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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.
|Standard Equity Commission||$24.99|
|Best Commission Price||$4.99|
|Minimum to Open Account||Not Required|
|Commission Free ETFs||Yes|
|Account Types Offered||Funding Requirements and Fees||Registered Account Types and Fees|
|TFSA||Minimum Opening Balance||Not Required||TFSA||Annual Charge||$0|
|RRSP||Minimum Account Balance||Not Required||Transfer Out||$150|
|RESP||Minimum Balance for Best or Discounted Commission||$50 000*||Withdrawals||$0|
|Cash||Minimum Commission per Equity Trade||$4.99||US Dollar Account||$120/Year|
|Margin Short||Maximum Commission per Equity Trade***||$24.99 (up to 1000 shares -|
|RRSP||Annual Charge||$100* 1|
|Margin Options||Minimum Trades per Quarter for Best Commission Rate||150||Transfer Out||$150|
|CIPF Member||Inactivity or Maintenance Fees||$25/quarter||US Dollar Account||$120/Year|
|Conditions for Inactivity/Maintenance Fees||Inactivity fee applies if no trades are made in the quarter AND account balance is less than $10 000||RESP||Annual Charge||$100* 1|
|US Dollar Account||$120/Year|
|Last updated: Mar. 9, 2016|
|Notes:||1. Registered account fee waived if aggregate accounts (registered and unregistered) $25,00 and over or 12 commissionable trades or more per year|
Pricing & Fees
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.
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.
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|
|Globe and Mail Review||Overall Impression||Letter Grade “B”|
Letter Grade “B+”
5th out of 12
Letter Grade “B”
5th out of 12
Letter Grade “B”
6th out of 12
Letter Grade “B”
|JD Power Review||Investor Satisfaction||4th out of 10|
9th out of 10
9th out of 10
6th out of 7
11th out of 11
September 2014September 2013
|MoneySense||Best bank-owned brokerage||Top Pick||July 2017|