Category Archives: Bank

Standard Chartered Online Trading

I opened Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) Online Trading in June, with settlement acounts in SGD, HKD, USD, EUR and GBP currency. I waited for another 3 weeks for the W8BEN form to be processed, so that I could start to use the USD settlement account.

The main attraction is that there is no minimum commission for trading in major stock exchanges around the world, so it is very good for small transaction, especially if you want to do monthly contribution into ETF. Read the Brokerage & Market FeesFAQ and this post by hyom. Besides the questions raised n FAQ, I also gathered the following information by calling the online trading hotline at 1800 242 5333 (don’t call the general hotline as the officers are not equipped to answer online trading-related question).

  1. All shares are held in SCB.
  2. No monthly custodian fee.
  3. No dividend handing fee.
There are two other things to note:  currency exchange rates and ETF listed in London Stock Exchange.

Currency exchange rates

I compared SCB currency exchange rates with that of for a random couple of days, see the spreadsheet below (or open the spreadsheet here). As you can see in the last column (Amount % Difference), HKD rate is consistently bad while others fluctuate. I have only transferred money to USD account and did so when the Amount % Difference is in the 0.5–0.6% range.

ETF listed in London Stock Exchange

According to London Stock Exchange (LSE) webpage on  ETF, ETFs attract no stamp duty. The two brokers (POEMS and Saxo) that I have used to purchase ETFs in LSE follow this rule and did not charge stamp duty.

For SCB, you will have to pay the stamp duty of 0.50% on buy trades. I called up SCB, cited the webpage and asked if there was a mistake and whether stamp duty would be refunded if the transaction in LSE was a ETF. SCB said they would call back. Few days later, SCB called me and said all buy trades in LSE will attract stamp duty. Huh?

So how much commission in total (including stamp duty) will I be paying when I use SCB compared to Saxo? See the spreadsheet below or open the spreadsheet here. SCB is more expensive than Saxo when your trading  amount is only slightly over $1000 ($1066.67 to be exact). This means SCB is only cheaper when you trade below $1066.67.


The ETFs and REIT shares that I use in my portfolio are listed Singapore exchange, US stock exchanges and London stock exchange.

  1. I am inclined to use SCB for transaction in Singapore exchange and US stock exchanges.
  2. I will continue to use Saxo for transaction in London stock exchange.
  3. For currency exchange, I am OK with the hassle of comparing the rate in SCB with each time before initiating the transfer.


Cash withdrawal and deposit with two brokers

Just to record my experience in cash withdrawal from optionsXpress (OX) and cash deposit to Saxo Capital Markets (Saxo).

Cash Withdrawal from OX


Before I requested for withdrawal, I have noticed my name in OX was spelled in the reverse order, so my name on the cheque issued by OX would be different from my UOB bank account name. I am not sure if the bank will accept such cheque.

I wrote to OX to find out how I can change my account name. The reply was to write them request in a letter to change the account name; and to speed up things, I could scan and email the letter. So I wrote the letter, print, sign, scan and finally email to OX. Within a week, the account name was changed according to my request. I was ready to request for a withdrawal by cheque.


I login to make the request but forgot the 4-digit PIN required on the withdrawal page. I went to the helpedesk chat room to reset my PIN and finally made the withdrawal. Here is the time line:

  • Sep 3: Submitted withdrawal request.
  • A week after Sep 3: Received the USD cheque.
  • Sep 11: Deposited the cheque into the deposit box at UOB bank. Wrote my name, account number and contact number at the back of the cheuqe.
  • Sep 15: Received a receipt by post for the deposit of the USD cheque. 
  • Oct 10: The money is deposited into my SGD savings account. 
  • Few days after Oct 10: I received a credit advice (below) that gave the details of the commission and conversion rate. 
Credit Advice
Cheque amount  USD 74.12
Less: Correspondent bank agent commission USD 15.00
Less: Correspondent bank charges  USD   0.00
Converted @ 1.4760000 SGD 87.26
Less: Handling commission SGD 10.00
Less: Telex charge SGD   0.00
Less: Postage SGD   5.00
Amount credited SGD 72.26

I am OK with the time taken to withdraw and cash in the cheque, but the commissions are just too high.

Cash Deposit to Saxo Capital Markets

  • Day 1: Issued a SGD personal cheque that bears my name on the front surface. Wrote my Saxo account number and login ID on the back of the cheque. Sent the cheque to Saxo by post; attn to my broker.
  • Day 2: My broker SMS me that the cheque was received and would be deposited in two days.
  • Day 4: The money was deposited into my cash account and ready for trading.

Making payment to FSM from Citibank

Making payment to Fundsupermart (FSM) from internet banking is easy, just select “iFast Financial” as the payee. For Citibank internet banking, iFast is not in the payee list, so I need to pay by electronic cheque.

However, the text box is not long enough to type in the payee “iFAST Financial-Client Trust Account” (!). Citibank said this is a system limitation, so I ask FSM for a shorter payee name and it is “iFAST Financial-Client Trust Acc“. Below is the information for setting up cheque payment to FSM.

Remember to enter your FSM account no. in the Message box when making payment.

Address Line 1: 20 RAFFLES PLACE
Address Line 2: #10-03 OCEAN TOWERS
Address Line 3: SINGAPORE
Address Line 4: 048620
Payment Method: Paid by check