Canadian Online Brokerage Review – Scotia iTrade

Canadian Discount Brokerage - Scotia iTrade

Mailing Address
48 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON
M5E 1G6

Email Address: service@scotiaitrade.com

Phone: 1-888-872-3388

Customer Service Hours:
Mon to Fri 8:00 am to 9 pm ET
Sat 8:00 am to 6:00 pm


Scotia iTrade Review

Updated on: Mar 9, 2016
Scotia iTrade, a subsidiary of Scotia Capital, is a bank-owned online brokerage that is active in providing investor education as well as trading platforms geared towards advanced or active traders. In addition they are one of the only bank-owned online brokerages to offer commission-free ETF trading. As of May 2014, Scotia iTrade is also one of the few major online brokerages that has not lowered its standard commission pricing. Instead of lowering their standard pricing, however, Scotia iTrade has lowered their best commission pricing for the active trader segment.



Quick Info

Standard Equity Commission $24.99
Best Commission Price $4.99
Minimum to Open Account Not Required
Maintenance/Inactivity Fees $25/quarter
Commission Free ETFs Yes

» Get Full Pricing Details

Pricing & Fees

How much a client pays per trade at Scotia iTrade depends on either the total amount of assets across all iTrade accounts and/or the trading frequency.
For infrequent traders (those who execute less than 30 trades a quarter) who have less than $50,000 in assets across iTrade accounts, the minimum of $24.99 commission per trade applies as long as the order is 1000 shares or less. If more than 1000 shares are purchased, the fee changes to $0.03 per share – meaning that the higher volume of shares traded, the more expensive the trade commissions will be.

Scotia iTrade clients who have more than $50,000 in combined assets across iTrade accounts or those clients that trade between 30 and 150 times per quarter qualify for the $9.99 commission level. This is a flat fee so that no ECN or additional fees apply to the trade. Frequent/active traders (those who place 150+ trades per quarter) can expect to pay the best rate of $4.99 flat per trade.The cost to trade options with Scotia iTrade follows their equity trade pricing. The standard cost for options trades are $24.99 + $1.75 per contract. For those clients with $50,000 or more in assets or who trade between 30 and 150 times per quarter, the cost is $9.99 + $1.25 per contract. Finally, for clients who place 150+ trades per quarter, the price is $4.99 + $1.25 per contract.Although they are a bank-owned online brokerage, Scotia iTrade does offer commission-free buying and selling of a select number of ETFs. Click the following link to learn more about commission-free ETF trading.

Scotia iTrade does charge a quarterly inactivity fee of $25 which it charges to clients that have less than $10,000 combined across all their iTrade accounts. To avoid being charged this fee, those clients can place at least 1 commission-generating trade per quarter or hold a registered account.

Account Types

Scotia iTrade offers online trading in both non-registered and registered accounts. In terms of non-registered accounts, Scotia iTrade offers cash and margin accounts and also their higher interest cash optimizer account. Margin accounts to be used for short selling or options trading require additional approval and have minimum equity requirements.

For registered accounts, Scotia iTrade offers tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs), registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) and registered education savings plans (RESPs). Registered accounts such as the RRSPs are offered in both US and Canadian currencies however note that the US account types have a quarterly fee associated with them (of $30/quarter per account). Also, clients who have RSP accounts and less than $25,000 in aggregate across all iTrade accounts and who place less than 12 commission generating trades per year are subject to annual fee of $100.

Platform/Data

Through 2012 and 2013, Scotia iTrade worked to improve their platform offering. Currently they offer mobile, web browser based and desktop based trading platforms.

In terms of web browser based interfaces, their standard platform allows for both fundamental and technical analysis, charting and keeping track of watchlists. In addition they also have a ‘trading desk’ order entry and review system that allows for multiple orders to be managed.

Their flagship trading platform, FlightDesk, is a desktop based platform that is geared towards advanced or active traders. FlightDesk comes in two versions, the standard and the premium, the key differences between the versions being that the premium offers streaming level 2 quotes, options chain trading and advanced options analysis. Data package pricing for FlightDesk’s standard and premium versions depend on the amount of assets and/or trading activity level. The prices for data can range from free for those who trade 30+ times per quarter to 79.95/mo for the FlightDesk premium service for those who trade between 0 and 8 times per quarter.

For mobile users, Scotia iTrade has a mobile app that is supported for iPhone, Android and Blackberry. There is also an iPad app as well as for users who want to trade via tablet.

Reviews & Ratings

Review What Review Measures Score Date of Ranking
Dalbar Canada Review Client Service Below Average
Below Average
January 2015
January 2014
Globe and Mail Review Overall Impression Letter Grade “B”
5th out of 12
Letter Grade “B”
5th out of 12
Letter Grade “B”
6th out of 12
Letter Grade “B”
December 2016
December 2016
December 2015
December 2015
November 2014
November 2014
November 2013
JD Power Review Investor Satisfaction 9th out of 10
9th out of 10
6th out of 7
11th out of 11
September 2016
September 2015
September 2014
September 2013

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Home Community Canadian Online Brokerage Review – Scotia iTrade

This topic contains 5 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Natascha 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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  • #10185 Reply

    Vincent

    Hi, I’m doing stock investment since 3 years with Disnat. I didn’t like Disnat for some reasons (I’m working at Desjardins so I know that everybody at work almost don’t even know what is Disnat). Since 2 weeks I’m looking at reviews and I’m asking people about their opinion on which platform would be appropriate for me. I had 4 choices, Questrade, Qtrade, TD Waterhouse and Scotia iTrade.

    I chose iTrade because their analysis tools were good enough for me and I found their new platform very nice. I chose iTrade because I’m an entrepreneur so I though it would be easier to bring all my accounts at the same place (personal account, business account and trading account) instead of having one at Desjardins, one at TD and one with iTrade.

    It’s been 3 weeks that I have sent all the papers. I opened my account on the phone with M. Parent who was really giving a good service until I had completed everything… At first when I received the papers that I needed to sign, there was a mistake with my home adress (Guess what? If the adress is not good I won’t receive any papers) so I called M. Parent 20 minutes after I received my papers by email and guess what? No answers. I sent email to iTrade to tell them about the mistake, it took 4 days to have an answer.

    M. Parent told me when I called the first time that my cash account will be open in 24-48 hours but it will take 2 to 4 weeks for my TFSA (which is almost the same for every companies). Then a week later when I could access my money in my Desjardins account (took 4 days to transfer from Disnat because of the weekend) I received my Scotia card to access my account.

    This is where the funny part begins… I received an email saying that they have received all the necessary documents so I called at Scotia iTrade to ask them about what is the fastest way to transfer money from Desjardins to them. They said that it is with the function paying bills so I went on my AccesD and add Scotia iTrade bills and pay only 10 000$ to make sure that if there is a problem I will still have access to the rest of my money. I paid the bill on May 27th. On friday, there was still no money in my account so I decided to call Scotia iTrade and at the same time I received an email saying that my TFSA transfer is completed and I can start using it.

    When I called they told me that my cash account is not open and I need to send them another copy of my ID. I mean, i get the point of all the security procedure, I just don’t get how they identify me for my TFSA and opened it but they don’t know if it’s really me for my cash account… So I asked them what do I have to do? They said: “go to a Scotia Bank and tell them they have to fax us a photocopy of your ID”. I drove an hour to go to the closest Scotia Bank, when I arrived there and told them about the identification process they could not understand. The woman was really not competent and I had to tell her: “Hey, maybe if you don’t understand what they want, you should call them? Right?”. So she was mad and called them, they told her what she had to do, it was so simple. She didn’t fax right away because they were closing.

    I called this morning to know if my account is now open (I had to call because M. Parent who told me on friday that he would call me back on Monday didn’t call me) and they haven’t received the photocopy of my ID !!!!! So my account is still not open.

    The other nicest part is that my 10 000$ is lost, neither Desjardins nor iTrade know where is my money. Desjardins said that Scotia iTrade might send it back in my account and the woman at iTrade could not reach the “Director of the transfer department”. So now I’m stuck, I can’t do any trading, I don’t know where is my money, it will take Desjardins 2 to 4 weeks to find where it is and to cancel it, and it will cost me 10$.

    I have 3 questions for them about customer services?
    1- Why Mikhael Parent didn’t tell me the first time on the phone, “Hey, if you want to make sure that there is no problem because you are leaving to travel for the next 3 months, just go straight to a Scotia Bank so they will identify you and you can even give them all the papers so you will be sure that we will received them”. I think it’s a pretty decent simple hint.

    2- Why are they sending email to confirm when it is approved but not when it is not approved?

    3- Why did I received an email saying that my cash account is temporarily approved and you can start funding it today?

    The most interesting part is that now the only thing I can do is waiting and if I want to switch to another broker it might take another 2 to 3 weeks to open the account so I will have lose 2 months of active trading investment because of Scotia iTrade.

    I know now how it works when it has separate entity (Disnat – Desjardins / Scotiabank – Scotia iTrade), when there is a problem Disnat send you like a ping-pong ball to Desjardins and Desjardins just have to say: “Disnat is a separate company so we don’t know…” It happened when I opened my account with Disnat and it just happened with iTrade.

    Last thing about iTrade and their customer services, I have called maybe 7 times and every time the person on the phone told me: “Can you wait a minute I will go ask whatever person?”. So I have wait every time between 4 and 10 minutes before having an answer…

    #9995 Reply
    Profile photo of Sparx_Admin
    Sparx_Admin
    Keymaster

    How much a client pays per trade at Scotia iTrade depends on either the total amount of assets across all iTrade accounts and/or the trading frequency[See the full post at: http://www.sparxtrading.com/canadian-online-brokerage-review-scotia-itrade/]

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by Profile photo of Ken Y Ken Y.
    #16681 Reply

    Malcan

    Have been with Itrade since it took over my account with Etrade. Its Cash Optimizer Account which essentially is a daily interest savings account (ISA) currently pays only 0.25% compared to 0.75% at TDWaterhouse and CIBC Investor’s Edge. Further, Cash Optimizer Account is a separate account from the Trading account, so each month you will receive many pages of paper statements. And, if your portfolio is less than $10,000, there is a $25 account maintenance charge each quarter plus a commission of $24.95 per trade. Commission per trade goes down to $9.99 only if you make at least 30 trades per quarter or your account is over $50,000. As far as its trading platform goes, not much to say about it, works well but pretty basic.

    #17286 Reply

    elio

    They still have the nerve to call themselves a discount broker. lol

    #19585 Reply

    michael wildermuth

    why do these thieving,Itrade tossers keep phoning me to con me out of my savings, who are they and how can I find out which crook gave them my number?

    #19670 Reply

    Natascha

    Scotia iTrade is the worst trading platform I have ever used and their customer service is just as bad. I have experienced multiple system outages and lag times in the system refreshing. I reported issues with their system at 6:00 am this morning and 12 hours later they are still not resolved. The issues are very serious as no trades are showing up for February 1 so you can not sell any stocks you bought the day before and the ones that you sold are still showing up. All of my account balances are incorrect as well. Again, the worst trading platform ever.

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