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National Bank Direct Brokerage Extends Commission-Free ETF Trading Offer

National Bank Direct Brokerage announced yesterday that their offer for commission-free ETF trading has been extended out until the end of October of 2013.  The commission-free ETF offer was first mentioned back in April where it was explained in detail.

Some strings attached

To recap, there are a few conditions attached to this offer (full conditions are available here), investors need to pay attention to. For example, the deal requires a minimum purchase amount ($5,000 per trade) and the trade hold time needs to be at least one day.  In addition, the commission-free ETF deal applies only to Canadian ETFs and clients who are eligible for this offer can trade these ETFs commission-free for three months from the point of enrollment.

It is important to note that commissions will be charged at the time of trading an ETF and eligible trades will have the commissions refunded at a later date. For those considering the deal, pay close attention to the reimbursement schedule as repayment dates can be as late as March 2014.

With the extension of this deal out to October, National Bank Direct Brokerage joins Qtrade, Questrade, Scotia iTrade and Virtual Brokers in offering commission-free ETF trading offers. To learn more about commission free ETF trading, check out the following link for the special series on commission-free ETFs.

Company Number of Commission Free ETFs Minimum Trade Amount Hold Period (minimum) Details Link
All Canadian ETFs (>250) $5000 1 business day National Bank Direct Brokerage Commission-Free ETF Plan
60 $1000 1 business day Qtrade Commission-Free ETF Plan
All ETFs* (only buys are commission-free) $0 None Questrade Commission-Free ETF Plan
50 $0 1 business day Scotia iTrade Commission-Free ETF Plan
All ETFs* (only buys are commission-free) $0 None Virtual Brokers Commission-Free ETF Plan

More than just commission-free ETF trading…

The announcement for the extension of the commission-free ETF deal also contained two other interesting tidbits.

National Bank Direct Brokerage reported that their client transaction activity increased  9% between February to July of 2013 when compared to the same time in 2012.  This is significant for two reasons. The first is that no other Canadian discount broker really reports their transaction activity so it is interesting to note National Bank’s choice to do so.  Second, the reported increase provides some level of confirmation to the data points that show investor activity returning to stock markets.

Another interesting hint dropped in the news release is that National Bank Direct Brokerage will be officially launching its new website in September.  Along with other discount brokers, National Bank Direct Brokerage has been upgrading parts of their website this past summer including a facelift to their education section.  The “soft launch” for the new website was the end of July. The latest improvements show that National Bank Direct Brokerage has been ramping up its use of video, social media and user experience principles to create a much more modern web experience for self-directed investors than some of their competitors.

*Editor’s Note: The original post mentioned that a new website would be launched by National Bank Direct Brokerage in September when, in fact, the official launch of the website rolled out at the end of July will take place in September. There will be no additional upgrades/features added to the website for the official launch.

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