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 the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in addition to the North American stock exchanges. It is a subsidiary of HSBC Securities Canada Inc. and is the online brokerage of HSBC Bank Canada.
HSBC InvestDirect is an interesting option for individuals looking to do overseas stock trading in addition to trading on North American markets. Clients have access to 30 domestic and international markets and the ability to settle transactions in 10 different currencies. 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, account balance, and trading volume requirements for best commission pricing have been lowered to be more competitive with the other Canadian online brokers. There are some inactivity fees that are levied if your account balance falls below $10,000 on non-registered accounts or if your trading activity is less than once per quarter. That said, from a pricing perspective, if you are an active trader who wants the flexibility of international trading, you may want to consider HSBC. If you are a less-active trader, you need to know what your investing or trading requirements on a monthly basis will be in order to calculate if HSBC InvestDirect will be the most cost-effective option for you.