Online Robbery

I routinely joke that Indians are bad at math, because the rates that people pay for financial products here in India is sometimes off the charts. The interest rate on credit cards right now is around 37% a year – ouch.

Till 2 years ago, as an Indian citizen you could not remit more than USD 25,000 out of India. That has now changed to USD 200,00 and that is a hugh number in India. Consequently many companies are trying to get a piece of that action – enter ICICI.

ICICIdirect.com the online trading platform for the bank has established a partnership for the US markets to trade NYSE and NASDAQ listed companies. Now the math, ICICI will charge the client 75bps on the transaction cost, so a USD 20,000 trade will cost the client USD 150 for brokerage. I haven’t seen those type of brokerage rates since the 80’s when I was in high school getting screwed by my broker at Merrill Lynch as he was handing off half-assed research reports.

For any Indian citizen looking to remit money outside of India, I would highly recommend you open up an E*Trade account in either the US or Hong Kong and pay a flat USD 10 per trade. The ICICI partnership is a good deal for people that are bad at math and don’t know how to multiple USD 20,000 by .0075.

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