First Active

First Active

Infobox Company
company_name = First Active Plc
foundation = 1861
company_type = Subsidiary of Royal Bank of Scotland
location = Throughout Ireland, HQ in Dublin
num_employees = 4800 (2004)
industry = Financial services
products = Various Banking Products
homepage = []
key_people =
revenue =

First Active is an Irish bank, and former building society. It has traditionally offed a range of mortgage, savings, investment, pension and life assurance products. However in recent months, they have begun to provide Credit Cards, ATM accounts and Current Accounts. They offer online banking as well as Laser/Maestro debit cards.


First Active was founded in 1861 as the Workingman's Benefit Building Society. It was incorporated in Ireland in 1875 under the Building Societies Act, 1874. In 1960 the name of the Society was changed to First National Building Society. Over a period of years First National grew both organically, through expansion of its branch network, and by the acquisition of the business of five small building societies.

In 1994 First National acquired Mortgage Trust Limited, a UK centralised mortgage lending business. In 1995 a deposit taking subsidiary commenced business in Guernsey, Channel Islands. The Group's UK operations were expanded in 1996 through the acquisition of The Mortgage Corporation. A retail deposit taking operation was established in England in 1996 to obtain sterling deposits to fund the Group's growing mortgage business in the UK.

At the 1998 Annual General Meeting the members voted to convert to a public limited company and to list the Company shares on the Irish and London Stock Exchange. Conversion occurred on 7 September 1998, the shares were listed on 6 October 1998 and simultaneously the company raised IR£132 million in new capital from existing members and from the institutional markets.

Between September 2000 and December 2002 First Active sold its investments in First Active Financial in the UK to Britannic Assurance plc.

Since the 1990s, it has been using an advertising campaign which involves contradicting received knowledge about finance. Examples include the First Active representative telling "Most people" that there's no need to keep switching mortgage companies, finding "whoever said that you need to keep switching mortgages in order to get the best deal", and finding where it is written that it takes ages to get a decision on your mortgage.

On 5 January 2004 First Active became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

External links

* [ First Active (Republic of Ireland) company website]
* [ First Active (UK, mortgages only) company website]
* [ About First Active]

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