National bank direct brokerage review 2023.

  • Standard Equity Commission $0
  • Best Commission Price $0
  • Minimum to Open Account Not Required
  • Maintenance/Inactivity Fees $100/year
  • Commission-free ETF Trading Yes
  • Young Investor Offer Yes (Age range: 18-30; or students)
  • Compare to Another Brokerage

In August 2021, National Bank Direct Brokerage (NBDB) made an ambitious move in its pricing structure, unveiling zero-commission pricing for all Canadian and US stock and ETF trades, with no minimum required. Prior to that, they had been offering the leading rate for commissions for equity trades among Canadian bank-owned online brokerages, as well as commission-free trading for Canadian and US ETFs.

As they are a bank-owned online brokerage, National Bank Direct Brokerage offers the convenience of branch services as well as the ability to manage other National Bank financial products via the standard National Bank online interface. Like their peers, National Bank Direct Brokerage offers online trading in stocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds, and bonds.

National Bank Direct Brokerage Full Review

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Online brokerage promotions – june 2022, current deals, june 10, 2022.

Temperatures aren’t the only things rising this summer. Deals and promotions activity looks like it is heating up as commission-free trading has found its way into the larger bank-owned online brokers in one form or another.

Online Brokerage Promotions – May 2022

May 1, 2022.

Online brokerage promotions in May were slim except for one bank-owned brokerage which is leaning into lowering interest rates on margin lending at a time when rates are rising. Get the latest news on online brokerage offers and why there are likely to be more deals on the horizon as competition intensifies..

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National Bank Direct Brokerage Review 2023

Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Written by Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Updated: September 4, 2023

Savvy New Canadians content is vigorously reviewed for accuracy by our team of qualified fact checkers.

This review of the National Bank Direct Brokerage (NBDB) covers its fees; trading platform features, benefits, downsides, and alternatives.

National Bank Direct Brokerage is a securities broker offering access to self-directed trading of stocks, Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), options, GICs, and bonds.

It is a division of National Bank Financial Inc. and a part of National Bank, the sixth-largest commercial bank in Canada.

Online brokerage platforms that are competitors of National Bank Direct Brokerage include Questrade , Wealthsimple Trade, Qtrade, and the big-five bank brokerage platforms .

National Bank Direct Brokerage recently dropped its trading commissions on stock and ETF trades, the first bank-owned brokerage to do so in Canada.

National Bank Direct Brokerage Summary

National bank direct brokerage review.

  • Ease of use
  • Trading fees
  • Accounts offered
  • Investment products

National Bank Direct Brokerage is an online discount broker in Canada. It is one of a few brokerages to offer commission-free trading for stocks and ETFs. You can use the platform for trading various investment securities and open registered and non-registered investment accounts.

This review of the platform covers its fees, features, and alternatives.

  • $0 commission stock and ETF trades
  • Multiple accounts and investment products
  • Big bank owned
  • There are inactivity fees

National Bank Direct Brokerage Accounts

DIY investors can open a variety of registered and non-registered accounts with NBDB.

Personal non-registered accounts include cash, margin, and short-selling.

For registered tax-advantaged accounts, you can open a:

  • Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
  • Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
  • Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)
  • Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF)
  • LIF, LIRA, and LRSP

Business entities can also open investment accounts with options including sole proprietorship, partnership, association, and trust accounts.

Also available are estate, investment club, and individual pension plan accounts.

National Bank Direct Brokerage Investment Products

Investors can use the platform to access a variety of investment products for their portfolios, including:

  • Stocks ( Equities )
  • Mutual funds
  • Bonds (government, corporate, and municipal)
  • Exchange-Traded Debentures
  • Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs)
  • Linked notes

National Bank Direct Brokerage Platform

Traders get access to an online trading platform that is available via a web interface.

You get technical and fundamental analysis tools and easy setups for watchlists, alerts, real-time market data, and more.

The brokerage platform also offers access to Recognia for technical analysis and investment ideas.

National Bank Direct Brokerage Trading Fees

The trading fees for ETFs, stocks, and options are:

Most mutual funds can be purchased commission-free; however, the inbuilt MER will apply.

A minimum purchase of $1,000 or higher is also required for most mutual fund transactions.

Exchange-Traded Debentures cost $0 per trade.

Orders placed by phone incur additional costs. For example, the minimum commission for a stock, ETF, or mutual fund phone order is $44.95.

National Bank Direct Brokerage Account Fees

In addition to trading commissions, you should watch out for general account fees such as:

  • Account Administration Fee: $100 is charged annually if your account balance is lower than $20,000 or you do not meet other qualifying requirements (e.g. 30 years old or younger; at least 5 stock, ETF or options trades for the trading year- June 1 to May 31, etc.).
  • RRSP, RRIF, or LIF withdrawal: $50
  • Excess contribution reimbursement: $100
  • Account transfer to another institution: $150
  • Paper statements: $6/quarter
  • NSF cheques: $45 each
  • Estate settlement: $200 per estate
  • Gains and losses report: $50 per item
  • Duplicate statements or confirmations: $10 per item

Is National Bank Direct Brokerage Safe?

National Bank Direct Brokerage is a division of National Bank Financial Inc., a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF).

CIPF membership affords NBDB’s clients asset protection of up to $1 million if the firm becomes insolvent.

This online discount broker is also a part of the National Bank of Canada which was founded in 1859 and is one of Canada’s largest banks.

Pros and Cons of National Bank Direct Brokerage

The benefits and downsides of this trading platform are:

  • Offers a variety of accounts and investment products
  • Owned by a big bank
  • The annual inactivity fee increases your costs if you have a moderate account.

National Bank Direct Brokerage vs. Alternatives

The table below compares NBDB with some of its competitors, including Questrade, Wealthsimple Trade , and Qtrade.

Related : Best National Bank Credit Cards

Editorial Disclaimer: The investing information provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended as individual investment advice or recommendation to invest in any specific security or investment product. Investors should always conduct their own independent research before making investment decisions or executing investment strategies. Savvy New Canadians does not offer advisory or brokerage services. Note that past investment performance does not guarantee future returns.

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Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others . Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances. You can read his full author bio .

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5 thoughts on “National Bank Direct Brokerage Review 2023”

One feature I found useful with TD (and must be available with other brokers) is after hours trading. If you look at charts of major players many will spike and dip after hours so if you have the good sense to put in a high sell order or low bid order it may just get filled. This is great because the vast majority of the time when an equity moves very fast up or down it usually recovers shortly after. You can almost never come close to hitting the top or bottom of course but its a whole lot better than doing things normally. TD gives me access for 90 minutes before and a full 4 hours after. Now the real market is actually between 4am > 8pm so I’m only getting a small part of that before and missing an hour at the end. A very few ETF’s like SPY and QQQ trade 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. But you have to be American to have access to those hours. Sorry – we were just born on the wrong side of that border if you like to invest.

The page /information needs to be updated- National Bank has recently declared NO Commission/trading fee on ETFs, Stocks etc!!

NB’s layout is much nicer than questrade’s.

a real pro of questrade is their live chat: once you’re logged on requesting a live chat i usually get a rep in under 1 min (for WS it’s 2-10 min)…but for national bank however: their live chat doesn’t work: instead it directs you to a ‘contact form’ but there is nothing to fill in…instead you get an FAQ and Toll free to call (wait times 1-2 hrs in both instances i called, the recording told me..and then it redirects me back to the live chat…so round and round it goes)…so right now, given the new zero trade fees, i think they’re overwhelmed and can’t offer the manpower to support this new approach.

How unfortunate our value as customers has deteriorated so far we are forced to deal with however some providers choose to deal with us. The creation of OfficeRobo’s has cost me time and mone y. No idea how to fight this … anyone?

Dec 28/2021 :update….has been almost 3 months now with national bank and i’m happy overall that i switched my RRSP from Questrade …going to switch my TFSA from Wealthsimple too. things i wish NBB had: 2 way security verification upon signing in (i hear it’s coming as is a Web based app) …real chat vs useless botchat.

WS: sure their layout is nice but you’re to be charged 10/mo for US holdings..and i understand still the 1.5% conversion fee. but with national bank i’m charged ZIP for all US and Cdn trades…and I can do Norbert’s Gambit to save money on cdn to us conversion vs WS doesn’t have this (hence the 1.5% gouge fee when they convert the cdn to us for you)….that 1.5% adds up alot if you’re wishing to convert 10k or so ($150 right there alone)

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National Bank Direct Brokerage Announces its New Highly Competitive Fee Structure

Nbdb is well positioned with 18–30 year olds and active investors  .

On October 15, National Bank Direct Brokerage (NBDB) will launch one of the most competitive online brokerage fee structures on the Canadian market.

This is the new fee structure for the different client profiles:  

  • Young investors (18–30): $4.95 per trade and 10 free trades per year  
  • Active investors (100 or more trades per quarter): just $0.95 per trade  
  • National Bank clients (with a bank account connected to the NBDB platform): $6.95 per trade

The launch of the fee structure coincides with the release of the newly redesigned NBDB platform, providing an easier, faster, and more convenient user experience.

"This fee structure is much more than a gateway to our new platform and the many advantages it offers. It helps us stand out in the do-it-yourself investment market," says Claude-Frédéric Robert, President of National Bank Direct Brokerage. "In addition to being a much more interesting offer for the various types of investors, we are reaching out to 18–30 year olds who want to start investing on their own, and we're providing them with useful tools to do it. We want to show them that managing their own portfolio is easier and more affordable than they thought!"

About National Bank Direct Brokerage National Bank Direct Brokerage (NBDB)  is a division of National Bank Financial Inc. (NBF) and a trademark of National Bank of Canada used under licence by NBF. NBF is a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and is a subsidiary of National Bank of Canada, a public company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: NA). NBDB provides order execution only services and makes no investment recommendations. Clients are solely responsible for the financial and tax consequences of their investment decisions.

About National Bank of Canada With $276 billion in assets as at July 31, 2019,  National Bank of Canada , together with its subsidiaries, forms one of Canada's leading integrated financial groups. It has nearly 25,000 employees in knowledge-intensive positions and has been recognized numerous times as a top employer and for its commitment to diversity. Its securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: NA). Follow the Bank's activities at   or via social media such as  Facebook ,  LinkedIn   and  Twitter .


  • National Bank Direct Brokerage


Transfer to NBDB

We make it easy to transfer your assets

Transferring is simple

Already have an account.

Transfer cash or all or part of your securities without having to sell them.

Transfer funds

Don't have an account yet.

Complete the account opening form and add funds.

Open an account

Contact one of our representatives for tailored service.

We'll refund your transfer fees

We'll refund your transfer fees , up to $150 plus taxes* if you transfer:

in an InvestCube account

in another type of  account

  • Transfer your assets without having to sell them.
  • Enjoy better pricing on tools depending  on the number of trades you carry out.
  • Get an overview of all your assets and simplify how you manage your investments.

* Details about the transfer fee refund

Two ways to benefit from the transfer offer:

  • Transfer $20,000 or more to a National Bank Direct Brokerage account , buy shares, options or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) within 6 months of your transfer and we'll refund up to $150 plus taxes of the transfer fees (refunded 1 week after the transaction).
  • Transfer $10,000 or more to an InvestCube account,  invest in the portfolio of your choice and we'll refund up to $150 plus taxes of the transfer fees (without any other restrictions).

For terms and conditions, call Customer service at  1‑800‑363‑3511 .

Did you know icon

Did you know?

You can keep trading all through the transfer process. Access to your present brokerage accounts will only be limited for the last 24 to 48 hours* of the transfer.

*Transfer times may vary depending on the delivering institution.

Transfer procedure

Transfer cash or investments to your NBDB brokerage account from a bank or investment account.

From a bank account

  • Via eTransfer   directly through our trading platform.
  • Via telephone  by contacting our team at  1‑800‑363‑3511 .

From an investment account

  • Through the secure Message Centre: Initiate your transfer request by secure message  .
  • Via email: Send the transfer form to [email protected]   
  • Via telephone:  Contact our team at 1-800-363-3511
  • Via mail:  Send the transfer form  to the attention of National Bank Direct Brokerage at 1100 Robert-Bourassa Blvd., 7th floor, Montreal, Quebec H3B 2G7.

How long does it take to transfer my account?

Transfer times may vary depending on the delivering institution and the investments being transferred.

N.B.: Time periods are approximate. During peak periods, transfers can take longer than expected to be completed. Missing or incomplete documents can also cause delays. 

Transfers via ATON users

The ATON system, used by several brokers, enables transfers to be carried out electronically. Contact one of our representatives at 514-866-6755 or toll free at 1-800-363-3511 for the list of participating institutions.

Here are time estimates for assets to be received, in business days, from the time a request is initiated: 

Transfers via non-ATON users

Transfers coming from institutions that do not participate in the ATON system must be processed manually. This represents about 60% of requests.

The estimated timelines for receiving assets (once the transfer request is sent to the delivering institution or a GIC expires) are as follows:  

Are you making an initial transfer?

Call us at  1‑800‑363‑3511  to have your banking information linked to your NBDB brokerage account.

Transfer forms

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Switch to NBDB by opening an account Start now

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ca » Investing » National Bank Direct Brokerage Review

National Bank Direct Brokerage Review: Features & Alternatives

Hannah Collymore

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national bank direct brokerage

Customer Service

Ease of use, included features.

National Bank Direct Brokerage is the online trading platform of National Bank of Canada, and is one of the largest banks in the country. Founded in 1859, it provides personal banking services and products ranging from chequing accounts and mortgages to investment products like ETFs.

  • Zero commissions on all trades
  • Multiple account types for personal preference (taxed or untaxed)
  • Numerous extensive research and analysis tools
  • Optimum security
  • Competitive options commission fees
  • Perfect brick and mortar experience for Quebec residents
  • No mobile app
  • High administration fee upon failure to meet waiver requirements.
  • Expensive advanced tools for new investors
  • High exchange rates when trading in foreign markets

Multiple account types; RRSP, TSFA, Cash, Margin, Short-selling, RESP, Spousal RRSP, RRIF, and Spousal RRIF.

Multiple investment products; Equities, Bonds, ETFs, Options, Mutual Fund, Linked Notes, Exchange-traded debentures, and GICs.

National Bank Direct Brokerage offers investment products such as equities, fixed-income securities, and ETFs (exchange-traded funds). These are available through expert advisors who can help you choose your investments based on your risk tolerance and goals for the future. The company also provides fee-based advice services for individuals seeking guidance on how best to manage their money and estate gains over time.

National Bank Direct Brokerage Review

National Bank Direct Brokerage is a Canadian online brokerage that was founded in 2017 by National Bank Financial Inc . It is based in Montreal, Canada, and offers an array of financial services through its website, apps, and other platforms. As a broker-dealer firm with a focus on retail investors, National Bank Direct Brokerage offers an extensive range of brokerage services including equity trading, futures trading and options trading.

NBDB is a Canadian online brokerage that offers access to the Canadian and US markets. It’s part of National Bank Financial, which is Canada’s largest financial institution with more than $600 billion in assets under management across its network of over 3,000 branches and offices across Canada.

The Canadian bank brokerage was created as an alternative investment platform for Canadians who wanted free access to foreign markets beyond their local banks but didn’t want an account at an offshore broker or Robo-adviser (which typically charge higher fees). The company has grown considerably since then—it now has over 50 employees working directly on its products and services; they’re located in Toronto (where they also have offices), Vancouver, and Montreal—and offers access not just through online trading but also through phone apps so you can place trades from your smartphone while traveling abroad or even during meetings with clients back home.

National Bank Direct Brokerage Advantages

National Bank Direct Brokerage Canada offers market-beating pricing ($0 commission plus low trade fees), real-time market q, world-class investment tools, and extensive investment options, but it’s best for investors who can engage in self-directed trading without the help of a broker and don’t rely on extra research services. Here are a few advantages of investing with NBDB. 

No Fees For Almost Trading

NBDB charges zero fees for trading most of their investment products, except when trading options which still have no commission aside from its $1.25 charge per contract. There is no minimum investment requirement to begin trading or short selling, so you can trade freely.  

Wide Range Of Investment Product

NBDB offers its users several types of investment products and investment options to ensure flexibility and optimum satisfaction. Here is a list of the type of investment products NBDB offers:

  • Bonds : Bonds are a type of debt instrument. They are issued by governments and corporations, often with an interest rate that is fixed for a specific period, such as 10 years or longer.
  • Mutual funds : Mutual funds are a type of investment fund that pools money from many investors to purchase securities and then invest them per the fund’s stated investment objective. They are typically run by a group of professional managers who use sophisticated tools and techniques to identify attractive opportunities for investment, such as stocks or bonds that are likely undervalued at current prices but could yield higher returns if sold at a future date.
  • Options : An option is a derivative contract that gives the owner the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell an underlying asset at a fixed price during a specified period. Options can be purchased by investors and sold by speculators on exchanges 
  • Exchange-traded debentures : Like all bonds, ETDs have an interest rate tied to their underlying principal – in this case, a fixed interest rate paid over time. The difference between ETDs and other types of bonds is that they can be purchased directly from issuers rather than through public markets like banks.
  • GICs : GICs are a type of savings account that allows you to earn interest over time. They’re like a banking account, in that they can be used as a place to keep your money and make investments, but they’re different because they don’t require any monthly maintenance fees or other charges.
  • Linked notes : Linked notes are a type of structured product. They’re linked to the performance of an underlying asset, such as a stock or bond. A linked note is not guaranteed by a bank or financial institution and does not offer any interest payments for you when it matures (the maturity date). Instead, it’s designed to pay out only if there are sufficient funds in your account at maturity—which could help protect you from being left with nothing if things don’t go as planned with your investments

NBDB also offers ETFs and Equities, this way you can choose the best investment path for you.

Safety & Security

Founded in 1859 and catering to the needs of millions, there is no better place to put faith in your investments than Canada’s no 1 bank

The institution has been around since the beginning of time and is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund , the biggest investment industry regulatory organization in Canada – protecting any money you deposit up to $1 million in the event of bankruptcy. The combination of data encryption and 2FA is used to secure users accounts. 

Owned By A Reputable Bank

The institution is listed as one of the top 20 strongest banks in the world by Bloomberg Markets. Unlike most brokers that are owned by private individuals, NBDB is owned by the National Bank of Canada which belongs to the federal government. There is no more reputable bank than NBC in Canada. 

National Bank Direct Brokerage: Products & Features

National Bank Direct Brokerage Review

The absence of trading fees is a huge plus, but there are certain fees you’ll be required to pay.

National Bank Direct Brokerage Accounts

Annual administration fee conditions.

The annual administration fee for owning an investment account with NBDB is $100, but there are a few exemptions. If you have multiple active accounts, your fee will be split between them equally. Inactive accounts aren’t charged administration fees unless they have added security.

The administration fee will be waived if you hold assets worth $20,000 before May 31

  • If you have an InvestCube account with NBDB
  • For young investors aged 30 and below before May 31 
  • When you sign up for the NBDB offer for professionals which covers professionals and students in engineering, legal, accounting, business, healthcare, health science specialists, nursing, nursing assistants, and teaching. 

Trading Commissions & Fees

NBDB has a $0 commission on all products offered. There is a $1.25 charge per contract for Options and other transaction fees that will be deducted from your debit balance. There is no minimum fee required to have an investment account with the institution. Members above 30 are required to pay the administration fee of $100 each year unless they meet the exemption criteria listed above before May 31 every year. Young investors will have their administration fee waived. There are inactivity fees that will be incurred if a user abandons their account.

Withdrawal fees for TFSA, RESP, and RDSP accounts are all free. All electronic funds transfers are free. Excess RRSP contribution reimbursement will cost users $100 and all wire transfers done to non-NBC accounts will cost $75.

Total or part transfers made to another brokerage will cost $150 per account (including commissions). Internal transfers made between a Canadian and a US dollar account will cost $9.95/security.

All lump-sum withdrawals from RRSP, RRIF, and LIF accounts will cost $50/operation. 

A transfer from a LIF account to a locked-in account costs $100/operation.

NSF checking will cost you $45 to process.

When you open an account, your portfolio statements, trade confirmations, and tax slips are automatically set to be received by mail. Users will be charged $6 on the last business day of every quarter. The quarter months are December, March, June, and September respectively. However, you can change your delivery method to ‘online’ to avoid mailing fees, this must be done 48 hours before the deadline.

If you select ‘by mail’ as your delivery option for trade confirmations, you will be charged $2 on the last business day of the month. The amount will be deducted from the accounts used to make those trades. Users can always switch delivery methods online to avoid mailing fees.     

Unlike other online brokerages, there are no fees associated with equities aside from fund transfer fees and withdrawals.

All ETF orders placed through NBDB electronic solutions cost $0. However, orders placed with a representative will cost a maximum commission of $44.95. ETF shares of $2 or less placed by a representative will incur a 2% commission on the transaction. ETF shares by a representative of $2.01 will cost $44.95 + $0.04/share. an ETF value of $2000 or less will incur a fee of $44.95.

Excluding the $1.25/contract ($6.25 minimum charge, there are no additional fees for trading Options regardless of the transaction value. 

National Bank Direct Brokerage Quick Overview

national bank direct brokerage

Best Overall Value

  • Competitive Options commission fees
  • Perfect brick-and-mortar experience for Quebec residents
  • Real-time market

National Bank Direct Brokerage Customer Reviews

Here are what a few customers have to say about National Bank Direct Brokerage;

Wife has an account with them, if you maintain a certain balance there is no fee and free interac e-transfers. If and when you need to go into a branch, they aren’t busy and pleasant to interact with. Their online banking and phone apps are adequate. Pretty standard banking experience overall, the cons is that there is a single branch in my area (Lower Vancouver Island BC) Hal
I helped my brother open a trading account with national bank direct brokerage. The UI is simple and trades are free, account opening was very manual but worth it in the long run to avoid fees. Bostok
Consider National Bank Direct Brokerage, they offer free trades. NBDB is a good all round option (though to keep account free, you need to have $25k invested or you got the account through their professional banking package discount). Delta
I took my RDSP to National Bank Direct Brokerage from RBC due to the fact that you can only buy 2% per mutual funds. You can get the same portfolio mix with etfs and only pay .2% mer. That means a lot in 10 yrs (or longer). Emily

National Bank Direct Brokerage Service Review

National Bank Direct Brokerage Review

Review of Lorem Ipsum

Is national bank direct brokerage right for you.

Based on our National Bank Direct Brokerage review, it is a perfect fit for both new and experienced traders looking to explore zero-fee online brokers. Whether you need a registered retirement savings plan, a life income fund, or a registered education savings plan, you’ll find what you need on the trading platform. Investors can own up to four stocks or more with zero minimum investment, free trades, and free access to numerous investment options. Compared to other trading platforms , you can open investment accounts without having a company profile. 

Cost Value 

With its new zero fees trading policy and other competitive trading fees on ETF trades and other investments, NBDB has seen itself rise to a higher rank compared to other online brokers. Seeking investor satisfaction, NBDB has made its options fees considerably competitive for any active investor who would like to take advantage. Users can choose to operate a tax-free savings account helping them save more. Stock and ETF trades are free and most mutual fund transactions are reasonably priced. NBDB offers invaluable investment ideas based on real-time market data to help its users make the best investment decisions.

The bank offers 24/7 excellent customer service support and live chat. A dedicated customer service line is available Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 6 PM EST for customer service requests, and you can also submit a request through email or messaging them on Twitter eradicating long customer service waiting time.

Customer service representatives have been trained in the field of banking and provide fast response times to all requests for investment products owned by customers via telephone as well as over email. They are experienced with both personal banking needs like setting up an account or transferring funds from one account to another, as well as business accounts such as payroll processing services offered by The Bank’s payroll division. 

National Bank Direct Brokerage offers its users a desktop platform that is easy to use by both newbies and experts alike. After you sign up, you can customize your homepage to display your assets how you want them.  

NBDB gives users a full grasp of the Canadian market with invaluable added features like asset protection, commission-free trading, fundamental analysis tools, and young investor bonuses. Millennials are not left out as they can get a registered retirement income fund to help delay tax payments so they can maximize their investment over time.  

If you’re looking for a way to save on fees while taking charge of your personal finance, National Bank Direct Brokerage is a good bet. The platform is easy to use, which makes it great for beginners . It also offers several investment options that allow you to invest in stocks or bonds without having to worry about the high costs associated with brokerage accounts. You can even borrow against your investments through the company’s loan program if you need extra cash for something like home improvements or an emergency purchase.

2 Top National Bank Direct Brokerage Alternatives

Cibc investor’s edge.

CIBC is an online brokerage service that allows you to trade stocks, options, ETFs, GICs and bonds. It can be suitable for investors with a minimum of $5,000 to invest. Self-directed portfolio management services are provided by CIBC Investor Services Inc., which offers personalized advice about investing your money based on their experience working with thousands of clients over the past 25 years. They offer commission-free trading and the minimum balance to open an account is $1,000 although a balance of $5,000 is recommended. There are no annual fees associated with this account. 

Questrade is an online discount broker that has been in business since 1999. It offers a wide variety of services, including stock trades at $4.95 per trade and ETF purchases for free as well as managed account options. Questrade also offers self-directed investing options, but only through its online platform.

Questrade was founded by David Chilton and Jeffrey Ehman, who were active traders at the time. They saw an opportunity to break away from traditional methods of investing and created Questrade as a place where people could access financial services without having to go through costly third parties like banks. Since then, Questrade has continued to grow as an online broker offering low fees for its customers while also providing educational resources for beginners interested in learning about investing strategies or getting started with their own investments.

Read more: Best Options Trading Platform In Canada 2023

The National Bank Direct Brokerage Canada is a great option for anyone who wants to trade with low commissions and excellent support. The platform is easy to use and has many tools that can help you make more informed decisions about your investments.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

No, people that are not National Bank Canada users can also open an NBDB account.

To open a brokerage account, gather your national photo ID, and SIN, and go to their website to register.

Go to their website, sign up, choose your preferred trading account, and start buying and selling investments of your choice.

You can deposit into your registered accounts via bank-to-bank transfer. You can also enable recurring deposits to take away the stress of manually depositing funds. If these options don’t work for you, you can transfer your non-registered accounts to National Bank Direct Brokerage.

The National Bank Direct Brokerage doesn’t have a mobile app. Unfortunately, you can only trade online via the NBDB desktop platform.

To avoid paying taxes on interest, you’ll need to create an RRSP or TFSA account for trading. If you sign up for a cash account, you’ll need to pay taxes on all interest gains.

You can contact NBDB via their email [email protected] , their website , or by phone call 1-800-363-3511.

National Bank InvestCube is similar to an in-house Robo advisor. It offers users a way to automate their ETF rebalancing.


Hannah Collymore


Kristina Knight-1

+ 6 sources

  • Online brokerage | NBDB. Accessed December 30, 2022.
  • Questrade | Keep More of Your Money. Accessed December 30, 2022.
  • Online and Mobile Trading | CIBC Investor’s Edge. Accessed December 30, 2022.
  • Home | National Bank Financial – Wealth Management. Accessed December 30, 2022.
  • Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. The basics of investing – Published 2019. Accessed December 30, 2022.
  • Canadian Investor Protection Fund. Default. Accessed December 30, 2022.

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National Bank Direct Brokerage Review – $0 per trade. Should I consider switching?

national bank direct brokerage review

The National Bank of Canada recently made a ground-breaking announcement for the Canadian bank. It announced that their online brokerage, National Bank Direct Brokerage will offer no-commission trading . 

Why is this a ground-breaking announcement? Because this marks the first time that a major Canadian bank offers free online trades on Canadian and US stocks and ETFs. Previously, the only Wealthsimple Trade offered commission-free trades.

I was extremely intrigued by National Bank Direct Brokerage’s announcement. $0 per trade is a lot cheaper than Questrade’s $4.95 trade commission. $0 multiplied by 20 is still $0, whereas $4.95 multiplied by a few times quickly adds up. 

Since this ground-breaking announcement, many readers have asked me if I am considering moving our accounts to National Bank Direct Brokerage and taking advantage of the commission-free trading. 

Therefore, I have decided to do some research and write an honest and comprehensive National Bank Direct Brokerage review based on my findings. Like many Canadians, we already use online brokers like Questrade, TD Direct Investing, and Wealthsimple. With National Bank Direct Brokerage’s commission-free trades, should we consider switching to NBDB? 

About National Bank Direct Brokerage

National Bank Direct Brokerage , NBDB for short, is the online brokerage arm of the National Bank of Canada. Since 1987, NBDB has offered Canadian investors accessible and reliable online trading products and services. Like other online brokerages, NBDB offers self-directed trading of stocks, ETFs, options, GICs, and bonds.

National Bank Direct Brokerage Accounts

NBDB offers Canadian DIY investors many different account options, both registered and non-registered. You can open the following accounts with NBDB:

  • Spousal RRSP/RRIF
  • Taxable accounts (i.e. cash, margin, and short selling)
  • Individual pension plan
  • Estate Accounts
  • In Trust Account
  • Investment Club Account
  • Corporate accounts

Compared to Wealthsimple Trade, NBDB offers more account types. Compared to Questrade and TD Direct Investing, NBDB offers similar account types. 

What can I trade using National Bank Direct Brokerage?

NBDB’s online platform allows you to trade just about everything, including:

  • Mutual funds
  • Exchange-traded debentures
  • Linked notes

National Bank Direct Brokerage Pricing

The biggest draw for National Bank Direct Brokerage is the $0 online trade for stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and options. 

While one can purchase mutual funds for free, you still need to pay the fund MER. Also, for most mutual fund transactions, one must purchase a minimum of $1,000. 

If you’re not placing your orders online and placing them by phone instead, you will pay a hefty commission of $44.95 per trade. But who places trade by phone nowadays anyway? Last time I checked, we aren’t living in the 1980s.  

National Bank Direct Brokerage Fees

Despite the $0 online trade for stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and options, the NBDB fees caught my eyes immediately. I believe this is where National Bank Direct Brokerage will make money from DIY investors.

First of all, NBDB charges an account administrator fee of $100 annually. The fee is waived if you meet one of the qualifying requirements below.

  • You are a young investor age 30 or under
  • You have assets of $20,000 or more as of May 31
  • You make at least 5 stock, ETF, or option trades between June 1 and May 31
  • You participate in a financial program for engineers, teachers, healthcare, or business professionals
  • You only have an InvestCube account (automatic portfolio rebalancing, $10k minimum investment, 0.30% to 0.50% rebalancing fee. Note: You’re better off using Passiv )

I do like that NBDB will waive the account administrator fee if you are age 30 or under. This may encourage young Canadians to invest . However, if you are over 30 years old, your accounts’ total value is less than $20,000, or you make less than five trades a year, you will need to fork over $100 each year. 

So, if you fall into the latter camp, you might be better off to utilize other online brokers like Questrade or TD Direct Investing, and continue to pay for trading commissions. If you’re looking for no-frill DIY investing, Wealthsimple Trade might be a better option. 

Similar to other online brokers, NBDB has a bunch of transaction and transfer fees that you should be aware of.

  • RRSP, RRIF, or LIF withdrawal fee: $50
  • Internal transfer between registered accounts: $100
  • NSF cheque: $45
  • Excess contribution reimbursement: $100
  • Wire transfer: $75
  • Total or partial transfer to another institution: $150
  • Portfolio statement by mail: $6/quarter
  • Trade confirmation by mail: $2 per trade (billed monthly)
  •  Administration of restricted shares: $250
  • Custodial services: $30 per security per month
  • Donation or substitution of securities: $50 (max $150 per transaction)
  • Registration/delivery of certificate: $50
  • Registration/delivery of certificate (rush): $200
  • Deposit of a stock certificate: $100
  • Estate settlement: $200

National Bank Direct Brokerage – Interest Rates

I don’t recommend investing on margin because you can get into trouble easily. If you do decide to invest on margin, here are NBDB’s interest rates:

National Bank Direct Brokerage – Opening Accounts

According to many users on RedFlagDeals , the account opening process can be hit and miss.

A small selection of investors stated that the overall account opening process was easy and went smoothly. Going to a National Bank branch and talking to a representative may have contributed to the easy process. 

Alarmingly, many investors stated that the overall process for opening an account with NBDB was much more complicated than Questrade or Wealthsimple Trade. Many of them had to call NBDB and be put on hold for half an hour or longer before talking to an associate.  

National Bank Direct Brokerage – Online Trading Platform

Since I haven’t signed up for an NBDB account and I’m simply doing the review based on what I can find on NBDB’s website , I don’t have any personal experience with their online trading platform. 

Based on what I could find, NBDB’s online trading platform is slightly more advanced than Wealthsimple Trade’s minimalistic simple trading platform. But NBDB’s online trading platform is not as advanced as Questrade or TD Direct Investing. Many current NBDB users have also complained about the poor user interface (UX) of the online trading platform.

NBDB gives you access to analysis and research from National Bank Financial and Morningstar. This should be sufficient for most Canadian DIY investors. 

Younger investors who prefer using mobile apps to trade might be disappointed to learn that National Bank Direct Brokerage currently does not have a mobile app for online trading. To make trades on your mobile phone, you’d have to log in to your NBDB account via the mobile web browser. 

National Bank Direct Brokerage – Market-Q

Market-Q streams market price in real time and allows investors to create up to 20 dynamic watchlists with up to 200 securities each, as well as custom charts. 

This useful tool is not free by default. Market-Q is free only when you carry out 10 or more trades per month. 

What do these levels mean? With Market-Q Level I , you can get real time quotes from TSX, NYSE, and NASDAQ, which is sufficient for the majority of DIY investors. 

I really don’t like that NBDB is forcing investors to make more than 10 trades in order to get real time quotes. Take Questrade for example, they offer unlimited one-click real-time level 1 data for US and Canadian stock exchanges.

If you don’t make 10 or more trades per month, you will experience a 15 minute delayed price, just like what you get with Wealthsimple Trade (you can subscribe to Wealthsimple Trade’s premium features for $3 a month). Since you shouldn’t quibble over eighths and quarters , not having real-time quotes shouldn’t be a big deal for most DIY investors. 

National Bank Direct Brokerage Customer Service

According to my research on online forums like RedFlagDeals and Reddit Canadian Investor subreddit , National Bank Direct Brokerage has had poor customer service over the years. Many Canadian investors complained about the long phone wait time.

Unlike Questrade, there is no online chat option to talk to an NBDB associate. So when you have a problem, the only option is to call or email NBDB. Many investors using NBDB have reported that they usually have to wait for 30 minutes to 1.5 hours or even longer before talking to someone. This can be extremely frustrating.

A few Canadian DIY investors also pointed out that to use Norbert’s Gambit to exchange currency, you have to call NBDB to start the journaling process (I’m shocked you can’t just email them like Questrade and ask to start the journaling process). This certainly isn’t ideal. However, some investors also pointed out that NBDB has improved the system in recent months such that emailing NBDB about journaling shares works fine.

It appears that NBDB has improved its customer service slightly since the $0 trade commission announcement. Let’s hope the customer service improvement continues.

Pros & Cons of National Bank Direct Brokerage

Before I determine whether we should be considering switching to NBDB, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of National Bank Direct Brokerage.

  • $0 commission for trading stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and options.
  • Lots of different accounts available.
  • $100 account administrator fee annually unless condition is met.
  • Less sophisticated online trading platform with poor UX.
  • No online chat available and long phone wait time.
  • No real time quotes unless making 10 trades per month.
  • Web platform only. No mobile app.
  • Lacking some features for more advanced trading.

National Bank Direct Brokerage Review – Summary

Here’s a quick summary of National Bank Direct Brokerage.

National Bank Direct Brokerage Review – Should I consider switching?

Should I switch to National Bank Direct Brokerage and take advantage of the $0 commission free trading and say goodbye to other online brokers that we currently use?

After going over all what NBDB has to offer and its pros and cons, I came to the conclusion that the answer is no. At the time of writing, it makes no sense for us to transfer all of our investment accounts to NBDB. 

Sure, we’ll save quite a bit of money on trading commissions and since our portfolio is larger than $20k, we won’t have to worry about the account administration fee.

But the painful account opening experience is very concerning.

The poor customer service and no online chat option available are also extremely worrisome. I simply can’t imagine having to wait for 30 minutes or longer to talk to someone. The opportunity cost simply outweighs the trading commissions I may be saving.

Furthermore, I don’t like the idea of using a somewhat outdated trading platform with poor UX. When I buy or sell stocks or ETFs , I like to perform my transactions as quickly as possible. Having to deal with an outdated trading platform will create a lot of frustration.

In other words, while National Bank Direct Brokerage’s commission free trading is nice, it is not enough to persuade me to switch. However, it is possible that NBDB will improve the account opening process and overall customer service experience over time. 

Despite all of that, National Bank Direct Brokerage may be a solid choice for Canadians that are already banking with National Bank and want to keep everything under the same umbrella. 

For most investors who want commission-free stock and ETF trading, I believe Wealthsimple Trade is currently the better option. For more advanced investors, I believe Questrade remains to be a solid choice.

Another important thing to consider is that no-commission trading may cause some investors to pull the buying or selling trigger easier without going through proper stock research and analysis. Emotional buying and selling become a lot easier when there’s no trading commission involved. There’s no need to think twice before pulling the trigger on trades. One simply hits the buy or sell button. This can potentially cause major downfalls for many investors. 

I applaud National Bank for offering $0 commission-free trades for its online brokerage. Although National Bank Direct Brokerage isn’t the right fit for us currently, I hope the announcement will force other Canadian financial institutions to change their online trading fee structure. 

Who knows, maybe Canadian consumers can finally win for once.

As a dividend investor, I think National Bank has a lot to gain from announcing the commission-free trading with National Bank Direct Brokerage. This should hopefully attract more Canadians to invest and bank with National Bank and improve their profits. As a National Bank shareholder, I like what National Bank is doing. This is why I will continue to list National Bank as one of the top 13 Canadian dividend stocks to own . 

Dear readers, what’s your view on National Bank Direct Brokerage? I’d love to hear your thoughts if you are currently using NBDB or have made the switch.

Learn how to create passive income & reach financial independence.


66 thoughts on “National Bank Direct Brokerage Review – $0 per trade. Should I consider switching?”

Go somewhere else or you will regret like me for loosing a lot money with hidden charges, high exchange unjustified expenses, slow process and when I questioned they fired me with a registered letter forcing me to move out for violating their own regulation that I happened to sell to myself on a $1 forgotten buy order, after two times without any warning that they would fire me, the third time they forced me out I had to move 17 accounts of myself and my family to another broker, they processed unbelieably slow that took 3 months during the market recovery from October to December 2022 costing me hundreds of thousands of opportunity gain because they froze all my accounts while processing the transfer! I go back to the previous fee broker since and still regret the worst mistake of my life for following their bombarded advertisements on my lap top the previous year!

Interesting feedback, sorry to hear about your poor experience with NBDB.

The bad things for me were: -account opening is cumbersome, some forms don’t accept entering phone numbers, have to print and change manually -you can not buy GIC’s online! this is a big one now that there are few decent bonds offering yields much better then GIC’s -Bond trading and search is cumbersome, hard to sort and see rating, description even

I’ve been using RBC/ TD but I couldn’t stand the $10 buy and sell costs. I didn’t mind the interfaces but was looking for something cheaper.

I started a new account in Wealth Simple Trade and Questrade to test. Wealth Simple Trade is simple and its limitations without Norbert’s Gambit. Not to mention trading US stocks is limiting (conversion rate for buy then later for sell). Questrade was free for ETFS but they had a lot of hidden fees (ECN) that were piling up. I did not like the buy and sell costs for regular stocks. Personally I don’t like the interface for Questrade.

Once National Bank Brokerage offered free trading I jumped ship. I did have some minor issues setting up the account, many online stated its so easy and no issues, but for me it was. Form issues and in the end I had to hand in physically to a branch. It was a one off I could live with. I was extremely happy once I was setup. You really cannot beat free. Penny stocks or other stocks averaging down which you could never do on other platforms. Creating manual drips (essentially buying any stock) even if you have received a dividend from another stocks dividend to reinvest is extremely beneficial. I try not to have a lot of cash sitting idle.

I’ve seen people complain about no APP though I use the web browser on my phone to see the website. Personally I don’t think its a big deal. As of August 2022 they have a message on their website saying APP is being worked on and done by end of 2022.

Personally I think its the best. Its the 6th largest bank in Canada, but I am not convinced the top 5 banks will follow like they had done in the USA (Robinhood, TD Ameritrade etc).

Good to hear that you’ve had a good experience with NBDB. 🙂

For anyone interested in getting their transfer fee reimbursed from NBDB, please read the following.

After failing to find anything about the matter on their website, I finally emailed to the Customer Support and here is their answer, verbatim:

“If the value of the assets transferred amounts to at least $20,000, and you carry out a Buy transaction on a stock, ETF, or option within 6 months of the transfer, we will reimburse you the fee charged by the relinquishing institution (up to $155 plus tax credited one week after the transaction).”

In addition to that, based on my own experience, if you can’t find information you need on their website (which happens more often than I am used to with other institutions), the best solution is either 1) to email them your question, or 2) to call and talk to a representative.

It is a different experience and again, they must have a lot of teething issues given the increase interests due to the zero-commission feature. No broker is perfect and they all excel in their own ways.

Lewis Kwan (10+ years with Questrade, 10+ years with Interactive Brokers, and a newbie with NBDB)

How is your experience with NBDB. I am a new investor, currently with Questrade, but don’t like there fee especially on Options, I was thinking to switching to Interactive Broker for that reason, then came to know 0$ commission on all transactions by NBDB, but before making any decision just wanted to know if its worth time, hope you would share your experience after using for an year now

I have accounts with Questrade, TD Direct and WS. Have used Questrade for over 10+ years, customer service is a roller coaster ride. Do like Questrade Edge platform for managing multiple accounts in one view. Questrade do not offer an easy way of tracking profit/lost for the year and customer service triggered my search for better option. In reviewing NBDB, read that they do charge $6.95/trade for limit/stop loss order etc, may you confirm that? Market order will easily eat up the fee in any trade.

Thanks for the review.

I didn’t read about the $6.95 for limit/stop orders… perhaps that’s something current NBDB users can provide feedback on.

There is no fee on limit orders. I m using national bank brokerage for last 3 months. I always trade at limit price.

Good to know, thank you.

I noticed a $50 fee for RIF withdrawals, does this mean a RIF with monthly payments would cost $600 a year?

I believe so. Best to make one withdrawal in this case.

This information is pretty old. so far,

1. NBDB opening an account is very simple and straightforward from online. just remember don’t select the beneficial( the beneficial forms can mail later). it will take 20-30 minutes to apply most accounts open (cash, RRSP, TFSA)

2. NBDB’s one-click price does the real-time price.

3. the customer service phone call waiting is the best from my experience. I called a lot of times for different questions. all my waiting time is just in minutes. I never get this short waiting time for any other Canadian company(not just for brokerage companies).

4. NBDB is true zero fees. no commission fee, not ECN fee.

I was paid about $2000 commission fee every month in Questrsde. with NBDB, the total is $0.

Sorry, I disagree with you that the info is pretty old. What I’ve written is based on all my research in the last month. Having said that, glad to hear that NBDB is treating you well.

Agreed with the comment. I have recently opened an account an the process was quick and easy. 30 minutes is accurate.

Not sure how the author performed this “research” but suspect it was inaccurate and not actually going through the process personally.

Customer service via email is also good.

Author also fails to mention largest downsides, presenting a poor overall assessment. The biggest is lack of a mobile app.

I’m the author and I went through a pretty comprehensive research myself before writing this post. That’s good to know that the account opening process is now quicker than before.

I had a problem with RBC, because I could not sign a Beneficiary form for my wife, but it turns out it would be the same with any broker. I did phone NA and got connected to a person in 15 min, about the same as RBC. He was very helpful and I am considering switching to NA. Of course we are retired and it annoys me that I have funds, (less than $1,000) sitting in our TFSAs & RRIFs that we can’t invest without having to pay $9.95. I might do it just for that. We’ll see.

Makes sense to put your money to work and not having to worry about the trade commission. I think Wealthsimple Trade or NBDB would work well for you Henry.

WS doesn’t allow for RRIF accounts, so I wouldn’t switch to them. I do have a non-registered account with them, where I compare actual investments in individual DG stock purchases to an ETF (VDY). Five months and VDY is falling behind, by a lot.

Thanks Bob for the detailed review and analysis of National Bank brokerage platform. I think this is a good reference if someone considers switching or to open new account with NBDB. Let me share my personal views on whether to switch to free trade platform or not. Please feel free to add or share what you agree/disagree with. I have used Questrade and Wealthsimple trade so far. I personally like Questrade for the interface, portfolio tracking and ease of moving funds, free brokerage for ETFs, etc. Ofcourse there are fees (reasonable IMO), minimum $1000 requirement, etc. But overall questrade is good for investors. Regularly buying small quantities or Dollar cost averaging or buying low-priced stock can be a challenge as $5 brokerage can add up. Now Wealthsimple trade (WT) has free trades but for US or non-canadian stocks/ETFs they will charge currency conversion fee. Further, limited stock selection is an issue. Free trades make it easier to do dollar cost average, buying low-price stocks easier, etc. I heard in news that Robinhood also makes money by routing order flows. Also there has been issue of technical glitches and incidents. I did not find these issues with questrade or WT. Overall I feel any platform that is serious about its business and committed to manage investors money has to make money. The business model could be brokerage fee, subscription or some kind of service-linked fee. The so called ‘free’ would only be limited to select services or select times or limited period or limited customers. Secondly, purely my opinion – the brokerage business is not easy to deal with so players who maintain accounts worth billions of dollars have to have capital strength, access to large infrastructure including servers, back-up systems, security, etc. If they dont make good revenue they will sooner or later face glitches , cause more issues for investors resulting in poor service and delivery and at some point they will wind up and get merged or takenover. At the end of all this users of the brokerage platform will be in trouble. Also considering the amount of personnel, infrastructure, regulatory and technology maintenance costs I’d be okay with a platform charging reasonable fee so I can get peace of mind that my broker will not do anything crazy like rerouting my order to another market maker or lending my stocks, etc. Instead if they just charge me reasonable fee based on my trades or activity I feel its justified and transparent and will iron out over medium to long-term since Im more of a long-term investor.

Thanks for the feedback Sridhar, some valid points.

Yes, doing dividend and ETF investing alone would still lure me to NBDB, as $0 cost means ‘DRIPPING’ will become a no-brainer. Compounding is one of the most powerful tools for wealth building but too many fees and restrictions have been placed in front of this tool until NBDB comes along. I am hoping more Canadians will realize this significant development and start to take advantage of it.

I am also hoping more Canadian brokers will join this zero dollar commission bandwagen.

Thanks Lewis. Maybe I’ll consider switching over to NBDB. We’ll have to see.

I’m a bit concerned with Gary’s comment about how NBDR drips if you enroll in the DRIP program though. I suppose with free trading you can just manually drip yourself manually but it will take more time.

I have been with Interactive Brokers for 10 years, Questrade for 6+ years, and I have recently opened an account with National Bank. I trade mainly options and futures and am thinking of creating a sub portfolio of dividend growth stocks (Canadian and US alike). Below are my own opinion:

1) Cumbersome onboarding – yes, it took me 3 weeks and multiple communications (emails, mails and phone calls) to get the account opened so it is not the easiest. However, given the influx of new applications which presumably overwhelm the old system of National Bank, it is not surprising. Furthermore, the following will more than make up this inefficiency (to me anyway):

2) The costs of options trading with National Bank, though not as good as those with Interactive Brokers (no brokers are), are way cheaper than those with Questrade. Likewise, $0 cost to trade US and Canadian stocks means I can implement my own DRIP at any interval I like. Thirdly, I can implement option-selling strategy to acquire dividend growth stocks at a much more attractive price points. I can also do collar trades (options-speak meaning selling a covered-call to finance a protective put on 100 shares of a stock I own so that it costs me nothing to prevent big loss on my stock). All the above would cost me significantly more with Questrade. (This is based on my normal trades of 40 contracts with a total value of under $2,000.00 at a time. Your mileage may vary)

Just my two cents.

Thank you so much for your feedback. Sounds like the onboarding process was quite painful. But you’re right, given the large amount of new applications, we should probably cut National Bank some slack.

Good point about implementing your own DRIP whenever you want. If you’re just doing dividend and ETF investing and not option trading, would you still move from IB and Questrade to NBDB?

Could I ask your experience with trading US ETFs and put/call options with Interactive Brokers and National Bank please? Which one is better in your opinion, fees and ease wise?

Well looks like WS will now offer usa trades for free if you have a premium account. Thats 10$ a month. See ya later WS.

I have consolidated RESP, RRSP, LRSP and TFSA with NBDB so far (cash is next). Have to admit their account opening process is some maze to get through (especially the ID verification, as I’m not a NB banking client).

Once setup, I have not encountered any major issues. They are swamped, so my beneficiary info is not getting update as quickly as I’d like.

One thing I was not pleased about was my first DRIP that went in last week. Apparently, NBND buys shares of whatever position you setup for DRIP, then sell the fractionals. Confused? Let me explain:

Let’s say you got $80 for …ENB on Dec 1/21 NBND would show $80 as dividend received on Dec 1/21 (nothing wrong here, but no drip?) A day or so later, they do these transactions: 1. Buy 1.6504 shares of ENB at a BID price of $48.4729 2. Sell 0.6504 shares of ENB at a ASK price of $48.17 Now the transaction list is updated to show the actual reinvestment of 1 share, and fractional deposit of $31.39.

I have to be honest, I have never paid attention before if QT did that for DRIPs. But this process of NBDB buying fractionals and then selling them seems unnecessary (unless there is a regulatory requirement for them to do this).

Wow that’s very interesting about how NBDB drips additional shares. This can be problematic for non-registered accounts. For QT they just buy the full share and deposit the different in your account.

Although you don’t get real-time quotes unless you have Market-Q, there is a way to get the latest price. The 15-minute delay price is there but you can refresh it manually by clicking the refresh icon. You can refresh it as many times as you want, even on the buy/sell window.

I recently opened some accounts with them and have yet to move my portfolio over from WS Trade to NBDB. The account opening process was quick (next day) but to actually complete the process, they still require the signed full document opening package, which needs to be mailed (or emailed) to them within 25 days or risk suspending the accounts. Margin accounts are opened as Cash accounts first and after they receive and process the account opening documents, the holdings and money will transfer from Cash to Margin.

As a WS Trade user, I really like the market information and analysis you get with NDBD, as oppose to nothing at WS Trade. I really just miss not being able to use an app and the instant deposits at WS Trade. To move money into NBDB, you can set up a bill payment at your bank to move money (takes 1 business day) or do the bank transfer, like at any brokerage. These options are fine but they still take time. I also don’t see where I can do recurring deposits like I can at WS Trade.

Overall, I’m not sure if I’m going to move my entire portfolio over to NDBD just yet. I do want to take advantage of having DRIP working for me and the free trades on US trades is important to me as well.

That’s good to know that you can refresh manually to get the real time price. Interesting to hear that you have to either mail or email them signed documents.

I’ve opened accounts with scotiaitrade, TD waterhouse, wealth simple, interactive brokers, and now NB. All of them were the same. I did have one hiccup with NBDB where they sent me a paper application after i had sent my scans (via email) and i thought i had to send the paper in as well because they needed actual signatures? Why did they send me the paper? It wasn’t clear. I was confused and called them. I’ve now called them twice and waited about 30 minutes. Maybe i was lucky. The other messup they made is they don’t accept your ON health card as ID, but on the application paper package they sent me in the mail (after I had already scanned and sent everything in) said i could send a scan of my health card. But this wasn’t true. Strange, as maybe in Quebec it’s okay to use your health card as ID.

But let me be clear why i switched from IBKR. After IBKR did that stock trading halt of BB (and other meme stocks) and the CEO came out and basically was worried about the rich guys, I had been dying to leave IBKR, even if they had amazing margin interest %s. IBKR let you trade on a lot of exchanges like Australia, HK etc. I am concerned as I have some BABA stock and not sure if I can transfer them with NBDB to the HK exchange. Do you know?

Personally, I think everyone should switch so that other brokerages react. Yes it took 20 to 30 minutes to fill everything out and 10 days or so to transfer. But FEES are FEES and i will save money that pays for my 30 minutes of effort. I also will be moving all my WS (because i purchase cdn stocks on ws and US stocks with IBKR) money over. I do love WS UI but they won’t offer usd trades for many years, if ever. I’ve asked many times. They also did something very suspect when Crypto rules changed. They wouldn’t let you access your crypto account unless you consented to a new doc, which you couldn’t read before you consented. I did love the convience of buying crypto with ws as I didn’t have to worry about a wallet. I know not your keys, not your crypto, but i had faith in WS wouldn’t lose my coins.

I had a terrible experience opening up an account with them. Customer Service is the worst. I got my help from their Twitter account. Once I opened up, there are no way of funding it through their system. It can’t link to their chequing/savings account. I have to email them my other banking information to be able to link it with them which is terrible btw. No one responded. Don’t been bother calling their customer service phone. I’m on hold for 2 hours. I dropped the call. Who TF has that time? I complained via Twitter and Twitter responded right away. Even they have limitations serving you. I complained via their feedback form. Just check their FAQ. and try to find the information on how to fund it. Their twitter told me to watch a video but no info. I just closed my National bank and Brokerage account. I’ll stick with Wealthsimple and Questrade for now.

Sorry to hear that you had a terrible experience with NBDB with account opening.

I would really like to use their brokerage because it’s free but their technology and customer service are still far away compared to the other 6 banks. I had CIBC and TD and funding, transferring and customer service are way better. In terms of customer service, I still put Questrade at the top.

If you already have a National Bank checking account, check the “Transfer” button while in the NBDB site while logged in. It might already have your banking information in. You just select a “From” account between the options, then a “To” account where the money will go. That is how your RRSP, TFSA, RESP, or any other account contributions will be done. If a checking account is not in the list, then it’s a one time setup that is missing.

It wasn’t there. I was able to get support but they gave me an email to send my banking information. Why would I send my banking info to an email to connect to their brokerage account? It’s unsecured.

Question. Can we make multiple trades in a day in tfsa stock ac? Would that be a problem in regards to CRA standpoint?

I have certainly made multiple trades in a day within my TFSA but trading different stocks. If you’re trading the same stocks in and out on the same day, that may be a red flag from the CRA standpoint. If it seems sketchy, don’t do it.

I’ve been with them for 20+ years. The UX was revamped probably a year ago, it was long overdue. They used to send paper by mail to open account, they now send electronic documents. No app available, but you can still get to NBDB from the NBC app, but it’s just a redirect to the website’s but it’s still a mobile version of the website. They do offer a fee reimbursement on transfers, sometimes it’s during RRSP time, but I also recall they used to have to anytime with a minimum transfer amount. I have no gripes with them because my needs are small. I always had good service and they came through for me in a big way twice by cancelling contributions I made by mistake for RRSP and RESP. My recent experience is with Distinctive Services, where you have your own account manager and a dedicated phone line to a few advisors, does not cost more. I hear this is now by invitation only, and I can guess it must still be based on account size. Whether it was using the normal customer service or the distinctive services, it was good. They also have a Fully Paid Lending program that is starting, again this is by invitation only at the moment. Lastly, I am not a blogger but many friends asked me for a referral. I asked and they don’t seem to have such a thing anymore. They used to give free trades for that, but that is moot now with free trades… They are one of the very few discount brokers to offer the RDSP account, the only other one I know about is TDDI. My personal take is, stay with your current broker if you like the service. If you’re looking elsewhere already, NBDB should be a more than fine choice if your needs are simple like mine, but so would any other bank’s discount brokerage.

Hi Francois,

Thank you for your personal feedback. Sounds like NBDB may be good for investors not looking for a lot of services and just need something simple.

What does NA charge for a dual listed (USD/CAD) rrsp account?

I don’t think so, you should be able to hold both USD and CAD in RRSP.

Yes, but in many Canadian accounts if you sell your US holdings they will take 1.5% for the currency conversion. This is where Wealth Simple makes most of their money.

The annual $100 fee is waived for everyone (regardless of account valur) if you make 5 trades in a year.

5 trades carry no transaction fees and on average, is 1 buy or sell every 2 months. I think everyone can fulfill that. Just buy and sell 5 penny stocks if you must. You probably should advise your readers to take 5 mins and waive the $100 fee that way haha

It’s pretty easy to get the $100 fee waived so I wouldn’t worry about that.

I have opened tfsa stock ac with NBDB. I havd no bad experience. All looks good. Only pain point is they do not have app. Other than that i am satisfied.

Thanks for your feedback.

Thanks for the research Bob! I currently have Questrade, WealthSimple Trade, and also Scotia iTrade. While I only have a minority of holdings in Scotia, I was attracted to their free commission on select ETFs and the opportunity to diversify holdings to different institutions to minimize risk. While Scotia’s brokerage isn’t amazing – it does have one thing: It’s been easy to set up bank-to-bank transfers, allowing for free (and instant) cash transfers between institutions.

Do you know if National Bank offers bank-to-bank transfers? Or free EFT transfers? I see their Interac e-Transfer is not free but is minimal, $1.25.

Good question, I think NBDB does offer bank-to-bank transfers, or at least you can fund your accounts using the payment option. They will reimburse you up to $150 per a previous commenter, Mark

Yes. I can transfer money from my TD checking account directly to NBDB and vice versa. Transfers have taken 1 day to process. Very easy to setup.

Hi. How about trading OTC’s on this broker?

I believe you can trade OTC’s on NBDB per here –

NBDB will reimburse $150 to cover transfer costs

Thanks Mark. Most discount brokers will reimburse transfer costs up to a certain amount.

Thanks for putting this excellent analysis together. Very comprehensive and well thought out.

A few comments: 1. The lack of real-time quotes (only free if 10 trades per month per account, regardless of the account value) is a big drawback. The last trade price is not known. Hence a market order may not be placed at the best price. This is probably a big source of NBDB’s revenue, to compensate for the lack of trade commissions.

Even a limit order may not be placed at the right time, or at all, if NBDB does not make it’s revenue on the trade. And with the lack of real-time quotes it is very hard to prove that the trade was not executed at the best price.

For Canadian brokers not to provide real-time quotes is a real disservice to investors. On this item alone I would not deal with NBDB.

2. BMO InvestorLine (where I currently have accounts) charges $150 plus HST to close and transfer an account. Will NBDB reimburse the transfer out fees from another brokerage? If not, it becomes very expensive to move accounts over to NBDB…

One always has to ask if a brokerage charges zero commissions, how do they make up for the drop in revenue? Where will they get the lost revenue to provide their services?

Lack of real-time quotes might be problematic for some investors. It may not for others. It is odd that they have a requirement for 10 trades per month per account to get real time quotes.

As far as I know, NBDB will reimburse the transfer out frees from another brokerage but you might want to confirm with them.

I think NBDB makes up for the lost revenue by getting customers to sign up with their banking services and/or getting investors to sign up with the extra investment services.

I recently opened TFSA, RRSP and margin accounts at National Bank (DBDB). The RRSP and TFSA accounts were ready quite quickly. It took longer for the margin and options trading features to enable (about five weeks). Due to the zero commission announcement, they are pretty swamped with new applications.

I have not done much trading yet, as I have not moved assets over. So I can’t provide a real review of the trading platform.

Moving investment accounts between institutions is a pain in the butt; no doubt about that. But purely from the perspective of wallet activism (speak with your dollars), I want to reward NBDB for pioneering big-bank zero-cost trading in Canada. The other banks are resting on their laurels because they think people won’t do the work to switch.

For perspective, I currently trade on the TD WebBroker and CIBC Investors Edge platforms. WebBroker is good, but $9.99 a trade is highway robbery. CIBC is cheaper at $6.95, but the platform is far inferior to TDs.

Thanks Neil for your feedback, I’d be curious to hear your update on how NBDB is once you start doing more trading.

Mate just the thought of opening new accounts is a big nNO to me….I am with CIBC investors edge and pay $6.95 per trade, yes I pay more. It took a long time to get my accounts open (RRSP x 2, TFSA x 2, personal, RESP, Corporate x 2, 4 kids accounts 12 accounts) I would not do it to save the $6.95, I really do not do a ton of trades, mainly Drip’s it is not worth the time to save the trade cost.

I like the write up and if I was new would consider it. Thanks for all your hard work.

You’re welcome Ian. Glad to help.

Thanks for the summary, Bob.

I wonder when the big 5 and QT will also adopt to FOC trades? I recently moved my QT cdn div portfolio to WST for this very reason. If NB offered fractional trading like WST, I would certainly consider that of value as there are very few holdings I am able to do a full share DRIP right now.

My only beef with WST is that I find it takes avg 1.5 days to receive payout distributions. When I originally started trading using TD, that was never the case. I guess sometimes you get what you pay for 🙂

Happy Holidays Josh

It would be great if the big 5 and QT adopt to FOC trades…but I don’t see that happening. There are certainly pros and cons for each of these discount brokers.

I have opened 3 trading accounts with NA, QuestTrade and Wealthsimple Trade. Each has its Pros and Cons. Questrade is great for trading USA etfs as the process is simple to journal CAD to USD. Wealthsimple Trade and NA are expensive and slow.

NA and Wealthsimple are great for trading in and out of ETFs are there is $0 cost. Questtrade charge me $4.99 for each sale.

So I use Questrade to accumulate and Buy USA etfs.

I use NA to Buy and Sell Canadian ETFs based on weekly charts and I use WealthSimple for trading on the go with their mobile app.

Thanks for the input. How is NA when it comes to trading stocks?

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National Bank Direct Brokerage Review 2023

National bank direct brokerage review.

  • Trading Fees
  • Annual Fees
  • Account Options
  • Customer Service
  • Platform and App
  • Account Opening

National Bank Direct Brokerage Review Summary:

National Bank Direct Brokerage (NBDB) was the first of Canada’s big banks to offer free trading. As part of the National Bank of Canada, NBDB offers security as well as a wide range of investment options. On their platform, users can trade stocks, ETFs, bonds and more.

While no commission trading is always a huge plus, NBDB doesn’t have a working mobile app, any available promo, and charges high account fees. Competitors such as Qtrade or Questrade simply offer a better overall package.

In our National Bank Direct Brokerage review, we’ll break down the fees, account types, investment options, platform and more. Read on to find out if NBDB is right for you, or if you might be better off going with one of Canada’s best online brokers instead.

  • No fee trades
  • Good brick-and-mortar presence if you live in Quebec
  • Safety and security
  • New App (bugs still being worked out) + Poor overall platform rating
  • Subpar portfolio analysis tools
  • $100 account fee
  • No promotions
  • Long customer service wait times
  • Visit Qtrade & Get up to $2,000 Cashback

While NBDB’s free trades look good on paper, the trading platform is lacking in several areas. No proper mobile app, poor customer service, and no welcome bonus means that NBDB still needs to up its game to rank amongst our top Canadian Brokers.

NBDB has made changes over the last two years to make their fee structure competitive among other discount brokers, and have now dropped their commission fees altogether for those trading on their online platform. It seems as though they have taken customer feedback to heart and made improvements to make those customers want to stay as well as attract new ones.

In 2019 they were ranked dead last, 8 out of 8, by J.D. Power, but merely one year later in 2020, they moved up considerably to 4th out of 8. The Globe and Mail also took note of NBDB’s improvements since 2018 when they were graded a C+, but in 2020, The Globe and Mail increased their rating to a B. 

We’ll take a deep dive into the details in our National Bank Direct Brokerage review and try to uncover the reasons behind their rankings and see if they just might be worth a second look.

  • Fees and Pricing
  • Platform and Tools
  • TFSA, RRSP and Other Accounts

National Bank Direct Brokerage FAQ

  • Who is National Bank Direct Brokerage Best For? 

NBDB vs. Qtrade Quick Comparison

Long time readers know we strongly recommend Qtrade, and for good reason. Let’s take a look at how they compare to NBDB.

While at first glance, Qtrade’s higher trading fees put you off, don’t worry. Qtrade customers pay a bit more for excellent customer service, a commitment to excellence and innovation, high quality investor education tools, and excellent customer service.

However, NBDB is giving Qtrade and other discount brokerages in Canada by offering zero cost trading, a rarity among the big banks.

That being said, for long-term investors serious about growing their wealth, Qtrade trumps NBDB. Read our Qtrade review to see exactly why we consider it the best broker in Canada.

National Bank Direct Brokerage Fees and Pricing

In 2021, National Bank Direct Brokerage cut their per-trade fees down to $0, becoming the first big bank brokerage to do so. Here is a quick look at some of the fees we haven’t already covered.

These fees can all add up over time, taking precious funds away from your bottom line. 

Other brokers like Qtrade offer free services such as LIF, RIF and LRIF scheduled payments and electronic funds transfer. Another one of our top choices, Questrade , offers things like free CAD electronic fund transfer (EFT) up to $50,000.00. 

In 2023, with so many online discount brokerages getting rid of their account fees, it just doesn’t make sense to pay for a DIY service. So, in terms of costs and fees there is some work for NBDB to do to catch up to the rest.

Interest rates for margin accounts

There is no denying that with their new $0 price tag for ETF and stock trading National Bank Direct Brokerage has set themselves apart from the pack when it comes to pricing. The real question then becomes, is saving a few bucks per year in stock trading commissions worth the use of a sub-par platform? For some it might be, but for others, the sacrifice just won’t make sense.

Is National Bank Direct Brokerage the Cheapest?

There are plenty of discount brokers in Canada offering free ETF purchases, topped by no annual fees. View our entire selection below:

Canada’s Best Discount Brokers

NBDB Review: Platform & Tools

The online platform is one area NBDB has had to consistently work on improving to stay competitive as a top online brokerage in Canada. 

Recently it has invested in developing a new online platform that is more user-friendly, as well as offers more bells and whistles than their former platform. 

Now NBDB’s platform offers customization, comparison tools, help users easily track their top performing investments, allows for the creation of up to 10 watchlists, and access a wealth of tools from their Trading Central section.

Trading Central offers customers 3 tools for no annual fee. You will have access to NBDB’s Value Analyzer, with which you can look at valuation and company data, which can give you insight into potentially undervalued companies.

The technical insight section allows you to screen stocks and create alerts so you won’t miss out on a potential opportunity. Finally, the Strategy Builder tool helps you decide what stocks will best fit your criteria, plus you will have access to model investment strategies created by experts.

Other tools, such as Market-Q for day traders, ETF Centre, and Decision-Plus allow for even more ways for you to learn, strategize, trade and earn.

Last year NDBD partnered with OptionsPlay, which could be an attractive add for options traders .

While these improvements are a move in the right direction, at the end of the day, without a working mobile app, NBDB will find it hard to attract a certain customer base that expect a proper mobile experience from their brokerage.

National Bank Direct Brokerage: Customer Service

NBDB was having a difficult time keeping up to customer service requests before they went to their $0 trading model (as evidenced by their consistently low scores on the Globe and Mail rankings by Rob Carrick year after year, as well as the general emails and comments that we’ve anecdotally received here at MDJ complaining about wait times). 

There is no reason to believe that more resources will be dedicated to supporting new customers now that revenues have been sliced down.

Perhaps their Big Bank resources have made it possible to make improvements in this area. Only time will tell if they can stay on top of this over time. In fact, National Bank Direct Brokerage was recognized as #1 in Investor Satisfaction with Self-Directed Brokerage Firms in 2021 by J.D. Power. We have to admit, that is a pretty impressive accomplishment given where they stood only a few years ago.

National Bank Direct Brokerage TFSA, RRSP, and Other Accounts

As with the other big names in discount brokerages in Canada, National Bank Direct Brokerage offers a variety of different accounts including the following:

  • Spousal RRSP/RRIF
  • Non-registered accounts (cash, margin, and short selling)
  • Individual Pension Plan
  • Estate accounts
  • In trust account
  • Investment club account

National Bank Direct Brokerage also offers accounts for corporate entities.

National Bank Brokerage Mobile App Review

The National Bank Mobile App has long been touted as a project the company was pursuing, but we finally got to see the early final product at the end of 2022.

As we enter 2023 the NBDB mobile trading app is still working the bugs out of its recently released Apple Store product, and hasn’t yet launched the Android version.

Initial reviews are that it is a fairly solid first effort.  Some of the bugs and limitations mentioned by the first users include:

  • No ability to transfer money from your bank account to brokerage account.
  • No easy-to-see portfolio option such as those found on other leading Canadian broker apps.
  • No mobile app alerts option.
  • No current ability to track your portfolio using only the mobile app.
  • Limitations in purchasing stocks priced below a dollar.

We’ll continue to update our National Bank Direct Brokerage 2023 Mobile App Review as more details become available.

No, you do not have to be a National Bank client in order to open a National Bank Discount Brokerage account.

Yes, NBDB recently launched their new app on the Apple store. The app is not yet available for Android however.

National Bank’s InvestCube is a way to automate your ETF rebalancing. It’s sort of like an in-house robo advisor.  It’s .5% MER is competitive with some of the more well known robo advisors in Canada, but options within the platform are limited.

No, at this time NBDB does not allow customers to purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum, or other cryptocurrencies.

You can get in touch with them via email at [email protected], or by calling 1-800-363-3511.

Yes you can mutual funds through your National Bank Direct Brokerage account. National Bank offers mutual funds through most of the major Canadian providers and their commission structure is the same $0 model as their ETFs and share trading is. Mutual funds sold by National Bank Direct Brokerage do incur the same high annual fees as mutual funds sold in any other context.

Who is National Bank Direct Brokerage Best For?  

We have to hand it to NBDB for diving into the no fee trading game, and for making improvements to their platform and customer service. If you are already a National Bank of Canada customer, using their brokerage service might make sense for you.

Finding the best broker in Canada means looking at the fine print and digging into the details. When you do look into the nitty gritty of what NBDB offers, you can find that there are better deals elsewhere. 

If you are looking for the absolute best all around brokerage in Canada, take a look at our top pick, Qtrade. In our Qtrade review , we’ll explain why we choose them over NBDB and other online brokers.

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worst customer service… extremely rude to clients.. not sure how they manage to survive all these years..

bad feeling on opening an account with NBDB. most sfaffs of nbdb are working inefficiently, and lacking of knowledge about what they are doing in nbdb. rude to clients, neglecting the emailing and processing the client’s need. i have struggled to open an account in two months and still failed to build fund-trans link. it took really long time to get my phone calls through. overall, i made up my mind to close all accounts with nbdb. it is waste my time and their loss at business reputation. byebye.

Android app now available.

Have anyone tried to transfer USD in their trading account either RRSP or Cash/Margin? Do they allow to transfer USD from your USD currency from other bank or you have to convert CAD to USD in order to trade US stocks?

On Options: i was looking for multi-leg options order entry but didn’t see anything mentioned on that. Have anyone checked if National Bank have multi-leg options strategy execution on Market – Q or regular web interface?

I have BMO and Questrade but BMO is expensive to trade and there is no multi-leg options. Questrade has multi-leg options but that’s only on cash or margin account. They both do allow to transfer USD from US currency account, so that part is good about both of them.

I am just looking for cheaper trading fee, if that’s still available in Canada.

Thanks in advance,

I opened an account last July and a few complaints 1)their sign up process was confusing for me but it seems even more confusing for the employees working there who had no idea on how to sign me up. I had to go to a branch because their online signup process wouldn’t work after numerous attempts 2)their app is a disaster and you cant trust it to do anything without crashing 3)And whatever you do. DO NOT use market orders with them. I’ve got several other brokerage accounts and all market orders dicey but here its a recipe for disaster. Its like they are just stealing from you. They never get orders in the spread. Always outside. 4)I was signed up for market Q as well as im a day trader and its isn’t anywhere near as sophisticated missing many basic options for day traders as others. Compared to other banks id have to say its the best platform but the bar is set so low because they all really really suck. Trade zero which has no commission fees now and Interactive brokers which has a far better platform are far better options if your a day trader. If your just investing and holding for longerterm periods this might work for you

National Bank Direct Brokerage now has an iPhone app. Still appears to have some kinks to work out though.

I also had a similar experience signing up, bit of a clunky experience. Others stated they signed all sheets and sent digitally, but I was asked to go in branch in the end. I see they had a posting on their website as of August 2022 stating they are working on the app and it will be done by end of 2022. That is a nice bonus. I currently use the website in my phone’s browser.

I just opened a “joint” account with NBC Direct Brokerage account and the sign up process is clunky. You need to fill out forms and send them by snail mail. I signed up with a National Bank line of credit, but when I tried to use this account, my transfers got rejected with no information as to why. I had to call customer service to get an answer that only a checking account can be used to transfer funds. In order to add a new account, you need to once again fill out a form and send it by email including a void cheque. After 2 days, I still have no information as to how long it will take for this account to be linked so I can start using the NBC Direct Brokerage platform to do trades. The customer service call agents are a very pleasant and helpful. I have both a Wealthsimple and Questrade account and linking a new account is a piece of cake and they both accept my National Bank line of credit to transfer money to/from. I would have expected the process to be much simpler, especially considering that I am already and National Bank customer. Also in order to create a user/pw to access your account online you need to call customer service for joint accounts.

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National Bank Direct Brokerage Review: Simply FREE

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Dividend Earner

Updated on May 21, 2023

National Bank Direct Brokerage Summary

National bank direct brokerage faq, trading costs, investment account details, investment research, customer service.

National Bank Direct Brokerage, or NBDB for short, is the online brokerage arm of the National Bank of Canada, a leading financial institution in Canada .

The company provides specific services and solutions for both new and seasoned investors. It offers tailored services for an active investor, young investor, and an existing National Bank client. NBDB is known for providing reliable online trading products and services for self-directed investors.

One can trade ETFs, stocks, bonds, and more. You can easily open an account with all your personal details, your social insurance number (SIN). You will also need a photo ID and your banking information to complete the form.

Be sure to read on as NBDB has by far the best pricing plan for customers where you are rewarded if you are a client.

NA - National Bank

National Bank Direct Brokerage

A great discount broker for new and small investors if you have access to National Bank.

Here is a summary to get you started, but there is a lot more information below if you want to get into the details.

Choosing a discount broker is a personal choice and the discount broker should satisfy your requirements. 

Questrade offers the cheapest trades! The best broker for small accounts and new investors. Quickly create your account online and get started with $50 in Free Trades .

Can I have the fees waived with National Bank Direct Brokerage?

No more fees! National Bank just changed to no fee trading.

How do I deposit money into my National Bank Direct Brokerage?

One can easily transfer funds from his bank account to an National Bank Direct Brokerage account using the transfer icon on the online trading platform. One can also link a bank account held at another financial institution.

NBDB can refund your transfer fees, up to $135, and taxes if you transfer $10,000 or more in an InvestCube account or $20,000 or more in another type of account.

How can I contact National Bank Direct Brokerage customer support?

You can contact National Bank Direct Brokerage customer support between Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The first big bank discount broker to offer $0 transaction fees.

There is a $100 annual admin fee, but there are ways to have it waived. There is no annual administration fee for active and young investors. National Bank Direct Brokerage offers all ETFs (both Canadian and American) at $0 commission.

NBDB offers registered accounts like TFSA , RRSP/RRIF, Spousal RRSP/RRIF, RESP, non-registered accounts like cash, margin, and short selling, and special accounts.

National Bank Direct Brokerage offers a user-friendly platform. One can trade using NBDB’s trading platform, mobile site, as well as through telephone support.

Clients can place market, limit, or stop-loss orders with a minimum transaction fee of $6.95.

The transaction fee of $6.95 is the same as CIBC Investor’s Edge and a little higher than Questrade but it beats the other big bank discount brokers.

A user can keep track of his securities by creating personal watchlists with real-time quotes. Users can see a detailed breakdown of the performance of each of their accounts in a number of ways: by account, consolidated, for a specific period, or for cumulative periods.

One can also build his portfolio using Strategy Builder and find stocks that meet one’s specific needs. There is a comparison tool that assists in comparing up to four stocks, ETFs, or mutual funds at the same time to help make investment decisions.

With NBDB, you can get access to analysis from National Bank Financial and Morningstar.

It also provides sophisticated tools such as Recognia, InvestCube, and Market-Q to evaluate your investment decisions. One can also explore the OptionsPlay analysis platform to find ideas for options trading but it’s as risky as investing in penny stocks from the TSX .

You can contact NBDB customer care either through phone or email. You can also sign up for their newsletter to get the latest trading news and stay informed on products, services, and promotions. There is a FAQ section for common user queries.

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Budget airline Ryanair has found a new way to charge a fee

Travelers can be charged up to $27 to get a digital boarding pass with a random seat assignment. Or, the airline says, they can wait in line to get one printed out for free.


Good morning. I'm Michel Martin.

First there was the fee to check your bag, then extra legroom, meaning barely enough to begin with. But now the budget airline Ryanair has managed to take things a step further. Now travelers can be charged up to $27 to get a digital boarding pass with a seat assignment, or they can wait in line to get one printed for free. Furious passengers are venting on social media, calling the move disgraceful. A spokesman for Ryanair says passengers have a choice. Sure.

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  1. Brokerage fees and bank comissions 2020

    Regular commissions Fixed-income securities You can carry out fixed income security transactions through our trading platform or over the phone with one of our representatives. The minimum amount for trades varies depending on the security, and any applicable commissions are included in the price.

  2. PDF Commission and General Fee Schedule

    Administrative fees Annual administration fee5 $100.00* The fee applies to all account roots opened before December 1 of the previous year, unless at least one of the following exemption criteria is met6: Eligible assets held under the same account root total $20,000 or more7 You are a young investor aged 30 years or younger on May 31

  3. Brokerage

    $0 annual fee 1 if one of the conditions is satisfied You won't pay any fees if 2 you are a young investor aged 30 or under You hold eligible 3 assets totalling at least $20,000 as of May 31** You participate in a financial program for engineers, teachers, business, or healthcare professionals You only have an InvestCube account

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    National Bank Direct Brokerage is the first broker of a Canadian bank† to offer 100% of Canadian and U.S. stocks, options and ETFs at $0. You're not dreaming: no commissions on your trades. Our fees are also clearly explained so you fully understand what you're paying for. Have you been thinking about investing on your own?

  5. PDF Commission and General Fee Schedule

    Commission $44.95 Exchange-Traded Debentures Commission $44.95 + $3.00 per $1,000 face value Fixed-income securities You can carry out your fi xed-income securities transactions through our website or over the phone with one of our representatives.

  6. National Bank Direct Brokerage to begin charging $9.95 for ...

    National Bank Direct Brokerage to begin charging $9.95 for journalizing shares starting March 10, 2022. I saw rumours that NBDB plans to charge for journaling shares (if you want to perform Norbert's Gambit). Confirmed per below.

  7. National Bank Direct Brokerage Review 2023

    Quick Info Standard Equity Commission $0 Best Commission Price $0 Minimum to Open Account Not Required Maintenance/Inactivity Fees $100/year Commission-free ETF Trading Yes Young Investor Offer Yes (Age range: 18-30; or students) Compare to Another Brokerage HIGHLIGHTS 3.8/5 (4)

  8. National Bank Direct Brokerage Review 2023

    Updated: September 4, 2023. Fact Checked. This review of the National Bank Direct Brokerage (NBDB) covers its fees; trading platform features, benefits, downsides, and alternatives. National Bank Direct Brokerage is a securities broker offering access to self-directed trading of stocks, Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), options, GICs, and bonds.

  9. National Bank Direct Brokerage Announces its New Highly Competitive Fee

    MONTREAL, Oct. 7, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ - On October 15, National Bank Direct Brokerage (NBDB) will launch one of the most competitive online brokerage fee structures on the Canadian market.

  10. National Bank Direct Brokerage Announces its New Highly Competitive Fee

    On October 15, National Bank Direct Brokerage (NBDB) will launch one of the most competitive online brokerage fee structures on the Canadian market. This is the new fee structure for the different client profiles: Young investors (18-30): $4.95 per trade and 10 free trades per year. Active investors (100 or more trades per quarter): just $0. ...

  11. NBDB automatic assignment fees? : r/NBDB

    Posted by u/Ghorardim71 - No votes and no comments

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    $20,000 or more in another type of account Advantages Transfer your assets without having to sell them. Enjoy better pricing on tools depending on the number of trades you carry out. Get an overview of all your assets and simplify how you manage your investments. * Details about the transfer fee refund Two ways to benefit from the transfer offer:

  13. Is NBDB a good platform to trade options? : r/CanadianInvestor

    Is NBDB a good platform to trade options? Has anyone used NBDB for option trading? Is 1.25 per contract the only fee they charge? 2 11 comments Add a Comment gh0rard1m71 • 1 mo. ago Min 6.25 commission, and 28.75 assignment fees. IBKR is better for options trading. 4 AwkwardYak4 • 1 mo. ago

  14. National Bank Direct Brokerage Fees : r/PersonalFinanceCanada

    However, it was short lived: I just got told that there will be a new $9.95 fee to transfer shares between 2 of your accounts starting on March 10, 2022. The problem is that they do not allow for share journaling, so you NEED to reach out to them for a transfert everytime you complete a Norbert's Gambit.

  15. National Bank Direct Brokerage Review: Features & Alternatives

    Trading Commissions & Fees. NBDB has a $0 commission on all products offered. There is a $1.25 charge per contract for Options and other transaction fees that will be deducted from your debit balance. There is no minimum fee required to have an investment account with the institution. Members above 30 are required to pay the administration fee ...

  16. National Bank Direct Brokerage Review

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  18. National Bank Direct Brokerage Review 2023

    $100 account fee No promotions Long customer service wait times Visit Qtrade & Get up to $2,000 Cashback While NBDB's free trades look good on paper, the trading platform is lacking in several areas. No proper mobile app, poor customer service, and no welcome bonus means that NBDB still needs to up its game to rank amongst our top Canadian Brokers.

  19. National Bank Direct Brokerage Review: Simply FREE

    National Bank Direct Brokerage offers a user-friendly platform. One can trade using NBDB's trading platform, mobile site, as well as through telephone support. Clients can place market, limit, or stop-loss orders with a minimum transaction fee of $6.95. The transaction fee of $6.95 is the same as CIBC Investor's Edge and a little higher ...

  20. Budget airline Ryanair has found a new way to charge a fee

    Travelers can be charged up to $27 to get a digital boarding pass with a random seat assignment. ... Budget airline Ryanair has found a new way to charge a fee Travelers can be charged up to $27 ...

  21. National Bank Direct Brokerage will waive the $100 annual fee ...

    A client may have several account roots. Annual administration fees and exemptions are calculated on all accounts held by a client under the same account root, rather than on each individual account. If none of the criteria are satisfied, the $100 fee will be divided between all of the client's accounts.

  22. Question about reimburse transfer fees : r/NBDB

    WS doesn't charge so no reimbursement. feixianhu • 2 yr. ago. NBDB will ask for the proof of transfer fee being charged. So for WST, there is no refund because of no fee charged. writersandfilmmakers • 2 yr. ago. I saw that too, but when i called and asked they said there would be no fee of over 20k regardless of number of accounts.

  23. Fees are coming in NBDB : r/NBDB

    1 [deleted] • 1 yr. ago writersandfilmmakers • 1 yr. ago Waaaaaaaa 1 feignignorence • 1 yr. ago If you're implying they're thinking about putting in commission fees, that's quite the speculation 1 shan_bhai • 1 yr. ago So are you implying 9.95$ for journaling is not commission? Or are you in denial? 1 Wightly • 1 yr. ago