The online brokerage battle is boldly going where many thought it might – into a full-on price war. Sparxtrading.com has learned from sources within CIBC Investor’s Edge that they’re planning to slash their trading commission rate to $6.95 for all clients. The pricing change could be officially announced as early as Monday.
What we’ve learned so far is their best commission rate of $6.95, which is currently only available to clients with $100,000 or more in assets, will soon be made available to everyone, regardless of account balance or trading frequency. We don’t yet have details on how other fees may change as a result.
This latest move by a Canadian online brokerage comes on the heels of Qtrade’s announcement last week that they are lowering their standard commission price to $8.95 and more than 9 months since RBC Direct Investing made waves by lowering their standard trading commission price to $9.95.
CIBC Investor’s Edge, along with Scotia iTrade, have been the last of Canada’s big bank-owned brokerages to go sub-$10 on their standard commission prices.
Set Pricing to Stun
At the sub-$7 price point CIBC Investor’s Edge is muscling in on the prized territories of Canadian online brokerages big and small.
For the big bank-owned brokerages, commissions of $7 or thereabouts are only typically offered to only to their most valuable trading clients (those who typically trade 30-150+ times per quarter or who have larger portfolio sizes).
Independent discount brokerages, such as Questrade and Virtual Brokers also seem to have their work cut out for them. At $6.95 flat per trade, CIBC Investor’s Edge commission rates now rival, if not beat, certain rates offered by these ‘lower commission’ providers, especially when ECN fees are factored in.
While CIBC Investor’s Edge still has a lot of ground to make up with respect to its website and platform, the giant has certainly been stirred. Whatever they were planning to do to get back into the online brokerage race had to be big and had to be bold. Lowering their standard commission pricing to $6.95 definitely qualifies.
Well Played, Investor’s Edge
In addition to the waves they’re bound to make with pricing, the timing of this move is also significant.
On the eve of the Globe and Mail online brokerage rankings, this latest pricing drop may just be big enough to steal some of the spotlight away from whichever brokerage (bank-owned or independent) wins the coveted title of ‘best online brokerage’. This pricing move signals to the other Canadian online brokerages that they’re going to have a much tougher time living long or prospering, so long as CIBC Investor’s Edge is in the race.