First Direct - feedback and general chat

I’m back in now. Probably just load testing systems as they come back up I’d imagine.

Will be interesting to see what caused it, quite a significant outage by the sounds (cards not working, staff not having systems, payments failing etc).

Imagine being in the pub and having your card down, a case for a backup account I think.

If it was that widespread, I’d hazard a guess at DNS or core network infrastructure.

But yes, this is why I have spare cards (credit rather than debit) and one on Visa one on Mastercard, just to cover all basis.


I’ve always a backup.

Revolut main spending account
Starling personal for personal direct debits etc with a little extra in just in case Rev never works
Starling joint account as a last last resort (personal would generally cover though)
Monzo always has some extra in, along with First direct having some funds in just now

TSB has money in but will only be around until bonus payout then ship it to first direct :eyes:

I have Starling joint, FD sole, FD CC and Monzo Flex all ready to go for times like this. :laughing:

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Got my £175 from FD today, 3 weeks exactly it took from paying in £1k and my switch finishing. :star_struck:


So one month in of using FD as my primary day to day account, how did that go?

The good:

  • The UI is probably the nicest I’ve seen. Simple and nice to look at.
  • As a bank, it does what you would want it to for the most part. A nice blend of legacy & challenger.
  • The app is mostly all there now, I was surprised how little I actually missed from Monzo.

The not so good:

  • Insights is essentially useless until they allow custom pay periods. Otherwise its actually nice
  • Not having available balance on the Home Screen is really annoying
  • No budgeting at all (“soon”) means I have to look elsewhere for this
  • The transaction page is a little too basic. Having the location and date of transaction would be good

Can you explain “it does what you would want it to do” a bit more please? What do you mean? Your debit card worked? Direct debits worked? Which bank, by association, doesn’t do what you’d want?

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True, that’s what you would expect of any bank to be fair. In that you can send & receive money, buy things, get support as and when you need it.

I think in its simplicity I’ve not found any of the additional features (maps, transaction notifications, insights per merchant) all that missed over the last month or so.

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I recently switched to them (mostly for the bribe and snazzy card…) I’m going to stay now. Ringing them, which granted is a bit old school, I get through to someone who’s efficient and happy to help.

With NatWest who are my oldest bank and until now main bank. It took ages to get through to anyone and when you did they fobbed you off and generally made you feel a tit for ringing them. Combo of these guys and starling at the moment has me covered. Only bank I’ve ever left and regretted has been Monzo tbh. The App is great and the way your balance, spending bills etc are displayed was brilliant.

Hmm… Maybe I should get around to getting a Monzo account again…


I switched to FD few months ago, with intention to switch again, but have ended up staying. The £250 0% overdraft has been unexpectedly amazing and the few times I’ve had to call up it’s been instant connection to an actual English operator, including early Sunday morning.

The app is a bit simple really, but it’s fluid enough and generally very reliable. I suppose FD came along at a time I was struggling a good bit with reliability from Chase, Virgin Money and a few others, so it’s fortunate for them - but I’d honestly say it’s up there with the most pleasant banking experiences I’ve had to date.

Obviously Monzo (Plus) remains my main hub, but I’m happy enough with what FD are offering to forgo trading it for a few hundred quid.


FD provide:-
£50,000 faster payments daily limit (subject to fraud cheques if deemed necessary).
£1,000 ATM and cash withdrawal debitcard limit at HSBC branches or the post office (varies dependent on status).
Pay in cheques or cash at HSBC branches or the post office.
Paying in cheques using the app cheque imaging up to £1,000 though might be £750.
24/7/365 telephone customer service which is normally efficient and often deals with issues at first touch.
Free overdraft up to £250 - though today they’ve offered up to £500 for 12 months free to assist those in difficulties and who have the OD facility in place (email received today).
Hopefully push notifications will be rolled out though it’s been promised for ages.
All in order they offer good facilities.


FD were my main bank for a decade a more. I joined at the time when they paid (if I remember rightly) £100 to switch to them, and then another £100 if you chose to leave them again.

Their service was so much better than my old bank that I opted to stay.

These day, I still have my account but rarely use it because of monzo, but I think FD are still one of the best offerings out there.

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If FD can do push notifications it may be enough to get me to switch, though I like Monzo, I loved FD

They reply on Facebook (Monzo don’t)

The 24/7 UK customer support was great

Granted I never have to contact Monzo support, when I do….

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I don’t get it :thinking:. They do push notifications for other functions eg if they’re going to call you so why can’t they do it for transactions. I’m sure they will at some point but their staff always say it’s imminent which it has been for the last 2/3 years.


Out of curiosity why is push notifications an important feature for people? I previously have thought it’s a feature I want. But using my FD account as my main account I’ve honestly not missed it. When I do use the Starling I swipe away the notification without looking at it anyway.

So I guess for me at least I think it’s not really an essential feature anymore

I just find it useful for when my friends say “I’ll pay you tonight” I can either call them a liar or see if they’re telling the truth easily without having to check manually

I like knowing that cash has hit my account if I pay in at the post office, without having to sign in

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I added my FD card to curve. No notification telling me I needed to approve the transaction, but on entering the app the screen presented to me in the first instance.

So notifications and available balance on home screen would be beneficial to me.

They can. Its just that they decided to rollout notifications for HSBC customers first rather then those with First Direct.

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Very true but notifications have been mooted by FD for years.

I guess a situation where notifications would be useful is if your card gets cloned/skimmed. You would see that it’s being used without you being there. When I first came up to Bham my TSB card was cloned and there loads of random transactions dotted about over a few weeks that I hadn’t noticed. Luckily I caught in time before a pending transaction for a grand or something was about to go through… :scream: So in hindsight I can definitely see how notifications would have a lot of utility… Hopefully FD get this activated soon. Would be good to see them implementing some more features

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