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HSBC Holdings PLC (LON:HSBA) will relaunch its telephone and digital banking brand First Direct with new features to compete with the growing ranks of challenger and digital-only banks, according to a report on Monday.

Over the next 12 months the bank will introduce new services and features to make itself “more accessible”, including the use of artificial intelligence to automate activities like topping up savings accounts.

For the first time, First Direct will allow customers with limited credit histories to open accounts and will provide services to help them improve their records.

At a time when digital challengers like Monzo and Revolut are attracting swathes of customers and billion-pound market valuations, Joe Gordon, First Direct’s chief executive, told the Financial Times that the “digital pivot” comes to help it “tackle the environment as it is now”.

Some of the new features could even be adopted by HSBC’s main division.

HSBC has declined to comment.

–Edited to add HSBC response