Privacy and cookies

We take our customers' privacy very seriously indeed and have introduced a series of measures to help keep your personal information protected at all costs.

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Visit the Get Safe Online website for more information about the ways you can protect yourself online.

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What do you do to protect my personal information?

First of all, be assured that we do not collect any personally identifiable information from people entering the public areas of our site (the ones that you can surf and look around without need for a password). All we do is gather information on the numbers of visitors to certain areas of the site and the places in the UK that they access us from. We will never attempt to use this information to identify specific individuals.

Once you register to use the password-protected areas of the site, it's a different matter. We will then ask you for personal information about yourself. Of course, we don't bandy this information about - we will tell you how we may use your information when you become a customer so there won't be any surprises. In processing your details we comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Lending Code. You'll find more about these in the site terms.

What are cookies and do you use them?
Our public website and Internet Banking service, along with most other major websites, use cookies. Cookies are pieces of information that a website transfers to the cookie file on your computer's hard disk. They enable users to navigate around the website and (where appropriate) enable us to tailor the content to fit the needs of visitors who have accessed the site.

We use two types of cookie on our websites:
  • session cookies which are temporary cookies which remain in the cookie file of your computer until you close your browser, at which point they are deleted
  • persistent or stored cookies that remain permanently on the cookie file of your computer.
Can I be identified by the cookies on my computer?

Cookies cannot look into your computer and obtain information about you or your family, or read any material kept on your hard drive. Unless you have logged onto Internet Banking, cookies cannot be used to identify who you are. In addition, 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 has visited a certain website. Cookies do not in any way compromise the security of Internet Banking and they will not be used to contact you for marketing purposes, other than by means of advertisements offered within the Internet Banking website.

What do you use cookies for?

Cookies may be used to record details of pages relating to particular products and services that you have visited on our websites. This is to provide us with generic usage statistics to allow us to improve our websites and to provide you with information about products and services that may interest you. Information on products and services may be provided via the website or by other means. This does not affect your right to opt-out from receiving marketing material from us.

Can I stop my computer using cookies?

The web browsers of most computers are initially set up to accept cookies. If you prefer, you can set your web-browser to disable cookies or to inform you when a website is attempting to add a cookie. You can also delete cookies that have previously been added to your computer's cookie file.

You can set your browser to disable persistent cookies and/or session cookies but be aware that if you disable session cookies, you will be able to view our public unsecured website but you will not be able to log onto Internet Banking. If the computer that you are using is set to disable persistent cookies, you will be able to access Internet Banking; however, your navigation of the website may be less enjoyable.

Visit to discover how to disable and delete cookies.

Do you use third party cookies and how do they work?

In order to develop our website in line with customer needs, first direct is working with WebTrends to track usage on our website. WebTrends provide us with statistics to show us which pages on our website are visited most frequently and how long visitors spend on our site. We use this information to help us plan how we should improve the site.

WebTrends uses a cookie to track the number of unique users of the site. It basically tells us whether we have a small number of regular visitors to the site or a large number of infrequent visitors. None of the information can be traced to an individual - we do not know who you are as a unique user, merely that there are a certain number of people using the site. The cookie only relates to what goes on in the first direct site and the information cannot be used for marketing on an individual basis. Take a look at the WebTrends On Demand Privacy Policy to learn how they collect and use information. You can find WebTrends On Demand Privacy Policy at

Do you use cookies in your marketing campaigns?

So we can get an idea of what is and isn't working in our marketing campaigns, we use Omniture to optimise and track click-throughs on our banners. Further information on Omniture's privacy policy can be found at

We also track customers that come to us via our advertising campaigns using Atlas tags. Atlas is a cookie-based company that obtains generic information, however, they are not used to obtain information about specific users. You can find out more about Atlas and their privacy policy, by visiting

Do you use cookies for anything else?

To offer the best possible customer service we offer an interactive chat service to enable you to communicate with a first direct Customer Representative. This service is provided by Liveperson. Liveperson uses cookies to enable a chat session to be triggered. You should refer to Liveperson's Privacy Policy to learn how they collect and use information. You can find further information on Liveperson and details of their Privacy Policy at:

first direct web pages including Internet Banking may contain electronic images, known as web beacons or spotlight tags. These enable first direct to count users who have visited certain pages on our website. Web beacons and spotlight tags are simply tools used to obtain generic information about the web pages visited. They are not used to obtain information about specific users.


Our guarantee

It's our job as a bank to make sure both your personal information and your money are
kept safe, which is why we've invested heavily in measures to support this. In the unlikely
event that there are payments from your current or savings accounts that you didn't
authorise, we'll reimburse you in full in most circumstances, please see your account
Terms and Conditions for more details.

You must take all reasonable precautions to keep your security details safe, like
making sure that no one can see them when you log on and not writing them down
in a way that can be easily understood by someone else. You also must not act fraudulently or let anyone else log on using your details.


24 7, we're waiting to talk to you

If you have any problems you can call our security experts on

03 456 100 234

and we'll be able to help you with the process.

Other ways to get in touch

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