First Direct takes brand to the high street for the first time

First Direct is coming to the UK high street for the first time, installing 12 Space Invader-themed cash points at a number of railway stations as part of its ‘unexpected bank’ positioning.

first direct atm 2014 460

The ATMs will be located at railway stations including Clapham Junction, Portsmouth, Vauxhall and Southampton, with the bank deliberately targeting high-traffic locations for its first foray onto the high street. Each cash machine will be branded in First Direct’s distinctive black and white, with some designed to look like Space Invader games machines while others representing household scales.

First Direct will promote the cash machines via a teaser video, featuring an “ATM spotter”, that will be launched on YouTube in mid-July. The bank will also use social media and digital to support the launch.

The cash machines are being rolled out as part of a six-month pilot to gauge demand. First Direct will review their success before deciding whether to extend the trial across the UK.

Lisa Wood, head of marketing at First Direct, says: “As an internet and telephone bank, the ATMs are a great way for us to give the brand a high street presence in some key high-traffic locations.

“It was also important for the machines to have that unique First Direct ‘twist’, which is why they won’t look like any other bank ATM.”

First Direct, which is owned by HSBC, rolled out its unexpected bank messaging last year with the aim of reinforcing its position as a challenger brand. It is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here