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Switching to us

We promise it won't be hard work

We know switching banks sounds like it'll be a nightmare, but we promise it's not. We'll make the whole thing as smooth as possible as part of the Current Account Switch Guarantee.

And, if you don't like us, you can leave with £100* as a farewell gift. Like when someone leaves work and there's a collection - but without the card.

*£100 to say goodbye

We're not just sure you'll love our service more than anyone else's - we're banking on it. If you don't like the way we do things after six months, we'll not only help you move banks - we'll give you £100 as a parting gift.

To qualify, you must have paid at least £1,000 a month into your account for six months and not have banked with us before, as well as switched to us initially using the Current Account Switch Service. You need to contact us to let us know you're unhappy within 12 months of opening your account, and you'll get the money within 28 days of the criteria being met. If you do decide to leave, all other products you hold with first direct will also need to be closed.

Switching without using CASS

If your account provider isn't part of the Current Account Switch Service (CASS), you can still switch to or from us at no cost by giving us the details of the account you want to switch.

To switch an account to us from a non-CASS provider just contact us and we'll send you a Transfer Form so we can understand the Standing Orders and Direct Debits you want to switch. As soon as we get this back we'll contact your old account provider and get your switch up and running. We'll also arrange for your old provider to transfer any credit balance to us and close your old account if you want to. The whole process can be as quick as 12 working days depending on the transfer date you choose and how long it takes your old provider to respond. Don't forget to give your new account details to anyone who sends you credits e.g. your employer, and let them know when to start sending payments to it.

To switch an account from us to a non-CASS provider just contact us. We'd be sad to see you go but we understand these things happen so we'll send a list of your Direct Debits and Standing Orders to your new account provider as quick as we can, normally within 5 working days. We'll then work with them to transfer and close your account if you want to.

If your new bank or building society agrees, bank accounts that include an overdraft can switch using the Current Account Switch Service. And if you’d like to have an overdraft with your new bank account, speak to your new bank or building society before starting your switch. Your new bank or building society will be able to advise if you’re eligible for an overdraft, dependent on their lending criteria and your credit status.

If you're unhappy with any part of your switch, please visit our guide to making a complaint.


Ready to switch?

New to first direct

Firstly, open a first direct Current Account.

Sole Account

We're not taking joint applications at the moment, but we will be very soon so please keep checking back here for updates.

Existing Customers

If you already have a first direct Current Account please contact us to set the switch service in motion.

Who can apply? Pretty much anyone. If you're over 18, haven't been declared bankrupt or registered for an Individual Voluntary Agreement in the last six years (or be in the process of doing so), and have a phone number and email address we can contact you with, we'd love to welcome you.

Before you apply

Before applying, please take the time to read through the following. You may wish to save some of these documents for future reference.

If you can see any changes coming up that could affect your disposable income - for example, less money coming in due to extended leave or retirement or a change in your employment situation/working hours, or a rent/mortgage payment increase - please apply by telephone on 03 456 100 100.

If you're not happy with your account, you have a 14 day period after you receive your welcome pack to close your account. Please see the first direct Account Terms and Conditions for full details.

first direct is a division of HSBC UK Bank plc and HSBC has accounts more suitable for customers living outside of the UK. For more information please call HSBC on +44 1226 261 010 or visit hsbc.co.uk.

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.