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first direct appoints new CEO

first direct has appointed Chris Pitt as Chief Executive (CEO), with effect from 1 October. Chris is currently Head of Marketing, HSBC UK.

Chris will be responsible for delivering first direct’s strategic growth plans as it focuses on giving customers confidence in digital experiences and a humanity they can’t get elsewhere.

Stuart Haire, Group General Manager, Wealth and Personal Banking, HSBC UK, said: “I am delighted to confirm Chris’s appointment to lead first direct. He is a great fit for the bank, with a really strong background in modern marketing, digital propositions and banking. He joins at a great time for first direct as it stands on the brink of an exciting new future.”

Chris Pitt, CEO of first direct, said:I’m really excited to be taking on this challenging new role. first direct has consistently been a pioneer in UK banking, and has an unmatched reputation for amazing customer experiences. My focus will be on building our reputation as a digital bank built around people not processes, growing through financial wellness, and empowering customers to act with confidence in life. The potential of first direct in the digital age is huge.”


first direct will be arranging media interviews once Chris takes up his new role.

For further information:

Ben Marquand at ben.marquand@firstdirect.com or +44 (0) 774 720 3538

Aurora Bonin at aurora.f.bonin@hsbc.com or +44 (0) 7438 850 833

For the latest updates, visit the first direct newsroom

Notes to Editors:

Chris Pitt biography

Chris takes over the digital and telephone bank first direct on 1 October, with the aim of exceeding its ambitious growth targets, and enhancing its reputation for innovation and customer experience.

Previously at HSBC UK, Chris was Head of Marketing, where he was responsible for the marketing activity for Wealth & Personal Banking, Commercial Banking, first direct and Marks & Spencer Bank, helping those businesses and brands deliver to trade and brand targets, always focused on what matters to customers.

Prior to his time at HSBC UK he worked in roles at TSB and Tesco Bank where his experience spanned the development and launch of mortgage, insurance, credit card and investment products.

About first direct

first direct provides mobile banking, online and telephone services to its 1.5m customers and offers a full range of personal banking products including its multi-award winning current account and mortgages. It’s been recognised as being a pioneer of amazing customer service by numerous independent third parties including The Competition and Markets Authority, Which?, Moneywise, Moneyfacts and Moneysavingexpert.com. As well as its Facebook page, first direct uses social media to engage with customers through LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter. first direct is a division of HSBC UK Bank plc.


HSBC serves c17 million customers in the UK and employs approximately 43,000 people. In the UK, HSBC offers a complete range of personal, premier and private banking services including bank accounts and mortgages. It also provides commercial banking for small to medium businesses and corporate and institutional banking services. HSBC Bank plc is a wholly owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc.

The HSBC Group

HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of the HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. The Group serves customers worldwide from around 3,900 offices in 67 countries and territories in Europe, Asia, North and Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,492bn at 30 June 2017, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.