First Direct is replying to customers' queries publicly for the first time on its online forum, as part of a wider strategy to strengthen customer relations by being media friendly.
The HSBC-owned telephone and online bank launched its online forum, Talking Point. a year ago, but this will be the first time the brand will be publicly "speaking" to customers who use it. It is also allowing customers to comment on articles in its newsroom.
As part of its drive for openness through social media, First Direct has an online hub called "live", which aggregates positive and negative comments about the brand from the social web, a social media newsroom, and presences on Twitter, Flickr and YouTube.
Paul Say, First Direct’s head of marketing, said: "We find what our customers value most about our service are the levels of accessibility and transparency we strive for. Therefore ‘talking with’, as opposed to just ‘listening’, was the logical next step."