Yes, I understand that "research fee" serves to prevent customers from arguing with AMTD, and I don't like that. What if I have a problem with a doubtful trade or smth, should I eat it just because AMTD will say they've found nothing and they've spend 100 hours on it? IMHO OLB business (and the comissions) INCLUDES risks and costs of disputing account issues with customers. BTW I had some "problem" with AMTD when I had an account with them - they credited my account by error, I wrote them about that - no answer - finally they've found an error and withdraw that sum after a month or smth.
About international wires, well, you answered the question - I don't wire them often, but I wire them a couple of times/year (and no I'm not from Germany but no from USA either), and if AMTD don't wanna treat me like US customers and wanna impose different fees (Datek always was international friendly and has identical fees for US/foreigners) then that means they don't want me as a customer. Thats bad marketing, and bad taste, to ask $30 for rarely-used service from an international customer (you understand that international customers trade far more often than USers?) who is otherwise ready to generate hundreds of dollars in commisions pre month.
Thats the little things that matters, and thats why I like Datek and don't have such feelings towards AMTD. And thats one of the reasons why AMTD is not loved by the market.