First Direct now accepting new current account applications after brief suspension
First Direct is now accepting new applications for its current account, after temporarily pausing them on Friday 16 December. It had initially told MoneySavingExpert.com it had made the move in order to maintain its customer service standards and let staff catch up and have a break over the Christmas period, but has now decided it has the resources to process applications as normal.
First Direct's 1st Account has regularly been listed as one of MoneySavingExpert.com's top-pick bank accounts because it's got a strong reputation for good service, offers many an ongoing £250 interest-free overdraft and gives you access to a 7% regular savings account – and offers newbies switching to it a free £175.
The bank had initially decided to pause new applications until sometime in "early January", but has now stated that applications will be accepted throughout the festive period. If you've already applied for an account, your application will be processed as normal – the bank says there's no need to call to chase.
Top bank switching bonuses
First Direct isn't the only bank to offer a cash incentive to switch to it. Full details and crucial eligibility information can be found in our Best bank accounts guide, but in brief:
|Bank||Switching bonus||Other perks|
|HSBC||£200||3% savings account (max £10,000), 5% regular saver (max £250/mth)|
|Halifax||£175||Monthly rewards, including £5/mth, or cinema tickets, movies rentals or magazine subscriptions|
|First Direct||£175||£250 0% overdraft, 7% regular saver|