Craig’s ICICI Bank Canada experience

Taken from Craig’s comments on this post

August 3, 2007

I am in the process of “trying” to open an online savings account with ICICI Canada. I went through their online application about three weeks ago and sent an initial deposit cheque as they instructed. About five days later, I got a generic email from ICICI advising that they received my deposit cheque, but I needed to call them for unspecified reasons before they could process it. I called their “customer service” number and spoke with a lady who had a very heavy Indian accent (I assume ICICI has farmed their call centre to some contractor located in India). She informed me that I needed to send them copies of two pieces of identification, one of which had to be my Social Insurance Card, and the other a piece of photo ID such as a driver’s license or passport. This is the first time I had ever been asked to do this by any bank offering online services, but as I have nothing to hide, and privacy is an illusion in this country anyway, I went along and faxed copies of my SIN and driver’s license to the fax number the lady provided me. That was two weeks ago, haven’t heard a peep from ICICI since. I plan on calling them to find out what is going on. Somehow, I expect to be told that they never received the ID documents, or that they “lost” my deposit cheque.

I agree with other posters about the lack of a “warm fuzzy feeling” when dealing with ICICI. I had originally planned to transfer the cash portion of my RRSP holdings to this bank, but I’m having second thoughts about entrusting ICICI with my retirement savings. I’ve read some other blogs on this bank, most of which lambasted the abysmal customer service. Some posters reported problems getting credit for promotions (e.g. $20 referral for account opening, etc). Others reported intermittent access to online accounts and delays getting funds transferred. I also have a funny feeling about their current 4.5% interest rate. Is there anyone else out there who suspects that ICICI will pull a fast one a few months down the road and lower their rate back down to 4.0%? If you look at their online rate history, you will notice that their most recent jump from 3.75% to 4.5% is way out of proportion with previous rate hikes. I suspect the current rate of 4.5% is really a promotional rate in disguise. Only time will tell I guess. I plan to keep a very modest amount in my ICICI account (if I ever get one) and see what happens.

August 7, 2007

I called ICICI “customer service” and spoke with yet another lady who had a very heavy Indian accent (NOTE: I have nothing against India or Indians, it is just very frustrating having to ask someone to repeat herself 3-4 times so I can understand what she is saying). I advised the lady that I had faxed the identification documents that ICICI requested. The lady put me on hold for 5 minutes while she searched for the fax. When she returned, she advised that they had received my fax, but the ID documents could not be read because of poor fax quality. When i asked why ICICI had not bothered to call or email me to explain this, she advised that it was MY responsibility to call THEM. I held my temper and explained that I had used the highest resolution setting possible to send the fax, but I would try to re-send it again anyway. The lady advised me to call “customer service” about 3 hours after sending the fax to confirm that the fax was acceptable. I’ll probably get around to doing this tomorrow.

ICICI is not making a good impression on me to say the least. If they have further “problems” with my follow-up fax, I may just put a stop payment on my initial deposit cheque and tell them to stuff their savings account. PC financial is looking to be a much better choice at the moment. Their rate is currently 4% (0.5% less than ICICI, and you have to maintain a mimimum balance), but at least they are a subsidiary of a major Canadian bank (CIBC) and their customer service reps all speak coherent english (at least the ones I’ve dealt with).

August 8, 2007

Tried to re-fax copies of my ID. TWICE. Total of three times. Both cases today were the same. I was expected to fax the info then call THEM. Both times, they said they couldn’t read the fax. The originals are high-quality photocopies. The fax machine I am using is a high-quality office fax. GET A NEW FAX MACHINE ICICI CANADA!!!!!!

So now I have to mail the ID documents in. Maybe I’ll send them COD and see what happens…

Not liking ICICI…

August 13, 2007

Received an email from ICICI Canada on August 11 (Saturday) saying something to the effect of “welcome to ICICI, your new savings account has been opened”. Also noticed that my first deposit cheque was cashed with a posting date of August 9. The email also said that I would be receiving a user ID and password to access their online banking website. Presumably this information will come by regular mail if ICICI follows the standard practices of the other online banks.

These events were unexpected considering the hassle that ICICI is putting me through vis a vis my identification documents (see previous posts). I still have not sent copies of my ID docs by mail. I think I will wait a week or so to see if the account info arrives. Maybe somebody at ICICI actually took a few moments to have a closer look at my faxes and were able to read my ID docs. Or maybe they are just a typical bloated bureaucracy where the right hand has no idea what the left hand is doing. My money is on the latter scenario. We’ll see what happens…

August 17, 2007

Received a password to access my savings account on ICICI’s website in the mail yesterday. I guess they figured they were causing themselves as much hassle with the ID documents (see previous posts) as they were causing me…

Thing is, I still can’t access my funds online yet because ICICI hasn’t sent me a “Customer ID Number”. That is apparently supposed to be sent by mail as well. When you first sign up with them by internet, they assign you something called a “Temporary Reference Number” which is not the same thing. Hopefully this “Customer ID number” will be in the mail tonight.

Why do I have a feeling that their e-commerce website is going to be a joke…

August 20, 2007

FINALLY, I have an ICICI “HiSave” account. Yippee.

Received ICICI’s “welcome package” by mail today, which consisted of a one-page “welcome” letter and about three pounds worth of “terms and conditions” pamphlets. The welcome letter also included the “customer ID number” needed to login to the bank’s website.

Of course, when I used the customer ID number and password supplied by ICICI, I got a message saying “Invalid Login ID or Password”. At this point, nothing surprises me with this bank. Their login “help” page says to type in my “ten digit customer ID number”. The number given to me is only nine digits. Hmmmmm. Called ICICI customer service and explained the problem, which, in all fairness to ICICI, was fixed promptly (although no explanation was offered for the cause of the problem in the first place). I can now see my account details, which appear to be accurate, and the interest rate is actually 4.5% as it should be. My linked chequing account appears to be correct as well.

“All’s well that ends well” I guess, although I have to say that of all the online banks I’ve dealt with, ICICI’s application process was by far the worst.

So now I’ll shift my attention to how ICICI delivers their services. I’ll be watching for things like fund transfer time (does the bank show a negative bias towards withdrawals), excessive hold-times on incoming deposits, and whether or not ICICI drops their industry-leading 4.5% CAD savings rate down in a few months to something in the order of 4% to 4.2%. I still have a funny feeling that their current rate is really a promotional rate in disguise. I’ll bet the rate will come down if the Bank of Canada doesn’t raise the overnight rate again in September.

August 28, 2007

Haven’t transferred any money yet, so I can’t comment on whether ICICI’s system works. I’ll be doing that soon enough though.

I wanted to put a quick post up here about the Bank of Canada’s pending rate decision (September 7 I believe) and ICICI’s current direct savings “rate” of 4.5%. There has been a lot of rumbling in the financial press lately that the BoC will not raise the overnight rate, mostly because of the cooling of the US housing market caused by the subprime mortgage debacle (these days, it seems like the only qualification to get a mortgage is that you have a pulse). Anyway, I posted some time ago that I felt that ICICI’s savings “rate” of 4.5% is really a promotional rate in disguise. I strongly believe that if the BoC keeps the overnight rate where it is, ICICI will shortly thereafter lower their savings “rate” down to something in line with the other online savings banks (currently between 3.75% and 4.0%, excluding introductory promotional rates).

I suppose one could argue that there is nothing wrong with ICICI attracting new customers this way, but I think it’s highly unethical if not illegal (all the other banks lure customers with promotional rates or one-time cash payouts to sign up with them). I originally planned to deposit the cash portion of my RRSP portfolio with this bank, but I am holding off for this reason (some banks charge a fee to transfer out RRSP accounts, and they take forever to process the transaction as well, sometimes as long as a month).

September 21, 2007

I see from looking at ICICI Canada’s homepage that I’m not the only one who thinks their current interest rate of 4.5% is really a promotional rate. ICICI is telling people through their site that their rate is not a “promotional time offer”. I’m still not convinced. Isn’t it interesting that every other bank and credit union that offers high-yield savings acocunts offer rates that are below the Bank of Canada’s current overnight rate (4.5%)? To my knowlege, the next highest-yielding Canadian savings account is offered by Achieva Financial, an arm of a Manitoba Credit Union. Their rate is currently 4.35%. My gut feeling is that ICICI is subsidizing this current rate from other sources of revenue to try and lure as many depositors as they can. When they reach some critical mass of depositors (as determined by their bean-counters), they will yank their rate back down to something in line with the other online banks, and hope that you can’t be bothered to transfer-out all your savings when that happens. We’ll see what happens in the next several months.

On another note, I opened an online RSP savings account with ICICI, and funded it with a small amount from my existing ICICI online savings acocunt. The RSP account was successfully created in 2 days. There is a problem though. ICICI’s web interface allows me to transfer funds in to the newly-created RSP account, BUT IT DOES NOT ALLOW ME TO TRANSFER FUNDS OUT! I’m going to give them a call and find out what gives. All the other online banks allow you to electronically transfer funds out of RSP savings accounts through their website (less the statutory withholding taxes of course). If it turns out that ICICI insists that I fill out and mail a form to transfer funds out of my RSP account, I am going to be pissed. One of the reasons to have part of your RSP holdings in cash is to have liquid funds that are available in an emergency should the need arise. I don’t want to wait weeks for my money if I have an emergency and need it NOW.

September 24, 2007

I spoke with a “Customer Service Representative” at ICICI today and asked the person why I could not electronically transfer-out funds from a RSP Savings Account. The representative indicated that they “do not allow that”. Apparently, the only way you can get at your RSP funds is if you send the bank a “letter of direction” stating that you want to withdraw funds. The bank will then issue a bank draft, less the witholding taxes. The bank does not even have a form to help you with this. They make it very easy to get money in, but it’s not so easy to get it out when you need it. Granted, registered funds are supposed to be long-term investments, but if you have an emergency and you need access to your RSP funds in a hurry, your only option would be to drive to an ICICI bank branch (very few of these) and wait in line. If you live far away from major centers like Toronto where the branches are, you can forget about quick access to your cash. Other online banks (e.g. ING Direct) let you do an online transfer out of your RSP account to your other online accounts or your linked chequing accounts, and the system just deducts the appropriate witholding taxes at that time.

I’m not yet abandoning the idea of putting RSP cash in this bank, but this is really giving me pause.

September 27, 2007

I had actually gone so far as to fill in an ICICI application to transfer a large amount of RRSP savings funds from another bank to ICICI, and had sealed the envelope and put a stamp on it. That was two days ago. Instead of mailing the envelope, I set it aside for some sober second thought. Am I glad I did that! I figured that I would be more comfortable with my money at a Canadian bank where people speak coherent english (most of the time), and that I would be willing to forego a few tenths of a percentage point on the interest rate to make that happen. I just finished opening an online RRSP Savings account at PC Financial, and I just came here now to post that fact. I considered opening one at Achieva Financial at 4.35% (a credit union in Manitoba), but they are not set up to do online RSP fund transfers between linked accounts (at least they were up-front about that, unlike ICICI), so the money would not have been readily available in an emergency. PC Financial allows online transfers of RSP funds, both in AND out. And yes, 4.25% is not bad, especially considering that they are affiliated with CIBC, the biggest nickel-and-dime-the-customer-to-death chartered bank in the country (in my opinion, don’t get me started on that…).

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64 thoughts on “Craig’s ICICI Bank Canada experience

  1. EX-ICICI says:

    I’m really glad that you have opted for the sober second thought. This bank is like a high speed train heading for a wreck. You aptly point out that the rate they ICICI is paying seems unsustainable – and you are right. Maybe you would not be surprised to learn that his bank is not even profitable? OSFI (Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions) has their concerns too I understand.

    Sure they are CDIC insured – but that is NOT an indication of a banks health. If o to CDIC’s website it says right there

    Are YOUR savings insured?

    It’s important to know…

    Banks in Canada can fail. It does not happen often, but it has happened and it could happen again. If your bank or other CDIC member fails or goes bankrupt and your savings are covered by CDIC, you will get up to $100,000 of your savings back. If your savings are NOT covered, you might lose them.

    The bank’s back end is horrible and there have been many instances of accounts not even calculating the right amount of interest – with customers pointing out the errors.

    They treat their Canadian staff horribly (they beleive that Canadians are inherently lazy) and they bring in so many employees from India it was getting hard to find a Canadian one. I think the ratio is over 50 percent now. With all these employees from overseas and no idea how things work in Canada – it’s no wonder they are having problems.

  2. Subramaniam says:


    I’m another exasperated customer of ICICI Bank

    Guess what I’ve placed instructions, with one of the RMs at ICICI, Abu dhabi, United Arab Emirates to invest my funds into the IOIF Mutual funds of ICICI, some 20 days ago (approx ) and till date I have NOT even received the contract note !!

    I am totally un clear on

    (a) whether the funds were invested ?

    (b) If so at what NAV etc …

    In the meanwhile the Indian Market has been moving up rather fast !!

    My repeated calls to the concerned RM at ICICI, Abu Dhabi have been met with polite replies like “…everything is fine..”, “…you will soon get a reply..” and so on, though NOTHING has happened ..

    Do any of you know the Chief of ICICI’s international operations ?

    I wish to register a complaint … or at least track my funds

    Any help from the board members / blog readers would be appreciated


  3. Craig says:


    I think ICICI is doing quite well over in India, but I believe you when you say their Canadian arm is not turning a profit. I know it usually takes a few years for any startup financial institution to start making money, but I somehow doubt ICICI Canada’s fortunes will be turning around anytime soon. Your point about CIDC-insured accounts is well-taken. Anyone deciding to roll the dice with this bank should deposit funds into insured acocunts only in my opinion. Of specific note is their US Dollar savings acount: it pays 5.00% right now, but if ICICI Canada goes belly-up, you lose every cent as US Dollar denominated acocunts are not CIDC-insured. In fairness to ICICI, they do explain that on their website. I haven’t yet experienced problems with their back-end code, but I’ll be keeping a close eye on interest and other calculations. As far as ICICI treating their Canadian workers badly, I can’t comment on that beyond saying that I was surprised to learn they actually employed Canadians!


    It sounds like you are dealing with ICICI in India and not ICICI Canada, so I’m afraid I can’t provide any insight. It’s interesting to note however that problems with ICICI do not appear to stop at international borders. As for the prevailing market conditions in India, the last time I checked, interest rates were in the double-digits, so I can see why you are anxious to invest there. It also might help to explain why ICICI is able to offer such a high interest rate on it’s Canadian deposit accounts.

    General Comment:

    I have recently put a fairly large chunk of cash into the ICICI Canadian Dollar deposit account I created (CIDC-insured of course). The bank-to-bank transaction actually went smoothly, but I will be transfering some funds out of ICICI soon, so we’ll see if the reverse is true. Peter didn’t report any problems in his article, so maybe there is hope. I will also be transferring the small amount of RSP Savings cash I have with ICICI out into a registered account at another bank (please see entries above for my reasons for doing this). I’ll keep you all up-to-date on the process, including any “transfer-out” fee ICICI levies on me.


    Thanks for making my rants into an article! I hope they prove to be of use to your readers.


  4. juunbug25 says:

    ICICI sucks. Their call center is in India and they read off a piece of paper when you ask them questions. I did an RSP transfer once, and they told me it would take 60 days. I completely flipped out. I work in the financial services and I told them it doesn’t take 60 days, and the poor chap is reading off the damn training manual or something… “for this kind of plan…blah blah blah 60 days..” I just gave up talking to them and once I got all my money out of there, I vowed never to do business with them ever again.

  5. Dave says:

    This sounds exactly like my ICICI experience. THEY SUCK. The lengthy delays in setting up accounts, but more importantly the lack of ability to MEET Canadian standards!

    Oh, and watch out, cause they seem to just read from a standard flow chart ‘script’ when dealing with any of these problems. They don’t actually follow-up when you have a problem setting up an account or when attempting something.

    They are fine IF you leave your money alone for YEARS without doing anything but when you try to do something, expect MAJOR hurdles.

    I finally got fed up and was able to reach someone in the CANADIAN office who dealt with the problems. They sent me a nice pen and mug for my troubles. Nice try but not good enough. These guys have a LONG way to go to meet our customer service standards!

  6. Brendan says:

    I opened up an ICICI account recently and have had no problems. I suspect that a few people did not read the instructions properly when opening an account. This has been my experience in the financial services industry. I made a mistake myself with regards to a joint account. However as soon as I corrected the mistake they sent the internet password in the mail immediately. We could pick on financial institutions all day, not just ones from outside Canada.

  7. Erik says:

    I’ve not opened an account with them yet but I can attest that their customer service is somewhat lacking.

    In preperation of opening an account I sent a very straightforward email question to the customer service address posted on the site and received a reply that read very much like standard ‘form letter’ type answer that didn’t touch on my actual question AT ALL. Upon further correspondence I still had great difficulty getting my question answered and the person I was dealing with was clearly not good with English.

    I’m still considering the account but have definitely cooled to the idea.

  8. Lloyd Smith says:

    All these comments that I read Are making me take a different take on my US dollar acc.
    I will be opening acc at either ,
    Altamira financial at 4.25 % or
    Manulife Bank at 4%
    both Canadian institutions no language problems
    no fuss no muss.
    So I lose 1% it might be money well spent just in
    lack of frustation alone.

  9. Craig says:

    PC Financial has just dropped their savings rate from 4.25% down to 4.10%. Their rate sat at 4.00% for the longest time, then went up to 4.25% sometime in August I believe. Now three months later, it’s back down to 4.10%. I know there’s been a lot of pressure on the BoC lately to drop it’s overnight rate, but I don’t think that entirely explains it. I think there’s a little “bait and switch” going on here on the part of PCF. They figured they’d “rope ’em in” with a disguised promotional rate, then drop the rate back down again, but not so far as to create a mass exodous of cash out of PCF coffers. I hate to say that I am one of the many who got “roped in”. If I get mad enough to transfer-out my RRSP cash holdings, I have to fork over $25 to PCF for the privilege. Ironically, I figured ICICI were using “bait and switch” tactics, but their rate still sits at 4.5% as of today. Grrrr.

  10. Bob says:

    Opened both a US and CDN acct at ICICI. No problems to report. Yes when you call customer service you are clearly speaking to someone in India. Big deal. I have moved money in both directions with no hassle.

    In order to move money into the US account I had to reluctantly open a US $ acct. at Scotia Bank. What a nightmare. To make a long story short…I am unable to even check my account balance online because as one person told me on the phone: You can’t really do anything with that account except deposit money. The person on the phone at Scotiabank also told me that I would not be able to use the acct as a way to move money into ICICI. They were wrong. Total incompetence.

  11. Salty Bob says:

    I opened an ICICI Can$ acct, but have only a minimal balance there. Keeping all my Canadian funds at Canadian Tire Financial Services with their promotional rate of 5.5%. Once that is over in Jan, will consider moving to ICICI since my acct is already opened.

    I will say that I experienced bad customer service, but my gf experienced worse!

    I too had to open up a US$ chequing acct with my own bank (RBC) in order to link to a possible US$ acct with ICICI. Currently, I already had a US$ acct with ING Direct, but couldn’t easily access my US$. Despite the $.75 fee for each transaction I make with my RBC US$ acct, I “can” monitor it online, as I have this set up with my regular RBC acct & RRSP accts + VISA accts with RBC. So, once ING has linked up with my RBC US$ acct, I can easily transfer money to RBC to access the money, as it’s currently with ING collecting only 3% interest.

    One point I’d like to make about ING’s US$ exchange rate – they seem to be generally pretty good if not better than some local (Ottawa) money exchange services. If I already have Canadian $$ in my ING Can$ acct, I can instantly transfer it to my ING US$ acct if I see their exchange rate as being great, and instantly is recorded in the system. But for local exchange institutions, they can change their rates without warning (ie. if you’ve been monitoring their rates online and go there in person to convert later).

    Will decide later if I want to risk opening up an ICICI US$ acct to take advantage of their 5% rate, but am reluctant because of the uninsured factor…

  12. Almost Roped In says:

    Wow am I glad that I came here before sending my cheque to ICICI. The envelop they sent for the initial cheque had a different address than the welcome email that I received from ICICI soon after creating my C$ account. (which was not so painful compared to some of the posters here) Growing a bit suspicious, I googled ICICI and ended up here. Now, I don’t think I am going to send them my cheque.
    I was concerned about the ease of transferring OUT of their account to my PC chequeing and/or savings account; and it seems like it’s not a very smooth process..
    So, I decided NOT to send the cheque. And I’ll tell them to close my account and probably open an account with ING.
    So thanks guys/gals for your postings, I think I just saved myself from a big stress/fuss.


  13. Craig says:

    Did anyone happen to go to ICICI Canada’s website yesterday? They posted a message that said something like this: “ICICI guarantees that the rate on its HiSAVE Savings Account will not fall below the Bank of Canada’s key policy rate. This guarantee expires December 31, 2007”. Put another way, the message basically said “We will be reducing our interest rate soon, but the rate won’t fall below the Bank of Canada’s rate (currently at 4.25%) until January 1, 2008”.

    This message has since been removed from ICICI’s website. I should have taken a screenshot!

    In fairness to ICICI, they are not required to provide notice of impending rate decreases (even though some banks, like Achieva Financial, do so voluntarily), and I also have to say that their rate of 4.5% has actually been in-place for a lot longer than I thought it would be. So just consider this a “heads-up” that their 4.5% rate probably won’t be in-place for too much longer.

    If ICICI drops its rate to somewhere in the current market range (3.75% (ING) to 4.25% (HSBC)), the motivation for consumers to put up with their abysmal customer service will, in my respectful view, disappear. After all, why deal with script-readers with heavy accents on the other end of the phone when you can deal with another institution that offers equal or better interest rates along with better customer service?

  14. Renyard says:

    ICICI was HORRIBLE! I’m a seasoned investor, especially with high interest accounts. I initially opened an account with ICICI and then shut it down immediately. First off, the mechanics of setting it up were cumbersome and they had problems getting me my password in order to actually sign in.

    1. Everytime I phoned for help, I got someone with a heavy east indian accent and had to ask again and again if they could please repeat what they said.

    2. BEFORE I could even USE my password, I was presented with a long, long legal diatribe on the site.
    Most of which told me that the internet was not perfectly secure (wow, really?) and that ICICI would not be held accountable for this, that and that and that….UNBELIEVABLE to scare people right off!

    The first thing I come to on TD’s or Scotia’s online site is a reassuring message that THEY will be held accountable should any fraudulent activity result in my loss. Why would I bank with ICICI????

    3. Everytime you get on the phone for a rep, you will hear the same pitch (from a real live rep!!) over and over, trying to sell you this or that ICICI product. I could not BELIEVE this bank would do this to any new customer, let along an old one.

    4. Check out the lawsuits against ICICI that have become famous in India where ICICI was indicted for actually employing GOONS to beat people up who had defaulted on loans. Or humiliated them in villages, where at least one committed suicide.

    The management of this outfit BADLY NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND HOW TO CONDUCT BUSINESS IN CANADA…my experience was bizarre and I managed to quickly get my initial whopping 2 bucks transferred back to Scotia which they were going to “lock in” for 6 months.

    Advice?? KEEP CLEAR OF THIS OUTFIT if you want to sleep at night….

  15. Craig says:

    Yep, the only reason to consider ICICI is the great rate. Once the rate goes down, I think there will be a mass exodus from ICICI.

    I’ve also heard the stories about ICICI hiring goons to collect on debt in India. I wouldn’t worry about that too much; they wouldn’t be able to get away with something like that over here easily.

    If anyone is considering dealing with ICICI, the best piece of advice I can offer is to only open accounts that are CIDC-insured. This basically means Canadian Dollar-Denominated savings accounts and GICs only. Also, I recommend keeping your total account value below the Small Claims Court limit in your jurisdiction ($10,000 in Ontario) so you at least have the option of suing in Small Claims Court if you ever have difficulty getting your money from these guys.

    On another note: it’s been a couple of months now since I’ve opened a HiSAVE account with ICICI and I have not yet received a statement from them. I have two acocunts: a regular HiSAVE account and an RSP HiSAVE account. Standard practice in the industry is to deliver quarterly RSP statements so I’m not concerned about that account (yet), but I should be receiving monthly statements for the regular savings account. I’ll do some investigating and report back when I find out what’s going on.

  16. Hi every one ,

    I was ex customer support representative with icici bank canada [ call center is based in india – bangalore]
    Initially the bank application were running good and suddenly they haved moved to new application in
    dec-jan 2006-2007 to improve the quality. I guess the IT employees are enough trained on the application.
    I completely aggree with the customer’s comments. Being in canada icici bank is very poor. I had good and bitter experience with the customer. But the real fact is icici bank is least bothered of the customer . When ever customer place any kind of request over the call center the resolution time will be 2 business days. Most of the request will be turned down and customers will calls call center to know the status of request it will be sad , believe it or not . Poor call center representive will some how convince the customer that the have considered the request and ask for some more time and it continous and whenever customer wants to speak with supervior , they dont wants to speak . Since they are not efficient enough to answer. ….. There are many loops holes in icici bank canada, This bank is heavily dependent on customer money by through biscuits as interest. There are many customer who are happy and sad. My suggestion to the customer go the website terms and condition throughly while opening account and complaints arise please complaint against the bank which is mention in the website. Nothing much to say hope you will understand…

    Dissatisfied ex customer support representative

  17. ICICI Bank Canada Employee says:

    I want to let you guys know something that you guys would be surprised to know. ICICI Bank canada is not having a negetive balance sheet anymore. ICICI bank canada is the first canadian Bank to break even in their first 5 years of operation. One lousy comment by some one was upsetting me ” interest rates as biscuits” well 4.5% and 5% is not a biscut but something that no one can offer in the market. It is possible coz they can afford to offer that rate. ICICI is a global organiazation and now in 17 geographies with 7 branches in Canada. I am graduate for University of Toronto majoring in finance. I am more than happy to work for this prestigeous organization. We have problems as this is an initial stage and we are working on it. We had a market where we have our competitors who are more than 40 years old. I was shocked to see Ex- ICICI employees complaining about the bank. I would like to ask them one question…if you think that this bank can go belly up or is not good bank ….why would you invest yourself in this bank…. everyone who worked for ICICI knows that ICICI is growing and growing really fast. They offer competitive salary packages. I was hired on campus and lemee tell u guys I picked ICICI over BMO coz they were offering me a better package.

  18. annita foley says:

    Is anybody worried that they may lose their savings if this bank or any other canadian banks go belly up?
    I am beginning to worry as I am now learning that many Canadian banks are hugely affected by the American housing crash. I am thinking of splitting my money to 100,000 in each bank just in case. I know any savings account is only insured to a max of 100,000.
    getting nervous…

  19. ICICI Bank Canada Employee says:

    Dont worry about that if you have a joint account holder on your deposit. Just split your savings in three chunks with your join holder and you would be insured for 300,000 CAD by CDIC

    X – 100,000
    Y – 100,000
    X AND Y – 100,000

  20. Craig says:

    The subprime mortgage debacle is certainly having an impact on the banks, but I don’t think you have to worry about any of the big six going “belly up”. The short reason is that the Federal Government simply would not allow that to happen because it would shatter consumer confidence and dramatically destabilize our economy. Your money is safe with RBC, CIBC, ScotiaBank, TD-Canada Trust, BMO and National. It’s the johnny-come-lately “Schedule II” banks like ICICI Canada that you should be more concerned about. I personally would never deposit uninsured funds into these banks.

  21. Greg S says:

    Well, rates have gone down a bit now at all the banks – here’s a good link for you all:

    As of today:
    ICICI – 4.25
    ING – 3.75
    Achieva – 4.10
    HSBC – 4.00

    I opened an account with ICICI just recently and it was very smooth for me – I applied online and didn’t have to send them any copies of my ID – it was very easy, and it was even a joint account – maybe that is the trick, to apply online, not by the paper form? I don’t plan to call them, so I don’t really care if they are in india or canada. I transferred the money online after my account was set up, and I did not have to speak to anyone. I wish I knew someone with an ICICI account beforehand so I could have gotten the $20 bonus (referrer and referee get $20 each). If anyone wants to open an ICICI account email me at greg at runlevel7 dot ca with your name, phone number and email address and I’ll fill in the referral form for you. Cheers!

    PS – I wish I had to worry about what to do with more than $100,000 in savings like some of you 😛

  22. james says:

    I decided that the big banks needed some competition due to the incredible yearly profits that they continue to make so I commenced to open an ICICI Bank Canada account. Here is my experience.

    First, I shopped around and found that ICICI had the highest interest rates. I was concerned about the bank going belly up and me losing my money so I checked with CIDC and found that ICICI was on the list of their insured banks. I phoned just to make sure and a very pleasant person took the time to explain that I could in fact open three accounts and all would be insured; an account for myself, an account for my wife and a joint account. Each account would be insured for $100,000.

    Okay, now onto opening the accounts. I sent my applications in and kept watching my email. My first email from ICICI asked me to phone the bank which I did. They asked me for 2 pieces of ID, one being a photo ID. I spoke to a person in Bangalore and the accent was difficult but since I work with quite a number of software engineers from Bangalore (they come to Canada to work in 6 month shifts) I am used to it.

    I sent in my photo IDs for my wife and I and nothing. So I phoned in and told them that I had sent my photo IDs in via fax. They couldn’t find the fax and then asked what was the date and time that I had faxed the info in. I had kept a copy of the transaction so I gave them the info. They found the fax and then told me that they photos were too fuzzy. Hmmmm.

    I made more copies of my IDs and sent them in via a stamped envelope and waited and waited. I decided to phone the bank and they said that they had received the photos and that I now needed to send in a cheque in order to open the account. Okay, I sent in 3 cheques, one for each account.

    A few weeks later, I received 2 of my passwords in the mail. The bank accounts had been set up.

    Yippeee, I was finally going to get my super high interest account! I tried accessing my account but I couldn’t log in :-(. I phoned the bank, in the evening, and all the systems were down so they couldn’t help me and suggested calling back later. I called back a couple of days later, in the evening. Same thing, all the systems were down. Hmmmmm.

    Well, now I am getting frustrated. I thought that I would phone again during the daytime and maybe I would have more luck. I got through to Deepack (I was getting to know the names by now) and explained my situation. After 10 minutes I was now able to access my accounts (they had to enable them).

    Well, I had 2 of my 3 accounts set up. Apparently, they never got my 3rd check for $10.00. I transferred money into my 2 accounts and sent in another check.

    After waiting over Christmas I decided to forgoe the last account and open up a Royal Bank account at 4.00%. I checked the internet again and low and behold, my 3rd account had been set up. And, there was $20.00 in it. I guess they found my other check :-).

    Well, its been an interesting ride. I thought that I was the exception until I came to this site. I am hoping that things improve and they are learning. I still think the big banks need the competition as making billions in profits warrants competition I believe.

    Oh, one more thing. My detailed balance statement only shows the interest that I have earned so far. Albeit, the account summary shows the entire amount. Guess I’ll need to call again.

  23. Robert says:

    Here to vent my fustration as well!

    The reason for dealing with ICICI bank Canada is I make a living running websites, and I regularily work with software developers in India, which I need to pay for their services.

    Traditionally I would just walk into the bank with cash and request a money transfer at a cost of $20.00. During my last transfer, the teller indicated that if I opened an account with them there would be no charge to make the transfer, and I would no longer have to come to the branch to transfer money, I could just do it over the phone.

    Since the customer lineup always moves extremely slow (usual visit is over 40 minutes) I thought it was a good idea, and here starts my journey of fustration!

    On my next visit I stood in line to open an account for 35 minutes, and when I got to the teller, which had the “open a new account” sign above her head, she said to me I will need to fill in a form, which is sitting on a table near the entrance of the bank, totally unmarked, and a representative will be with you shortly. (What a waste of time – stood in line for absolutely nothing)

    30 minutes later someone comes out and calls my name. We ventured into his office and I provide him with the information he needed to open the account. I hand him 500 dollars cash, and he provides me with a sealed envelope (The bank card was missing from envelope – big surprise) with the account information in it, and he assured me my funds would be available by Thursday to transfer.

    Of course Thursday comes along and the account isn’t active, so I access the branch number on the website, and call expecting to speak to someone who works at the bank, and surprise surprise, the local number I called gets answered by someone working in India.

    To keep this short, it is now 10 days since i walked into the branch to open the account, and it has still not been opened. The woman on the phone from India keeps saying the same thing over and over again (Sir it can take 5 to 7 days to open an account – BUT IT HAS ALREADY BEEN 10 DAYS!!! WHY WON’T YOU LISTEN TO ME!!!) and she will not provide me with a number so I can call the branch, and she will not get an update for me.

    Have you ever heard of this? A bank operating in Canada that you’re not allowed to call! You must deal with someone who is 5000 miles away, who is only programed to apologize and give out canned responses?

    Now I’m in a situation where my developers are screaming for payment to continue working, and I can’t access my funds to make the transfer.

    This bank has serious customer service problems. Why does it take so long to open the account anyways? If you walk into a Canadian bank, everything is set up the same day – They don’t lock you out from accessing your funds for days on end!

    My nightmare continues, and I’ll provide updates as a warning to others who are considering opening an account with these people.


  24. Craig says:

    Money transfers are only free if there’s currency exchange involved. If you pay your developers in Rupees (or any other currency that is not CAN$), you get stuck with the conversion fee. If you pay them in CAN$, you have to pay for the transfer. Either way ICICI manages to extract money from your pockets.

    If I were you, I would pay another visit to the same ICICI branch you originally went to and demand that your account be opened immediately. There is no legit reason for a 5-7 day wait when you open an account in-person, let alone 10 days. I would stand there at the teller’s window until they opened the account. If they threaten to call the police and have you removed for “trespassing”, tell them that after the officer removes you from the bank, you will be filing a complaint against the bank at the local police station. The threat of bad publicity usually gets their attention. Good luck.

  25. Greg S says:

    Craig wrote:
    > I would stand there at the teller’s window until
    > they opened the account. If they threaten to call
    > the police and have you removed for “trespassing”,
    > tell them that after the officer removes you from
    > the bank, you will be filing a complaint against the
    > bank at the local police station. The threat of bad
    > publicity usually gets their attention.

    Yah, that sounds like a brilliant plan. While you’re sitting in a jail cell after assaulting the police officers that come to drag your ass out, you will for sure have the last laugh.

    On the other hand, I’m sure if you go down to the branch and speak reasonably with the teller or manager there, you will be treated reasonably as well.

  26. Craig says:

    “Greg S”:

    I don’t see anything in my previous post that advises Robert to assault a police officer, nor is there anything in that post that even remotely suggests he should consider doing so. You might want to consider brushing up on your reading skills and/or taking anger management classes.

    What I described above is a game of brinksmanship that is played every day between consumers and service providers (such as ICICI bank). If there has been an egregious denial of some service to a consumer, and the usual “reasonable” methods to get the service have failed, the consumer has two choices: (1) roll over and capitulate to the service provider and hope for the best, or (2) stand his/her ground and demand that the service be provided. In this case, Robert has tried, repeatedly, to speak “reasonably” with ICICI over the telephone to get his account opened. That hasn’t worked. The next step, as I suggested, might be to go back to the branch and “reasonably” ask the teller or manager to open the account. Failing that, I suggested that Robert stand his ground and demand that the account be opened. Holding up a line at a bank teller window is an effective way to get some service. ICICI staff “might” ask him to leave the branch, and “might” threaten to call the police (an extreme scenario to be sure) but it is far more likely that they would give him some personal attention at that point and help him get his acount opened. If ICICI tried the “we’re calling the police” gambit, my suggestion to Robert was to counter with a suggestion to ICICI that a complaint would be filed at the local police department regarding failure to open the account. Yes, the police may assess the complaint as a “civil matter” and advise that the civil courts be used to get satisfaction, but the complaint would be on the public record for all to see.

    The reason all of this is called “brinksmanship” is becuse it is extremely unlikely that it would ever play out like this. I think most people reading this Blog are smart enough to figure that out for themselves, but I’m glad to help you out “Greg S”. 🙂

  27. Siddarth Mandela says:

    Another victim of ICICI Bank, Canada.

    I have opened a bank account with ICICI Bank, Canada as my employer suggested I open a bank account with them as we have a corporate account with them. As I am from Indian origin I thought it would be a good way to transfer money to India as well. The clerk handed me ATM card and I deposited a small sum to start with which includes a minimum balance $120, which is a waste of money, I realised later. She said the account is going to be activated in 3-4 working days and I can use the internet account instantly. I went home tried the internet account with the Customer Identification Number and it was working good. I changed the password and waited for a week to let me wages to be credited into the account. One day after work I dropped by the bank’s ATM in Vancouver downtown and found that the card was not working. I gave it a good try before going back home and trying to log into the internet account to check the balance. To my despait this stopped working too. I tried the forgot password option just in case and there was an error saying there is information mismatch. I called up the customer service and they told me they don’t have my SIN number and asked me to send in the SIN. I don’t really understand, why I should send them my SIN as I have already furnished all these details into the bank. I called the people at the bank the very next day and they confirmed they have all my details including the SIN. This whole drama has been continuing to till date and no resolution yet. As this is my wages account, I am held up with the money transfer and has to really go into the bank for withdraws. On a personal note, I shall never refer this bank to by foes atleast. They are just hopeless in service.

  28. tony whittle says:

    I was thinking of transferring my rrsp to icici. Having
    read this page I have decided to leave it at pcfinancial until I can find a better option.

  29. JJ says:

    Annita said;

    “Is anybody worried that they may lose their savings if this bank or any other canadian banks go belly up?
    I am beginning to worry as I am now learning that many Canadian banks are hugely affected by the American housing crash. I am thinking of splitting my money to 100,000 in each bank just in case. I know any savings account is only insured to a max of 100,000.
    getting nervous…”


    Please visit the CDIC website and read the details of deposit insurance.

    You are not insured for each deposit up to $100,000.00. You are insured up to a maximum of $100,000.00 regardless of which accounts your money is in (assuming it’s in a insured account). That is to say, if you have a total of $875,000.00 deposited in accounts in 5 different banks you are only insured for the first $100,000.00, not $100,000.00 per account.

  30. xyz says:

    I had almost same problem described by many of you. However, after account was opened I never had any problem. Also I enjoying high interest rates.

  31. Craig says:

    XYZ: I have to agree. For me, getting the account set up was a nightmare, but I have to admit that since then, ICICI has consistently delivered one of the highest interest rates out there, and fund transfers have not been a problem. In fact, ICICI is one of the few banks that allows you to do a REAL-TIME transfer at no extra cost (ICICI calls it a “hot transfer”). Most of the other banks won’t do the transfer until the next business day.

    My only remaining complaints with ICICI are their “Customer Service” (or more appropriately, the lack thereof), and their web interface. There are certain times of the day where it takes forever to get their website to load, although it’s never been so bad that I had to give up and try again later. As for customer service, let’s just say that speaking with them is like speaking with one of those pre-recorded “sound boards” you find on the web. You get replies to your questions, but they may be completely non-sensical or entirely out of context with the question you asked.

    But I guess that’s why they’re able to offer one of the highest rates out there.

  32. harry says:

    Good luck to anyone trying to close their account. i called the customer service number and they ask you every question under the sun, putyou on hold multiple times and give you a reference #. but they never close the account…has been going on for over a year.
    has anyone been successful in closing their account?

  33. Krishna says:

    My wife opened an online account with ICICI Bank Canada in 2004. Since then she has opened a USD account also. She had no problem logging on to her account and transferring money back and forth from her BMO account to ICICI account. Not only there is visibility of where money is, all transactions are clearly visible. In addition, she receives an electronic statement every month. She looks at her account at least once a day. Their service has been impeccable. Any time my wife phoned, her calls were promptly answered. I am not sure whether the bad experiences you have are real.

  34. Craig says:

    You say your wife receives an electronic statement from ICICI every month? That’s interesting, because I’ve been with them for about 7 months and they’ve never sent me one. Customers have the option of downloading a “statement” from the website, but the “statement” is just an unofficial MS Excel file.

  35. Krishna says:

    My wife received an e-statement yesterday. It is from

    My wife does not remember exactly how she opened the account. What I know is she filled out an online application form and obtained her customer number and a password, which she later changed. Then she mailed a check to her account to facilitate bank to bank fund transfer. That is it.

  36. Lau says:

    Just telling all that will listen and posted a new discussion link. Achieva Financial not only provides electronic online statements, they will also pay you $1.00 per month for doing so!!!!

    Oh…by the way ICIC S-U-C-K-S, they are miserable liers!!! You receive better treatment at a human rights convention in India!

  37. Peter says:

    What a bunch of comlainers you all are. Well, almost all of you. I like ICICI’s policy of having hiSave rates, best in Canada. Your blogs gave me grreat concern. I did open an account with $150.00. That went smoothly, no ID was required. Two weeks later I then cancelled the account (after recommending 3 of my friends, of which 2 signed up. I received %40.00 and both received $20.00 each. My account was cancelled and my funds transferred to my “regular” account. I have since re-opened a new account (after being referred by my wife and we both have $20.00 and I have since moved $67,000 on deposit. Why you are all bitching is beyond me. The only time I spoke to a rep was when they called me to confirm that I wanted to cancel. Go try opening an account in India and if that’s so easy, don’t bother with ICICI Canada

  38. Craig says:

    There was some REALLY screwed-up stuff going on at ICICI this past weekend. When I logged into my accounts, the transaction records for ALL my acocunts were completely screwed up. For example, the “most recent” transaction was shown to be a deposit I made 3 months ago, and the interest was calculated on THAT deposit instead of the actual deposit, which was a lot more. If this sonds confusing, let’s just say that the net result was that my accounts were all showing balances of HUNDREDS of dollars less than they should have been.

    I checked again this morning and everything APPEARED to be back to normal, but this has left a bad taste in my mouth. I’m once again questioning the safety and security of my funds at ICICI.


  39. tellthetruth says:

    I was searching on-line the highest paying interest savings account and what I got was Peoples Trust – rate 4.00%. Anybody knows anything about this institution?

  40. Craig says:

    I’ve never heard of them, but they seem promising based on a quick review of their website. They offer the usual array of savings vehicles (GICs, savings account, RRSP savings, etc…) and as you pointed out, their savings account is currently paying at 4.00%. They offer electronic fund transfers to linked chequing accounts. The asvings acocunt appears not to carry fees unless you do more than 5 transactions per month, in which case it’s $1.50/transaction. I think people who actually use a savings account as a “savings account” could live with that. The only negative thing that caught my eye was that they appear to invest heavily in the residential mortgage market in “major centers”, so I can’t help but wonder how exposed they are to what’s going on in the US right now. If they’re losing a lot of money on bad subprime loans, they might have to reduce their savings rates in a hurry to compensate. Their accounts are all CIDC-insured though, so your money’s safe upto the insured limits if they go belly-up.

    I’ve been looking for an all-Canadian alternative to ICICI for awhile, and this is something worth investigating. Thanks for posting.

  41. Drumzy says:

    I took advantage of their ‘always highest interest’ by putting cash there(the max that CDIC will insure : $100K). I even made some money by referring friends and family to them ( $20 per), but when I sent my RRSP there…oh boy! It took way too long to get there. While every where else has 2 days down time and then you get payed while it is still clearing, they robbed me of 1.5 months interest and then when I complained, they merely payed me a portion…kinda proving how guilty they really are. I never really lost money, they just clawed back my referral $$. Yes, your account history sometimes flips and the dates and the transactions are completely reversed in order, like the previous comment states. Their phone music is akin to an inbred asylum musical though…and if you’re trying to correct a problem…well…maybe you would appreciate the peace of mind of the present day(06/30/2008)3.05% at Canadian Tire or PC Financial…as apposed to the 3.4% IcIcI… potential…NIGHTMARE… CHEERS

  42. Drumzy says:

    Hey, Drumzy here again. When you google ICICI you’ll see that the complaint pages are elevating in number, and position in the pages found (several on the 1st page). My girlfriend has been trying to get her money out of their joke account. She ended up sending them a new cheque for a link and eventually when she was going to transfer she noticed that a completely different bank (CIBC instead of BMO) was the link (with a different acct. number of course). Yeah…ICICI will teach you a lesson…if you want to move your money from us, we’ll make sure it goes to someone else !!! Again, do you think a little extra interest money is worth risking all your money, well then try the mutuals/stock market.

  43. AJ says:

    ICICI news:

    ICICI in market for a Canadian bank- July 9, 2008:
    ICICI bank, which already has a presence in Canada, would consider an acquisition in Canada, the New York Times reports.

    ICICI Bank was second to HSBC, Hong Kong in the list of top five retail banks in the Asia-Pacific region. Other asian heavyweights in the list – DBS Bank of Singapore, Citibank and Kookmin Bank of Korea. (Asian Banker Journal)

    ICICI Bank named as one of the “Fabulous 50 companies in Asia” by Forbes Asia.

    Euromoney Award for the “Best Bank in Asia”

  44. Husein says:

    I was in the process of completing my application for a HiSave CAD account – I was told to send in two copies of ID. When I called them, buddy in India is trying desperately to convince me to apply for a credit card. In fact, he was quite forceful…

    I am glad I didn’t apply for any credit products from these guys.

    I stumbled upon this page after doing a little research about the bank.

    I think I’ll just store my money under my mattress after reading this.

  45. Ravi says:

    It seems that person who wrote blogs every month (you can see it) is totally bias towards India. If he had that much trouble, why he or she is opening account after account with ICICI Bank ? He/she has high savings a/c, RRSP etc.
    What about the so called best customer service from Canadian banks ?

  46. Samanta says:

    I opened a HiSave account with ICICI recently. The check was under “clearing” for 7 days. So I lost that many days of interest. Customer service was not very helpful. They seemed to be not trained to answer my questions. They kept me on hold and consulted somebody to reply my simple questions.
    I already have a high save account with State Bank of India Canada. I wanted to deposit some Amex travelers check with them. I was told by SBI Canada that it would take 21 days to clear travelers check!
    I have similar experience(with service) with most of the Indian banks. But I still go for them for their high interest rates and confidence that my money will be safe with them.

  47. In Ottawa says:

    Never bank with ICICI again

    ICICI received my US dollar bank draft of 24,500 dollars on Oct 14, I was expecting ICICI to credit my US dollar account and hold the money like other Canadian banks do till the money is cleared but ICICI didn’t CREDIT my account. TD bank called me in the early Monday morning of Nov 17 to tell me the US bank draft was cleared. Today is Nov 26, my US account at ICICI still has a balance of 0.

  48. sanjay says:

    I am an Indian immigrant and I also belive one should never open account with ICICI Bank.

    There customer is extremely poor and you have to struggle to get anything corrected.

  49. Jim says:

    ICICI bank canada is a disaster in canada.. nothing more, nothing less… i tried them, i used them, i liked the high interest but bottom line – the stress that they cause me via their terribly unreliable web site, the fact that nothing is ‘clear’ and that the help in their call centres barely speak english.. has caused me to close the accounts for good.. i am done with icici bank canada.. NEVER AGAIN.. ! shame on our gov’t for letting them in!

  50. mike says:

    I have almost read all the comments. Every single one of them are true. You all have to undrestand this is an indian bank after all, you cant expect much from them. I am sure their system runs from india that is why there are so many delays. the people sitting in the headoffice is scratching their balls and not doing much.

Please write your comments in the forum.