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First Direct re-opens current accounts for new customers

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First Direct has re-opened its current account offering for new customers after being pulled from the market in March.

The current account was pulled for new customers in March as it focused on the needs of existing customers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The bank, part of HSBC group, which has consistently topped customer service polls, issued a statement on its website at the time which read: “The coronavirus is effecting everyone’s lives and we want to make sure we are doing all we can to support our customers and our people.

“This means we need to focus our attention on our existing customers and their immediate financial needs. To make sure our people are able to do this, we have taken the decision to withdraw First Direct current accounts to new customers. We hope this will only be a temporary measure.”

But it is now available to new customers switching or opening a current account with First Direct. However, it is not accepting joint account applications. There’s no minimum monthly pay in amount required.

While there are no changes to the account, First Direct isn’t currently offering a switch incentive. A spokesperson added that it may offer one in the future.

First Direct current account features

The First Direct 1st Account offers a £250 interest-free overdraft buffer – subject to status (39.9% EAR variable above £250) as well as access to its regular saver offering 2.75% AER when you put away between £25 and £300 a month for a fixed 12 month term.

The account also offers a ‘sweep’ feature which automatically moves any spare money from your 1st Account to a First Direct Savings Account.

For any customer unhappy with the current account product, First Direct offers a £100 ‘parting gift’.

The First Direct 1st Account used to charge a £10/month fee for those who held the account after six months but this was scrapped in September 2019.

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