Sucheta Dalal :ICICIdirect’s I-Saver brokerage plan irks customers
Sucheta Dalal

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ICICIdirect’s I-Saver brokerage plan irks customers  

February 16, 2010

ICICIdirect’s refund of excess brokerage remitted at the end of the quarter under its I-Saver plan is not going down well with its customers. ICICIdirect recently launched its two new brokerage plans—I-Secure (flat brokerage at 0.55% of total turnover) and I-Saver (slab-wise brokerage based on transaction volume/turnover).

Under the I-Saver plan, ICICIdirect charges 0.75% of the total traded volume (applicable for turnover of less than Rs10 lakh in a quarter) or a minimum of 0.25% (on turnover of more than Rs5 crore), whichever is higher.
The charges vary depending on the range of traded volumes. For instance, in the range of Rs10 lakh-Rs25 lakh, brokerage will be 0.70%; for Rs25 lakh-Rs50 lakh (0.55%); Rs50 lakh-Rs1 crore (0.45%); Rs1 crore-Rs2 crore (0.35%) and Rs2 crore-Rs5 crore (0.30%).
If an investor opts for a slab-wise plan, the entity charges the highest brokerage slab of 0.75% irrespective of the transaction volume (single or multiple) in a single day and recalculates the correct brokerage only at the end of the quarter.
“It is hard to believe that with financial systems around the globe becoming more and more automated and up-to-date, ICICI Securities is not able to pick up the right brokerage slab and calculate correct brokerage amount on the orders that were successfully executed earlier during the same day,” said Gyanesh Gupta, a customer of ICICIdirect.  
“If any extra brokerage is charged and if it comes under that slab, it is credited in the customer’s account in the form of incentive in the next quarter,” said an ICICIdirect official.
Moreover, existing customers of ICICIdirect were made to switch to the I-Saver plan and there was no way they could change the plan unless they informed the company.
“I got an email from the company saying that my trading scheme had shifted to I-Saver and I had to use that plan for a quarter,” said an ICICIdirect customer, preferring anonymity.
Mr Gupta also pointed out that although ICICIdirect runs a user-friendly website, its brokerage charges are among the highest compared to other brokerage houses. He has raised this issue with ICICI Securities since the last two months, but officials have been giving him a standard excuse of ‘system limitations’. Investors are made to wait until the end of a quarter to get the refund of excess brokerage that they have been charged previously.

“Whenever you do a transaction, the brokerage is debited on a daily basis which is valid for one quarter. The brokerage charges are charged on the total traded value (buy and sell),” added the official.  
Moneylife Digital Team


-- Sucheta Dalal