Fee changes at OCBC and DBS

There are a couple of updates to fees at two Singapore brokers. OCBC Securities has slightly reduced its commissions on the higher tiers for Singapore stock trades – trades S$50-100k are now 0.22% from 0.275% and trades above S$100k are now 0.18% from 0.20%. This brings it in line with most of its local peers for online Singapore trades.

It’s a small change, but at least it’s in the client’s favour. DBS Vickers appears to have gone in the opposite direction. A reader has pointed out some significant alterations to the firm’s fee schedule for some international markets. (These apparently came in a little while ago, but neither I nor anyone I know uses DBS, so I wasn’t aware of it until now.)

The main differences are:

  • There are now dividend handling fees and custody fees for markets where these previously didn’t apply (the absence of the standard S$2/month/stock custody fee for foreign shares was DBS’s biggest unique point among Singapore brokers, at least until Standard Chartered turned up).
  • Trades for Canada and the US that used to be done on a fee per share commission basis are now done on a percentage of trade value basis. This is a more standard way of charging, but may make trades more expensive for those clients dealing in higher-priced shares (although, in any case, none of the Singapore firms are cheap for US shares compared with other international options – their strength is in easier access to regional Asian markets).

The DBS changes seem only to apply to Singapore-registered accounts – fees for Hong Kong-based clients remain unchanged according to the schedule.

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