Canadian Online Brokerage Review – HSBC InvestDirect

Canadian Discount Brokerage - HSBC InvestDirect

Mailing Address
19 Allstate Parkway, 2nd Floor
Markham, ON L3R 5A4

Phone: 1-800-760-1180
Customer Service Hours:
Monday to Thursday: open 24 hours
Friday: 12 am – 8 pm EST
Saturday: 10 am – 6 pm EST
Sunday: 10 am – 12:00 am EST

HSBC InvestDirect Review

Updated on: Oct. 20, 2017
InvestDirect by HSBC (short for Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) is one of a very small number of discount brokerages that lets you trade on North American stock exchanges as well as on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
HSBC InvestDirect is an interesting option for individuals looking to do overseas stock trading as well as trade on North American markets.  One thing that has to be factored in for pricing is the foreign exchange rates as InvestDirect doesn’t offer US dollar registered accounts (TFSAs, RRSPs and RESPs).  The pricing and account balance and trading volume requirements for best commission pricing have been lowered to be more competitive with the other Canadian online discount brokers.  There are some inactivity fees that are levied if either your account balance falls below $5000 on non-registered accounts and/or if your trading activity is less than twice a year. That said, from pricing perspective, if you are an active trader that wants the flexibility of international trading, you may want to consider HSBC.  If you are not as active a trader, you may want to understand what your investing/trading requirements will be on a monthly basis to see if HSBC InvestDirect is the most cost-effective option.

Quick Info

Standard Equity Commission $6.88
Best Commission Price $4.88
Minimum to Open Account Not Required
Maintenance Fees $100/year
Commission Free ETFs No

» Get Full Pricing Details

Pricing & Fees

Trading commissions for HSBC InvestDirect clients depend on the tier of account.  Specifically,  HSBC has divided their online investing accounts into four main categories of pricing: ‘HSBC Premier’, ‘HSBC Advance’ , “Standard” and “Active Trader”.

For the HSBC Premier account commissions for trading stocks are $6.88 flat. Trading commissions for options are $6.88 + $1.25 per contract. To qualify for these commission rates clients have to have either $500 000 in assets or make at least 100 trades in the quarter.

The HSBC Advance account charges $6.88 flat per equity trade and  $6.88 +$1.25 per contract for options trades. To qualify for the HSBC Advance rate clients have to have between $50 000 and $499 999 in assets or trade between 30 and 99 times per quarter.

Effective November 6, 2017,  clients qualify for ‘Active Trader’ status by completing 150+ trades per quarter.

As of September 2015, HSBC has lowered their standard commission pricing to $9.88 per North American equity/ETF trade from their previous pricing of $28.88+

Options commission pricing for standard tier clients has also been drastically reduced and simplified to $9.88 (standard base fee) plus the per contract fee of $1.25.


The accounts you can hold with HSBC InvestDirect can either be registered, such as the tax-free savings account (TFSA), registered retirement savings plan account (RRSP) or the registered education savings plan (RESP) or non-registered (“personal investment”) such as the cash and/or margin accounts. For registered accounts you cannot use margin or short stocks. Options trading in registered accounts is limited to buying and selling options and there is no writing of options allowed in these accounts.  In the non-registered investment account category, clients advanced options trades can be made and stocks may also be shorted.


Reviews & Ratings

What Review Measures Score Date of Ranking
Dalbar Canada Review Client Service Top Rating
Above Average
January 2015
January 2014
Globe and Mail Review Overall Impression Letter Grade “C”
Letter Grade “D”
12th out of 12
Letter Grade “D”
12th out of 12
Letter Grade “F”
12th out of 12
Letter Grade “D”
February 2018
December 2016
December 2016
December 2015
December 2015
November 2014
November 2014
November 2013
JD Power Review Investor Satisfaction 5th out of 10
7th out of 10
10th out of 10
September 2017
September 2016
September 2015


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Home Community Canadian Online Brokerage Review- HSBC InvestDirect

This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Edward Chow 2 years, 3 months ago.

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    Profile photo of Sparx_Admin

    HSBC InvestDirect has lowered their prices and requirements for qualification for best commission rates.  They recently replaced their Prestige progra
    [See the full post at:]

    #18606 Reply

    Edward Chow

    I have 3000 shares of Cathay Pacific Airways and would like to sell them at the lowest commission.

    Please advise whether I have to open an account in order to sell the shares.

    If I have to open an account please send me a PDF application.

    Thank you.

    Edward Chow 250-xxx-xxxx

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Profile photo of Ken Y Ken Y.
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