookie that is used to remember the user while they are logged in to Internet Banking Plus. It expires when the user logs out. FDASESSIONCOOKIE / EWSESS These are authentication cookies for Internet Banking Plus and confirm that you've been authenticated. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\InternetRegistry\REGISTRY\USER\S-1-5-21-264363149-1562455382-917196980-1000\Software\WebUnity\FDA\config Used to help store your encrypted security information that's required to use Internet Banking Plus. checkit Enables you to carry out actions within Internet Banking Plus, allowing you to access their encrypted security information when required. lastRun Used to time stamp and record when you last used your iPhone App. After 90 days, your user name is cleared for added security. firstdirect_comp Used in our Facebook Apps to identify you by the software framework. fbs_XXXXXXXXXX Stores your access token (permissions) so that you don't have to accept the permissions screen the next time you access a first direct Facebook app. ASPSESSIONIDCQDAABTS This is used when you're logging into the first directory members' microsite. It's used to recognise your browser and the server session. No user details are stored within this cookie. __uiudc This is a security cookie used if fraudulent activity is detected (malware). In the event of any activity being detected, the cookie sends us details to investigate. PORTAL This cookie is used to ensure you're authorised to complete a given function. It's issued once you've logged in and allows you to remain authenticated on navigation between web pages. The cookie contains no user or sensitive data, such as user IDs or passwords and is automatically deleted once you close your web browser. smnradmin This cookie is used for the administration and content management system for Social Media Newsroom. It ensures the website knows an administrator is logged in and authenticated. firstdirect_mortgages This is a very important session cookie for security. This cookie can identify that it's the same customer navigating through pages in a session by browser. Without it the server can't identify the specific user from another user that could be on that same session using a different browser. native-app This cookie identifies the version of the first direct Banking on the go App that you're using. device-type This cookie identifies the device that you're using to access our Banking on the go App - including the iOS model of device (e.g. iPhone or iPad). device-id This cookie identifies your device UUID - so we can recognise you and your device. mobile_support_type This cookie identifies whether you're on an iOS or Android device.
Functionality and performance cookies
Performance cookies allow us to see how our website's being used, so we know which pages people are looking at - it's totally anonymous but means we can make our site even better. Functionality cookies make our website more helpful to you by remembering your preferences and settings.
Tailored content cookies
Tailored content cookies make our website more interactive. They allow us to link to other sites - like Facebook - and offer you content we think you might find interesting.
Cookie name What is the purpose of this cookie NSC_GjstuEjsfdu and TCID Looks at your behaviour to understand what content you're interested in on firstdirect.com and displays appropriate relevant content based on this information. cm Identifies visitors to firstdirect.com as customers or non customers for marketing purposes, so that we can ensure we are displaying appropriate content. lu Manages log on options such as 'Keep me logged on'. googleads.g.doubleclick.net This records when you browse certain product areas on our site so we can show you targeted adverts about those products when you're browsing other companies' sites or searching online. For more details, please read our FAQs on opting out of first direct advertisements.
Please note, disabling tailored content cookies will not currently include these cookies. To disable all targeted first direct adverts on other companies' websites, please visit Your Online Choices opens an overlay where you'll be able to opt out of the Microsoft Advertising network. Please note, by opting out of Microsoft Advertising, this will disable targeted adverts for first direct and any other companies that use this network. For further details, please visit the AdChoices opens an overlay website.