Switching Bank

PTA

Mar 5, 2020
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I am considering changing my bank accounts from HSBC (I no longer want to support a dictatorship) to another bank...quite probably First Direct.
Has anyone done this?
How easy was/is it?
I will be contacting prospective banks but I was wondering if anyone has done this and can speak from experience?
 
Nov 6, 2005
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First Direct is owned by HSBC - if your switch is motivated by principle, it'll achieve nothing.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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When I took power of attorney for my father 2018-19 I transferred his accounts from Nationwide and NatWest to Santander. It all worked very well as his current, savings and ISAs were smoothly transferred and all of his debuts and credits were there. Santander gave good service either in bank or online and when he died they were very good.
 
Last edited:
Oct 8, 2006
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First Direct may be owned by HSBC but they are British based in Leeds with a local call centre and a second in Renfrew or somewhere like that.
We were some of the first 50000 that joined when they started up in about 1989 and I can honestly say that it is one step I have never regretted. Their call centre staff speak English as a first language, they are obviously well trained, they do not work from a script and they talk <to> you, not <at> you as many script monkeys do.
My daughter did a gap year in Oz and banked with FD. She had her card wallet stolen so called their overseas line (0113 234 5678) which is always answered by a person, never an auto attendant. They called her straight back and couldn't have been more helpful, including notifying the providers of her other cards. She had a new card in her hand, in Oz in three days and credit was made available at an associated Aussie bank in the interim. That is the sort of customer service that gets a good name.
I know quite a few people who use FD and not one has a bad word for them. What is more they are the only proper bank that consistently sits in the list of the top ten most popular UK financial institutions, usually 4th or 5th. You only need to read the money section of such papers as the Sunday Times, Daily/Sunday Telegraph, and the Mail or Express and you will soon find which banks to avoid. Sadly, from the above, NW and Santander are two outfits that do not have a good name, whereas Nationwide do.
 
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May 7, 2012
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Just to clarify the Scottish call centre is in Hamilton and a major employer around here. I appreciate your thinking, but I think the bank had little choice if it wanted to survive. It will be interesting to see if they do suffer over here. Not sure if this could be a bit too political for this forum though.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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First started in yorkshire bank then moved it to santander and now everything in Nationwide Building Society . we only use debit cards then we can keep check of it .
 
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Mar 8, 2009
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We switched from Nat West to Halifax some years ago now. Halifax did all the 'necessary' for us ---- no messing, no hassle, no problems!
 
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Jul 28, 2008
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Yes, switching is very easy. The “new” bank generally takes care of switching everything over (including DD’s SO’s etc). I’ve done it a couple of times.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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We have been with HSBC since when it was Midlands Bank. We have not bothered to change banks, but after hassles with call centre now having second thoughts. Never had to contact them previously, but had to recently and it was ansd still is a total nightmare. Obviously call centre never responded, chat placed you in a very long queue all very understandable so sent a message and got a rather rude response.
We did consider moving to First Direct a few years ago to get away from a Chinese bank and actually started the process until we realised we were just moving sideways. Decided we might as wells stay with HSBC. Now seriously looking elsewhere with the main criteria being efficiency and a LOCAL call centre.
 

PTA

Mar 5, 2020
98
50
135
We have been with HSBC since when it was Midlands Bank. We have not bothered to change banks, but after hassles with call centre now having second thoughts. Never had to contact them previously, but had to recently and it was ansd still is a total nightmare. Obviously call centre never responded, chat placed you in a very long queue all very understandable so sent a message and got a rather rude response.
We did consider moving to First Direct a few years ago to get away from a Chinese bank and actually started the process until we realised we were just moving sideways. Decided we might as wells stay with HSBC. Now seriously looking elsewhere with the main criteria being efficiency and a LOCAL call centre.
You are following my mindset\actions EXACTLY.
 
Apr 20, 2009
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As more and more companies/shops/retailers etc etc are now requesting contact less payment I have been thinking for a couple of weeks of opening another account as they dont seem to want my proper money...cash!!
Just seen this on first direct's web:

The coronavirus is affecting 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 so please keep checking back here for updates.
 
Mar 27, 2011
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I’ve banked all my life with Nat West, never had a problem with them, 4 years ago when I started working for myself I opened an account with RBS, chose them purely because they gave me the best terms for first 18months, when things got awkward with banks being bailed out the government said the likes of RBS had to lose lots of there business accounts so all the other banks were vying for picking up the business accounts, all and sundry offered decent perks and TSB had a deal which was too good to miss, just for switching to them they gave me a £1500 cash payment and 2 years totally free banking, I’ve no idea who the bank is owned by but in the 12 months I’ve used them they have been great.
 
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Jan 3, 2012
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My Brother John he been with Halifax all his life then he got his own business, he got offered a decent perk with TSB and he never look back .
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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I’ve banked all my life with Nat West, never had a problem with them, 4 years ago when I started working for myself I opened an account with RBS, chose them purely because they gave me the best terms for first 18months, when things got awkward with banks being bailed out the government said the likes of RBS had to lose lots of there business accounts so all the other banks were vying for picking up the business accounts, all and sundry offered decent perks and TSB had a deal which was too good to miss, just for switching to them they gave me a £1500 cash payment and 2 years totally free banking, I’ve no idea who the bank is owned by but in the 12 months I’ve used them they have been great.

TSB is owned by Banco Sabadell Spain’s fifth largest bank.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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We left HSBC when they told us our mortgage was paid off, we tried to explain that it wasn't, but they said it was, then they told us we were in arrears on our mortgage,turned out they had used the money we wanted to pay off a business loan to clear our mortgage, and because when they corrected it, we according to them were in arrears,they then affected our credit rting, eventually after 2 years we mangaed to get an apology, and they blamed a typing error, in the meantime it affected our credit ratings both personal and business, and we could not get to speak to anybody who accepted what they had done. We then paid our mortgage off and will never go near them again,not sure who is better in the long term, we are currently with Lloyds who have been good for the business during Covid, but only because of the rare animal, a personal mobile number to our business manager.
 

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