A section of HSBC Bank Plc, First Direct is a telephone and internet bank in the UK with 1.35 million customers. The company took its very first phone call at 12.01am on the 1st of October 1989, and more than 1,000 calls were taken within the first 24 hours. Based in two call centres in Leeds and Scotland, the bank is renowned for its superior and award-winning customer service.
First Direct launched SMS banking, where customers received financial information through text message. This included text alerts for when a current account dipped below a certain amount and weekly mini-statements. Following this, the bank trialled and launched internet banking services. Furthermore, First Direct also launched the first generation of mobile banking that pre-dates mobile-banking apps.