The news that First Direct is to get rid of is free banking services is bound to be watched clsoely by ther banks who are keen to raise introduce charges for customers. It is also an opportunity for customers to hurt First Direct by closing account and to send a clear message tothe banking industry.
Let's face it, UK banks are hardly known for their small profits and it's not like they are in desperate financial straights. What First Direct are doing though is acting as a trail blazer for the rest of the HSBC group. If this succeeds, it is the population, nd particularly the poorer ones, who will pay more.
The fact that First Direct won't charge if you pay in more than £1500 a month means that anyone earning less than about £25,000 a year will be charged an extra £120 a year by the bank. Effectively a poll tax on the poor.
And what about those who are forced to open a bank account because this is the only way they can now receive government benefits ? Effectively, this means that the very poorest will be hit the very hardest. Disgraceful.
I don't have a First Direct account, but if I did, I'd send them a message straight away by closing my account and moving it to the Nat West, a bank that has local branch numbers and uses UK call centres !