HSBC/First Direct

Is this standard procedure among most banks? Surely they would need to assess your current credit-worthiness if you wish to borrow more?

Lloyd’s, TSB, Barclays, Nationwide, Monzo?, Starling from my experience they run Soft check and their internal rating… Hard search only when apply for overdraft for the first time

I’m not sure that HSBC would carry out a hard search - traditionally, they have relied on more on a customers relationship with them (more so than other banks) when deciding whether to extend credit to them

HSBC Advance seems to be withdrawing the HSBC Advance Members offers programme


Did you ever use it?

It’s a bit of a chore to periodically check the offers and as a result I often forget about their existence.

Banks need to get smarter about surfacing relevant offers in-app instead of requiring customers to check offer lists


Nope, never used it, but was planning to use something similar, what they call home&Away

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I suspect that the reasoning here is twofold:

  1. First Direct is the direct banking brand, so these would be the customers most interested in banking via the app and most likely to use the features offered - it’s worth testing new features on a group that’s likely to be receptive to them; these customers are generally more technologically savvy in the first place and probably more affluent than the mainstream brand - so more engaged with the latest smartphones, etc.

  2. FD is the smaller market
    If they introduce a feature which is either extremely badly received (so they need to row back on it) or somehow breaks some existing functionality, it’s far better for this to only impact a small number of customers - it’s also bad PR to allow the main brand to be sullied if something does go wrong. At least with FD, the HSBC name would be mentioned only in passing - not right there in the headline.