First Direct

First Direct

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First Direct

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First Direct (styled as first direct) is a telephone and internet-based retail bank in the United Kingdom, a division of HSBC Bank plc. First Direct has headquarters in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, and has 1.16 million customers.

First Direct's tagline is "Black and white banking".!

First Direct is based at two call centres in Stourton (Leeds) and Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, Scotland. Hamilton is the larger of the two call centres however the Leeds call centre handles risk assessment and some processing roles.


First Direct was formed on 1 October 1989 by Midland Bank, one of the "Big 4" banks in the UK. The call centre has famously never closed since this date. In 1992, it became a part of HSBC following the acquisition of Midland Bank. (The claim that HSBC was initially attracted to First Direct rather than Midland Bank itself is implausible, since HSBC started acquiring shares in Midland Bank two years before First Direct was established. However, interest in Midland Bank may have increased as a result of First Direct's creation.)

First Direct took its first call on 12.01am on 1 October 1989; more than 1,000 calls were taken within the first 24 hours. The launch of First Direct in 1989 was advertised with different adverts run concurrently on different ITV and Channel 4, one offering a negative view showing the aspects of normal banking and the other a positive view of First...
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