Switching your bank account to first direct is as easy as banking with us - and just as helpful.
Our Easyswitch team will take care of all the fiddly details for you, switching your standing orders and Direct Debits, and setting you up with Text Message Banking so you can check your balances. And once the Easyswitch process is complete, we'll double check to make sure everything's running smoothly.
We're here for you every step of the way - so we'll start right now by explaining exactly how the process works.
When we help you switch your account, we do everything we can to make the transition as smooth as possible. And just so you know, here's exactly what we'll do for you.
We'll contact your bank to move your standing orders and Direct Debits
We'll contact the companies you pay by standing order and Direct Debit
After we've spoken to your bank, we'll contact the companies/organisations you pay by standing order and Direct Debit and let them know your new account details.
We'll let you know your transfer date
We aim to have your standing orders and Direct Debits set up in your new 1st Account within 20 working days of your first request. As soon as we have an exact date, we'll let you know so you have plenty of time to change any regular credits into your account.
We'll double check your standing orders and Direct Debits
We'll check your new 1st Account 25 days after your transfer date to make sure your standing orders and Direct Debits are being paid from your new account. If they're not, we'll let you know immediately which payments haven't yet been claimed so you can contact the company or organisation to resolve the issue.
You will need to tell your income provider/s that your account details have changed
You can let them know using our income transfer form PDF download (opens in new window).
We aim to have the entire Easyswitch process taken care of within 20 working days - though this does also depend on the companies and organisations you have payments with updating your Direct Debits. All being well, here's what we'd expect to happen and when.
Days 1 to 3
We'll contact you to let you know we have started the transfer process and advise you of your transfer date.
We'll request a list of all your standing orders and Direct Debits from your old bank.
Days 4 to 14
We'll check we've received a list of all your standing orders and Direct Debits from your old bank and if not we'll chase them - keeping you informed along the way.
We'll confirm your transfer date and provide you with a list of your regular payments and ask you to check them and contact us with any changes.
Days 15 to 19
We'll set up your standing orders to leave your 1st Account from your transfer date, let your Direct Debit originators know your first direct details and ask your old bank to cancel the regular payments from your transfer date.
Your standing order and Direct Debits should now be fully transferred to your 1st Account and you'll be able to view them by logging on to Internet Banking. Bear in mind you won't be able to see an amount until the first payments have debited your account.
One month after your transfer
Any monthly Direct Debits will have had time to leave your new account by this stage, so we'll check this for you. If any of your Direct Debits have not transferred to your new first direct account, we'll contact you with details and let you know what you need to do.
Switching bank accounts isn't something you do everyday - so you're bound to have a few questions. Naturally, you can call us anytime if you'd like to discuss the process - but in the meantime, here are a few common queries.
Our downloads are in a PDF format. To read them you'll need to have Adobe Reader 4.0™ or above. It's free and you can get Adobe Reader here (opens in new window).
What do I need to do to switch my banking?
If you haven't asked us for one already, the first thing you need to do is complete a Standing Order and Direct Debit Transfer form PDF download (opens in new window) and return it to us. We'll request a list of your regular payments from your current bank or building society and send this to you to check. We'll then notify the recipients of these payments to change the account details in time for your transfer date. Of course, if you need any help along the way, our Easyswitch team will be able to assist you.
How long does it take to switch?
We'll set your transfer date around 20 working days after we receive your transfer request.
What is a standing order?
Standing orders are regular payments you send from your account to a company or another person - for example, a regular pension payment.
What is a Direct Debit?
Direct Debits are regular payments to a business or organisation from your account, which may be a different amount or date each time - for example, your electricity bill. Each individual payment is claimed by the business/organisation.
What is the difference between a standing order and a Direct Debit?
A standing order is a payment you send, while a Direct Debit is a payment claimed by a company/organisation. A Direct Debit is more convenient if the amount or date of the payment will change regularly.
Why can't you transfer my salary (and other regular credits) for me?
Your salary is an agreement between you and your income provider and the instruction to change where the payment is sent to needs to be given by you for security. To transfer your salary or other income, just download and complete an Income Transfer form PDF download (opens in new window).
Do I need to close my old bank account?
You don't have to, but you can download a Previous Bank Account Closure form PDF download (opens in new window) to do so if you want to. Having your banking under one roof makes things more manageable so we would love you to use first direct for all your banking.
Why have all my regular payments not transferred as requested?
If your payments haven't been transferred, it'll be because some payees take longer than others to update their information. There can also be times where the company requires a new mandate to be completed before they can update their information. If this happens our Easyswitch team will advise you on the best action you need to take.
Will I need to do anything after I have returned my form?
Once we've heard from the companies and organisations you currently have your standing orders and Direct Debits set up with we'll send you a list of these to check. If you find that the list needs to be amended or you don't receive it please contact us on 08 456 100 100. You may need to contact any companies or organisations who don't act on our instruction to update your details. You should monitor your account to make sure your payments leave as expected and contact any companies who don't claim a payment when they should. We'll check your account about a month after your transfer and let you know if any companies or organisations haven't claimed.
If there is a failure in the switching process we will refund any charges or interest you've paid to us, and if you are a Northern Ireland customer your old bank should refund any charges or interest you've paid to them.
If you are a Northern Ireland customer and you use our switching service we can offer you an interest and charge free overdraft for three months from the date that you open your account with us, taking into account your existing Direct Debits and Standing Orders, subject to our usual credit assessment criteria.
Male 1: It's quite a big thing to move banks; it's bigger than moving your electricity supplier or something I think.
Female 2: I'd be scared of it all going wrong and my bills and my car insurance not being paid.
Female 3: I've been wanting to but I've been putting it off.
Male 3: It will just be time consuming.
Male 4: Switching a Direct Debit would probably be the first thing that put me off.
Customer 1 : Easyswitch is appealing because you know that somebody else is taking on responsibility and taking on all of the work and all of the administration. I mean you don't have to worry about resetting up new sets of Direct Debit arrangements, that all of that work is being done by somebody else is really appealing to us.
first direct employees 1: We're not pressurising customers into using the 'Easyswitch' service. However we would as first direct would happily take that on board for them and do everything we can to make it as smooth as possible for them.
Customer 2: I just went to the first direct website and I found the 'Easyswitch' section and just used that to change over straight away online, it was really straight forward and easy.
Customer 3: The people were really helpful that I spoke to; they sorted everything out sent the paperwork that I needed. It seemed to all go through quite quickly.
Customer 4: Not sort of a whole sort of mass of small print and indigestible information but very clear about what the various stages would be.
Customer 2: Not very long afterwards they sent me another letter saying we've sent instruction to these companies the letter tells you to keep an eye on them, it's your bank account after all you have to look after it.
first direct employees 1: With regards to the Direct Debit companies, we do notify all of them and we will send instructions to every company, but we are completely reliant on those companies, so as much as we try and give the best service really that we can give, sometimes we do rely on the customer to get in touch with the companies if they don't act upon the instruction.
first direct employees 2: And we need the customer to continuously monitor the account throughout the process and even in the first couple of months after the transfer date, to see that you know the first payment's going out of first direct and to keep an eye on how the account's running.
Customer 1: There is something about just the friendly attention to detail quality service that we got all the way through the switch that we'd happily recommend elsewhere.
Customer 3: I would definitely recommend first direct for the ease of switch from one bank account to another.
first direct employees 1: We will do everything we can, even if it is just managing a customer's expectations of saying we are sorry this company hasn't updated we may need your assistance along the way, but we will always give you great service from myself and from my colleagues.
first direct employees 2: But it is our job to make it as smooth as possible. That's what we do!
We've put together a selection of services and benefits to go with your 1st Account so you're prepared wherever you are - at home, abroad, or on the road.
You can apply online through your Internet Banking. As you're currently logged in, just select Apply online from the left hand menu within Internet Banking
Once you've logged on to Internet Banking, just select 'Apply', and choose '1st Account' from the left hand menu.
If you haven't yet registered for Internet Banking, simply click on the link below and enter your support and access ID details. If you haven't received your support and access IDs, please call us on 08 456 100 100.
Please print and save a copy for your records.
Our downloads are in a PDF format. To read them you'll need to have Adobe Read 4.0™ or above - it's free and you can get Adobe Reader here (opens in new window).
first direct subscribe to the Lending Code. You can learn more about the Lending Code on the Lending Standards Board (opens in new window) website.
For more information about accounts and other products you can refer to the Money Advice Service (opens in new window)™ website.