As investors, I would think that at a basic level, all of us would want to maximise our investment returns.
But, there are a few things in our way.
For one, we cannot avoid risk when it comes to investing.
In addition to this risk, there’s another thing that can chip away at our profits — the cost of trading. This can include anything from fees to commissions which can all add up over the years.
So you might be asking, can you actually put your money away and keep your expenses low?
We got you!
TL;DR: Cheapest brokerages in Singapore 2021
If you are wondering which brokerage firm is the best in Singapore on top of just brokerage fees and charges, the real user reviews on the various brokerages will be able to provide you with excellent insight.
All you need to know about stock brokerage accounts in Singapore
- Brokerage accounts that hold your shares as a custodian, generally charge lower fees than if you own the stock under your CDP account .
- Investors should determine if they are willing to bear the risk of a custodian brokerage account.
- For a seasoned investor, the special features of the online brokerage platforms will be something you should look at.
CDP vs Custodian Accounts
While a CDP account allows you to you hold all purchased stocks under your name, a custodian account means your purchased stocks are held by the respective investment firms.
You won’t be able to use more than the amount you’ve placed in your account.
We’ve fleshed out the pros and cons of both account types in greater detail here.
*If you’re looking to trade just stock CFDs , though, neither a CDP account nor custodian account is required.
Stock Brokerage Accounts in Singapore fee comparison (SG stocks)
For this Singapore specific comparison, we will be looking at the popular brokerage accounts in Singapore that let you trade on the SGX.
If you would like to buy US stocks, check out our comprehensive guide to the cheapest brokers to buy US shares .
For this comparison, we are splitting up the online offerings from the brokerages into three main categories:
Online Brokerage Accounts in Singapore: Cash Accounts fee comparison (SG stocks)
Most of the online stock brokerages in Singapore offer cash accounts that let you purchase a stock without putting up cash beforehand or trade on a ‘contra’ basis.
But, you will still have to pay on T+2, where T is the transaction date and two refers to the number of days.
This account provides you flexibility for short term trading as you do not need to put up a cash deposit. However, you pay for this flexibility as commissions are generally higher.
For context, these cash accounts that we are comparing allow you to trade online or on mobile.
|Cash Accounts||Minimum Commission
|Custodian or CDP Account?||Extra Fees|
|CGS-CIMB iTrade||$25||0.275 per cent||0.22 per cent||0.18 per cent||CDP||-|
|DBS Vickers Securities||$25||0.28 per cent||0.22 per cent||0.18 per cent|
|KGI Securities / KGI Connex||$25||0.275 per cent||0.22 per cent||0.18 per cent|
|Lim & Tan Securities||$25||0.28 per cent||0.22 per cent||0.18 per cent|
|Maybank Kim Eng Securities||$25||0.275 per cent||0.22 per cent||0.18 per cent|
|OCBC Securities iOCBC||$25||0.275 per cent||0.22 per cent||0.18 per cent||$15 CDP
Sub-account Maintenance fee
$2 monthly Foreign Shares Custody Fee
|Phillip Securities (POEMS)||$25||0.28 per cent||0.22 per cent||0.18 per cent|
|UOB Kay Hian||$25||0.275 per cent||0.22 per cent||0.18 per cent||$15 CDP
Sub-account Maintenance fee
Base on the above comparison, we can see that the rates are rather close to each other for these cash accounts that let you hold your shares via a CDP account.
Across the board, the minimum fees are $25 with a trading fee of:
- 0.275 - 0.28 per cent (<$50k)
- 0.22 per cent ($50k-$100k)
- 0.18 per cent (>$100k).
Online Brokerage Accounts in Singapore: Cash Upfront Trading Accounts fee comparison (SG stocks)
In Singapore, there have been a growing number of banks and stock brokerages offering up pre-funded accounts with more competitive rates.
These pre-funded accounts, or cash upfront trading (CUT) accounts offer these rates with one major requirement.
CUT accounts require that you have to deposit money into your account before you can purchase stocks. Your buying power is also limited to how much you deposit into your trading account. However, this also means that you get to enjoy lower commissions.
If you can live with this inconvenience, I would think that this is worth the savings.
To illustrate, let’s compare CGS-CIMB Securities cash account with their basic 0.275 per cent trading fee and their CGS-CIMB iTrade CUT account with their basic 0.18 per cent trading fee.
If you invested $10,000 , you would have saved $9.50. This amount will also scale up the more your invest.
For context, these cash upfront accounts that we are comparing allow you to trade online or on mobile.
|Pre-funded/ Cash Upfront Accounts||Minimum Commission
$50,001 - $100,000
|Custodian or CDP Account?||Extra Fees|
|DBS Vickers Cash Upfront*||$10||0.12 per cent||CDP||-|
|FSMOne||$8.80 (Flat)||-||CDP + Custodian
(CDP account linked for sell orders only)
|Zero per cent (No Charges for Stocks & ETFs)|
|CGS-CIMB iTrade||$18||0.18 per cent||Custodian||-|
|HSBC Online Securities||$25||0.25 per cent
(HSBC personal banking)
|0.18 per cent
|0.15 per cent
|Interactive Brokers Singapore||$2.50||0.08 per cent||Account
Maintenance fees: Up to U$10 (S$13.30) based on activity
Will be equal to zero if:
Net Liquidation Value >= U$100,000 (or non-USD equivalent) or
U$10 in commissions generated in a calendar month.
|KGI Connex (Pre-funded)||$25||0.18 per cent||-|
|Lim & Tan Securities: Cash Collateralised Trading||$18||0.18 per cent||-|
|moomooo (by Futu Holdings)||$0.99||0.03 per cent||0.03 per cent platform fee wth $1.50 minimum commission|
|Maybank Kim Eng Trade (Pre-funded)||$10||0.12 per cent||-|
|OCBC Securities: Equities Plus Account||$18||0.18 per cent||Quarterly sub-account fee (waived for >$250k AUM)
$2 + GST (a/c without holdings)
$15 + GST (a/c with holdings)
$2 foreign shares custody fee
|Phillip Securities: POEMS Cash Plus||$8 (Waived until Dec 30, 2021)||0.08 per cent||$16.05 Quarterly account maintenance fee waived
Waiver condition is at least one trade per quarter for the Account. Otherwise, $16.05 per quarter is chargeable based on March, June, September and December month-end Account balance
|ProsperUs (By CIMB)||$6 - $7||0.12 per cent (min. $7)||0.10 per cent (min. SGD 6)||0.08 per cent (min. SGD 6)||-|
|Saxo Capital Markets||$5||0.08per cent||0.12 per cent p.a. custody fee|
|Standard Chartered: Online Trading||$10||0.20 per cent||0.18per cent (>$200,000 AUM)||-|
|Tiger Brokers: Tiger Trade||$2.88 (Waived until Dec 31, 2021)||0.08 per cent||-|
|UOB Kay Hian: UTRADE Plus||$18||0.18 per cent||Quarterly sub-account fee
SGD2 + GST (a/c without holdings)
SGD15 + GST (a/c with holdings)
*DBS Vickers Cash Upfront is only applicable to buy trades. For sell trades, the commission to sell is $25.
At the moment for cash upfront trading accounts, Moomoo is offering the cheapest rates at the moment with a $0.99 minimum commissions fee and 0.03 per cent trading fee as well as a $1.50 minimum platform fee with a 0.03 per cent trading fee.
Effectively, Moomoo is charging 0.03 per cent with a minimum fee of $2.50 per trade.
If you would like to own your stocks in your CDP account, your only option is DBS Vickers cash upfront with its $10 minimum fee and 0.08per cent trading fee.
However, with this account, take note that you can only use it to conduct buy trades. If you want to conduct sell trades, you will be charged a commission of $25.
One way to get around this would be to buy stocks on your DBS Vickers cash upfront account and sell it with your FSMOne account; which has a lower $10 minimum fee and 0.08per cent trading fee.
Broker Assisted Brokerage Accounts in Singapore Fees Comparison (SG stocks)
Clearly, online brokerage accounts offer better rates than offline broker-assisted accounts.
However, if you are not comfortable with a do-it-yourself approach to trading and would want help from a human over the phone — broker-assisted accounts are the way to go.
For investors who use a broker for their trading, the comparison is as per below:
|Minimum Fees||Trading Fees (based on contract amount)
|Custodian or CDP Account?|
|$50K to $100K||>$100K||CDP|
|CGS-CIMB Securities||$40||0.50 per cent||0.40 per cent||0.25 per cent|
|DBS Vickers||$40||0.375 per cent||0.30 per cent||0.23 per cent|
|KGI Securities||$40||0.50per cent||0.40 per cent||0.25 per cent|
|Lim & Tan Securities||$40||0.50per cent||0.40 per cent||0.25 per cent|
|Maybank Kim Eng||$40||0.50per cent||0.40per cent||0.25per cent|
|Phillips Securities (POEMS)||$40||0.50per cent||0.40 per cent||0.25 per cent|
|OCBC Securities||$40||0.50per cent||0.40 per cent||0.25 per cent|
|RHB Securities||$40||0.50per cent||0.40 per cent||0.25 per cent|
|Citibank||$50||0.50 per cent||0.50per cent||0.40 per cent||Custodian|
If you really need this service — DBS Vickers offers the lowest broker-assist fees.
This article was first published in Seedly. All content is displayed for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional financial advice.