HSBC plans First Direct relaunch to compete with digital rivals

Monday 14 October 2019 11:25 CET | News

HSBC has announced its plans to overhaul its First Direct brand to attract younger customers and compete with digital banking rivals.

Some of the new products it is working on include an in-app marketplace and a “financial autopilot” that would use artificial intelligence to make personalised recommendations and automate activities such as topping up savings accounts.

Successful features may eventually be introduced to customers of HSBC’s main brand. The plans highlight the impact app-based challengers have had on UK’s established lenders. First Direct will also, for the first time, allow customers with limited credit histories to open accounts, and provide services to help them improve their records.

First Direct was launched 30 years ago as a branchless division of Midland Bank, before it was taken over by HSBC. It has about 1.45 million customers, and its focus on telephone-based customer service has helped it to consistently appear near the top of official customer satisfaction surveys, the bank says.

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Keywords: HSBC, First Direct, Midland Bank, US, Europe, digital bank, online banking, Monzo, Bud, digital banking, UK
Countries: World