The Globe and Mail reports in its Saturday edition that the Canadian brokerage industry has opted for conscientious-objector status in the price war that drove stock-trading commissions to zero in the U.S. market.
The Globe's Rob Carrick writes that Desjardins Online Brokerage recently took its flat commission rate down to $6.95 a trade from just below $10. Beyond that, well, there is not much to report beyond the mildly rebooted commission schedule that National Bank Direct Brokerage announced before U.S. commissions tumbled last fall.
Price competition is not something Canadian on-line brokers are comfortable with. Many of them are bank-owned, and you know how that works for nimbleness and responsiveness to fast-merging trends. The banker's handbook advises a cautious response when confronted by a sudden outbreak of price or fee competition. Best to check back in a year or three to see whether these annoyances have passed. There is CIBC Investor's Edge at $6.95 and HSBC InvestDirect at $6.88. BMO InvestorLine, RBC Direct Investing, Scotia iTrade and TD Direct Investing are all just below $10.
National Bank Direct Brokerage has a regular price of $9.95 a trade, but will reduce that to $6.95 for banking clients.
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