Standard Chartered introduces minimum commission in Singapore: what does this mean for you?

Some days ago I found a letter in my mailbox from Standard Chartered bank. This is not a rare occurrence, given that this bank is not able to issue e-statements for online trading and instead sends monthly statements and letters after every single transaction.

Unfortunately this time the letter contained some bad news: “a revision of minimum brokerage amount”…

“Revision” is wrongly used in this context, as there used to be no minimum commission, but now there is.

Now we have to pay minimum commission

Priority banking clients (as far as I know, this means more than SGD 200,000 invested with the bank or loans over a certain amount) do not have to pay the minimum commission.

For all other accounts the following minimum commission applies from August 1, which I compare here with other leading retail banks:

Minimum commission for stocks trading on SGX

  Standard Chartered DBS Vickers OCBC Basic Trading (Cash) Account OCBC Equities Plus Account
Minimum commission for shares traded in SGD 10 25 25 18
Minimum commission for shares traded in HKD 100 125 100 ?*
Minimum commission for shares traded in USD 10 15 14 ?*
Where are your shares kept? Custodian account Your CDP account Your CDP account Custodian account

*The official data sheet from OCBC is lacking this information

Commission rates and other fees for online trading on SGX with volume less than SGD 50,000 for “normal” customers

  Standard Chartered DBS Vickers OCBC Basic Trading (Cash) Account OCBC Equities Plus Account
Commission rate 0.20% 0.28% 0.275% 0.18%
Custody fee for foreign stocks None SGD 2 per counter per month None ?*
CDP Quarterly sub account fee None Does not apply Does not apply SGD 15
Dividend processing fee None None None 1% of net dividend (Min S$5, Max S$100)

Some remarks: While the OCBC Equities Plus Account is dangling some nice low commission in front of our faces like a carrot it has a lot of terrible charges including an asinine CDP Quarterly Sub Account Fee of SGD 15. Not cool!

Standard Chartered Online Brokerage: Is it still competitive?

Overall I still feel that the offer from Standard Chartered remains competitive even though trading small amount of shares will be quite a bit more expensive.

In my books, Standard Chartered’s saving grace is that it has a clear and easy to understand fee structure, much in contrast to peers that promote low commission rates but then impose quarterly fees or fees for dividend processing.

I hope some of the proceeds from the higher commission rates can be used to finally introduce e-statements for Online Trading – save some trees, Standard Chartered!

A nice tree

Trees look much better this way as compared to Standard Chartered’s printed and mailed statements

What do you think?

What do you think about the new fee structure? Which broker do you use and why? Just post in the comments, would love to hear from you!

Disclaimer: I made every effort to make sure that the data in this post is correct, but I cannot guarantee this. Please do your own research before you make any investment decisions and also read my blog disclaimer.

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