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Look Back / Look Ahead: A Review of Canadian Online Brokerages in 2021 & Preview of 2022

Desjardins Online Brokerage

by Marc Girard, Director, Desjardins Online Brokerage

Marc Girard, Director, Desjardins Online Brokerage

Looking Back on 2021

Rising interest and robust platforms

The year 2021 was rich in learning, challenges, and successes for Desjardins Online Brokerage. With a 150% increase in clients since 2019 and a 265% increase in transactions in just one year, the question arises: how can we continue to improve our offerings while maintaining the excellent customer service and client experience that have made us market leaders for nearly 40 years?

Growing interest in independent investing has, among other things, underscored the importance of robust platforms. When the industry was hit by several outages early in the year, our systems were able to accommodate not only the steady influx of new users, but also the increased volume of transactions made by our existing users. The stability of our ecosystems has long been identified as one of the keys to our success, and we have made major investments in this area. As more and more investors turn to online brokerages, trading platform reliability and robustness are more important than ever. 

Markets accessible to all

The year 2021 was also pivotal in terms of market accessibility, with Desjardins Online Brokerage eliminating fees for transactions conducted online. Doing so made sense, given the service offerings we have been developing and tailoring to our clients’ needs for nearly 40 years. Looking back, it’s easy to see how the advent of the web in 1998 led to a steady decline in transaction fees, both at Desjardins Online Brokerage and throughout the industry. Eliminating these fees allows us to make independent investing accessible to even more investors of all ages. At Desjardins Online Brokerage and across Desjardins, we have always made decisions with the best interests of our members and clients in mind.

Looking Forward to 2022

Forty years of education and guidance

Founded in 1982 and acquired by Desjardins Group in 1990, Disnat – now Desjardins Online Brokerage – is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. We’re proud to have been the first Canadian discount brokerage firm, but we’re certainly not resting on our laurels – the world of independent investing is constantly evolving, and our teams are working hard to enhance our service offerings.

As we move into 2022, we want to ensure we’re not only preserving, but also enhancing the services that are the cornerstone of our success. The financial education and guidance we provide to our members and clients is one of our core values and part of what makes us a leading partner. That’s why we’ll be putting considerable effort and resources into improving the educational experience of our users in order to support them in all aspects of investing. At Desjardins Online Brokerage, financial literacy is key to how we work. 

Investments, check. Now what?

Desjardins Online Brokerage is about more than just independent investing. Supported by Desjardins Group and powered by a high-calibre 360-degree wealth management offering, Desjardins Online Brokerage wants to focus on providing wealth management support to its members and clients in 2022.

Investing is becoming increasingly important in the lives of our users, and we want to help them broaden their perspective. With the support of our partners, we have been developing content and solutions to ensure our members and clients are aware of all that our wealth management offering entails. From life insurance to home buying, retirement planning and wealth transfer, we want to remain an important partner in their financial success.