ICICI Bank Canada — chronicling my experience

First published on July 23, 2007

Is ICICI Bank legit? Offering the highest non-promotional interest rate (4.5% as of July 2007) of the Canadian high interest savings account banks, they are certainly an intriguing option. But they don’t get nearly the amount of attention as the other banks…

I’ve spun off a site dedicated to high interest savings accounts at and have kicked it off with the first part of my ICICI Bank review. I’m going to open an account with them and document my experience. I’ve also moved my previous reviews on ING Direct, Citizens Bank, and PC Financial over to the new site.


31 Responses to “ICICI Bank Canada — chronicling my experience”

  1. Shobana says:

    Hi there,

    Its good to know tht ICICI bank is finally in the picture and we are discussing about HiSave Savings account..Looking forward to reading more on ICICI Bank..

    Keep writing


  2. Kamal says:

    ICICI Bank is India’s second largest bank, so no hideous entity. They can afford to give pretty high interest rates as prevailing interest rates here in India are very high, lending rates are over 12%.

    So go ahead and use the opportunity.


  3. ann says:

    I would like to buy a bus ticket from Chennai to Vailankanni. Can I do it at your bank.

  4. Wendy says:

    I decided to open up a USD Hi Save Account with ICICI Bank Canada, but regrettably so. ICICI Bank is the worst bank I have ever dealt with. Their customer service is terrible. I deposited a large amount of money in USD with them and now I can’t get access to the funds (which belong to me) because they won’t give me Internet Banking access. I’ve spent hours on the phone with them trying to understand what the problem is but they just repeat the same lines over and over again. I was requested to send in a cheque in the amount of $1.00 along with a bank statement from an external account. So I mailed in the cheque with the bank statement in the same envelope. They were able to deposit the cheque (which takes 40 business days to clear) but couldn’t tell me if they received the bank statement.

    I advise anyone who is considering putting their money with ICICI not to do so. You will save yourself a lot of headache.

    On the other hand, if anyone out there has a solution or can explain what the problem is to me then please do so.

    Wendy (Canada)

  5. Jimmy says:


    I also experienced the same problem that you did. I deposited a fairly large USD, but couldn't access for several days. No one, including ICICI Bank Canada's customer service, could explain why the account was not accessible.

    I had walked in to their branch to open an account after they told me their will be a zero hold on my funds, with immediate accessibility.

    I was made to wait for 33 minutes before one of the bank officials asked me if she could help. By the way, I was the only customer in the branch for about 50 minutes (33 minutes wait period plus 17 minutes to open an account).

    The account opening office asked me "Country of Origin". Why do they need this info when I presented my two IDs, a driving license and a credit card, more than sufficient to estblish my identity and legal resident in Canada.

    If anyone is accustomed to truthful banking and a good customer service, please do not even think of banking with ICICI Bank Canada. Any Canadian bank, even CIBC, zillion times better than ICICI Bank Canada.


  6. Larry Boisvert says:

    Did you try to ask CIDC ? That's there domain

  7. Bob says:

    Thinking of trying ICICI bank? Please don't.
    I tried to take advantage of their high interest savings account. I sent in my cheque for $1.00 (thank God it was only $1.00!) and received my password for online banking a short while later.

    I couldn't log into online banking with an invalid login ID error. I tried again the next day with the same result. I called their customer support who told me it was down for "temporary maintenance" and to try again in 24 hours.

    It's now been about a week and a half and their call centre monkeys are still telling me I can't get in because of "temporary maintenance." Here's the best part: I tried to then cancel my account, and they told me there will be a $25 charge for closing my account within 6 months.


    So I've only lost $1.00 and consider myself pretty lucky. Go with a real bank!!!

  8. 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?

  9. Bibek says:

    ICICI Bank Canada, shame on Candian banking system, worst than State Bank of India. Have you ever been to any ICICI Branch, if not please don’t, you will not only regret, but will start cursing.

  10. Christine says:

    Thank you so much for your blog on this bank. I sent them a cheque for $100.00 to open a high interest rate savings account. I just went online and put a stop payment. The stop payment cost $12.50. I am so relieved that I didn’t invest with them.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!


  11. maria b says:

    we have a high-interest account with ICICI over 2 years and ING Direct already few years. Both banks give better interest:3.40% and 3% respectively, than our large Canadian Banks. Had no problem transferring money back and fort from other accounts with either Banks, and the customer service with ICICI is improving so is their website.

  12. John says:

    ICICI bank has some issues during first withdrawal. You have to establish your identity properly.Once it is done, every transfer is online and few clicks away. Again Branches has no access with your online funds. You got to access through Customer Service available 24 hours a day 7 days a week or online. It is to be used for savings pupose lnked to any main bank, so you can transfer your funds between the accounts within no time. I dont see this as a problem when they are paying higest in the market. You got to understand their system of working.

  13. garry says:

    Omg . Maria …. Get your money out of there ( if you can ) …

  14. ingus orelius says:

    you guys waste time talking about banks

  15. TX says:

    I agree that dealing with ICICI can be somewhat of a challenge as far as customer service goes. However, I have moved the majority of my funds to this bank over the years and their internet accessibility issues have improved and customer service is getting better over time. The bottom line for me is that they give the best interest rates on GIC’s and ordinary savings accounts. Their Reps do take the time to sit with you and help you out when you go in person to their bank. I have seen better ROI here than the financial raping I took with my investments at CIBC with mutual fund GICs , under the pretense of having a ‘financial advisor’ there while they did nothing as I loose 30% of my life’s savings. If you want great customer service and all the fancy mailings go to a Canadian bank, if you want to make some money on your money ICICI has less frills , but you know what they say "money talks B.S. walks"

  16. SAM says:

    Yes It is the wrost bank I have ever experenced. If any one steps into the bank you will have to spend at least Two hours inside. If I have to give a rating I don’t thing there is any rating available. As someone mentioned earler that it takes 40 days to reply. It is true. It took me 30 days to get one reply. If they have to email they say it takes atlest two business days. (It is not Post my friend) Emails are writeaway sent.

  17. Myau says:

    I loved that website –

    now it’s not working… what happened?

    Reply from Peter: Its web host has been having problems. Once things are back up I will be finding a new host.

  18. ICICI Banker says:

    customer service and online banking definitely not ICICI Bank’s forte.

    We have issues with any services organization though, dont we ?

  19. Nix says:

    I’m in the UK and they are, without a shadow of a doubt, the worst bank I have ever dealt with. They would not accept a written request to close an empty account, you have to either do it online (I’ve forgotten my password) or by phone (I tried but they said the details I gave didn’t match what they had on file). Apparently I can get a new password sent to my registered postal address (why not my e-mail address?) but I’ve moved since I opened the account and they won’t accept a change of address request in writing…
    Thankfully the account is empty, but they are probably sending account related letters to my old address which might be a security risk. Do not touch them with a bargepole.

  20. JM says:

    I have just begun receiving "dear customer" sales type emails from ICICI Bank Canada more than a year after my disastrous relationship with this outfit ended. I demanded they pay me $500 for their dreadful service, $450 of which I would donate to charity (and send them the evidence). The rest was to cover the cost of the stop payment I put on my $100 cheque when I saw what was happening, postage and other inconveniences. I demanded they close the account, but reading these posts I now doubt they did it. I can’t find a decent privacy policy other than the website one so I may initiate a complaint to the federal Privacy Commissioner. I’ll first have to ask them for all the material about me that they have. When they fail to do that, which I think is certain, then I can complain to the government which regulates banks.

  21. JM says:

    I should add, that they did pay the $500. They delivered to my house in person, hoping to speak to me, but I refused to come to the door.

  22. Karthik says:

    AVOID ICICI. They are so stupid.
    First – I opened an account and they said that it would be activated soon. I received the internet banking user id and password. Guess what? It said ‘ID expired’ when I tried to log in. I called up the customer service and they set it right. Next The Debit Card Password did not come in correctly. Had to call customer care to get it right. Thats just the beginning… They say that they have a 250 dollar per day limit on the debit card!!!!! Do they think we will never spend more than 250 dollars a day ever… this is ouright stupid.
    Again they never tell you all this when you open your account.
    next they charged me an adminsitration fee becos my company credited the salary on Jan 1 instead of December 31.. Crap..
    ICICI has a very poor cutomer centric model and they just do not want to understand the customer. All Indians.. DO NOT TRUST ICICI. Do not bank with ICICI CANADA if you want your peace of mind.

  23. HG says:

    Been a customer for several years years now, have CDN and USD savings accounts. Interest rates better than ING ( also have CDN and USD accounts with ING ). Excellent service, never had an issue.

  24. Bob says:

    I m banking with ICICI bank almost 5 years and never had any problem. The Branch staff is very supportive and there customer service is aware of the Canadian Banking processes. Being the foreign bank in Canada, they are much more co-operative and helpful. There interest rates are much better then other top 5 banks in Canada.

    I don’t dispute the complaints the people have. Any new bank setup is definately compared with the existing established banks. I am sure that all the teething problems are now resolved and ICICI Bank is performing preety good in customer service.

  25. Mango says:

    I tried to iniative a transfer of money and I got a software error on the ICICI bank web page. When I called customer service (they try to immitate the North American accent but you know that its the Indian English trying to poke its head into an unknown territory) they told me that my cell phone number is not up to date and thats the reason why I got that software bug on my screen. Jeez…!!! So I gave them my cell number and they said it will take 2 days to get it update in THEIR database!!. God give the Indian banks and the people who developed their wonderful web site a kick in their ass.

  26. James says:

    I had an account with ICICI and I can honestly say that hands down, they are absolutely the worst bank (or company, for that matter) that I have ever dealt with.

    For example…

    It took them 2 months to open my account

    Once my account was finally opened, my name was spelled wrong which they claimed was my fault.

    Takes ages for transfer to complete.

    Took me 4 attempts to close my account. Only when I CC’d OBSI on my fourth letter to them did my account get closed.

    Think twice before ever opening an account with this bank.

  27. ICICI Bank Customer Care says:

    Hi Mango,

    Hope your concerns have been addressed and resolved by now. In case you might still be having any issues, you can email us at [email protected] with your contact details and we’ll be glad to get in touch with you and address them. Please mention “UID 479294“ in the subject line.

    ICICI Bank Customer Service Team

  28. ICICI Bank Customer Care says:

    Hi Bob,

    We would like to thank you for the confidence shown in us. The encouragement and customer feedback helps us in improving our services for even better.

    ICICI Bank Customer Service Team

  29. Helen says:

    I happily opened a high interest account with them a few years ago because I knew them as a technologically advanced Bank in India, knew they’d be CDIC insured and so, why not? Well, I am in the midst of closing all my accounts with them.

    For an Internet bank, the website is full of all kind of glitches. If they all worked and I didn’t have to call customer service, then I’d still be with them today.

    Many, many things don’t work, and I’ve tried three different browsers. Nope, it’s the website that sucks… (big time). Then, we are forced to call customer service. Which is bad, bad, bad…. Wait time 15 minutes for a poor connection with a rep with a really thick accent who not only do you not understand, but he does not understand you either. 20 minutes explaining the issue, on hold, on hold, on hold.

    I’ve done this one too many times and so I decided to close the account, and that was the biggest nightmare of all… they get all my information on the phone (takes them half an hour), and then they email me telling me they need further information and to call the call centre — HELL NO!

  30. James says:

    This bank is suitable to open their Bank Branches on the moon.

  31. Ashish says:

    Very poor service by ICICI bank Canada. I should move my account somewhere else. Your online banking system is crap. Every time you tried to log in its not working after following up with staff on phone, you will be told we need to do "investigation". It seems like ICIC is still old school (back in 19th century). There is no way you can compete Canadian banking services. ICICI should close Canadian branches as it is use less.. you can’t change your address online you have to send mail. Once you send mail (in paper) the guys updating your address put wrong information so you cannot verify address.

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