US brokerage Charles Schwab opens Singapore office

The Charles Schwab Corp logo is displayed at an office in New York.
The Charles Schwab Corp logo is displayed at an office in New York.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - NYSE-listed brokerage powerhouse Charles Schwab announced on Wednesday (Nov 8) the launch of its Singapore office aimed at providing Singapore and Asian investors greater access to the US market, which has been hindered by high transaction fees and unfamiliarity.

The brokerage is hoping to achieve this through its proprietary tools and research, quality service and competitive pricing.

The launch of Charles Schwab Singapore follows a successful system integration and accounts migration in Singapore from optionsXpress, a derivatives trading platform Charles Schwab acquired in 2011.

The Singapore office of Charles Schwab - a leading global wealth manager and brokerage firm with more than 10.6 million active brokerage accounts and US$3.18 trillion in client assets globally - will be led by managing director, Greg Baker.

"Singapore investors are sophisticated but are often underexposed to the US market due to high transaction fees," Mr Baker said, adding "often we find that investors do not sufficiently diversify their investments and their exposure to international markets is predominantly through foreign exchange (forex), when there is an opportunity to maximise their investment return by exploring other vehicles such as options, stocks and ETFs (exchange-traded funds)."

He added that with the Singapore office, an investor no longer needs to be a private banking client to access quality service and a comprehensive platform.

"We are also offering to investors in Singapore a simple fixed-fee structure with the most competitive pricing in the market. That is the core of our belief: there do not have to be trade-offs between quality research, price and customer experience, and that is why we are excited to bring this to the Singapore investors," Mr Baker said.

The Singapore office holds a capital markets services licence issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and an Exempt Financial Adviser as defined in the Financial Advisers Act.