Is Charles Schwab Coming BACK to Canada?

| February 6, 2022
✓ Verified by Vishesh Raisinghani

Charles Schwab is not available in Canada. They sold their Canadian business to Scotiabank in 2002 and have not returned.

Alternatives to Charles Schwab for Canadians

Interactive Brokers

Summary

Interactive Brokers is a platform that caters to active traders. From their advanced analysis tools to their low fees for high-frequency traders, Interactive Brokers is a great choice for experienced traders.

Pros

  • Low trading commissions, especially for high-frequency traders.
  • A diverse range of account types

Cons

  • Platform has a slight learning curve
TD Direct Investing

Summary

TD Direct Investing is a platform preferred by customers looking to stick with a bank-owned brokerage platform. TD Direct Investing offers access to advanced research tools that may be of interest to advanced traders.

Pros

  • Access to a wide range of analytical tools.
  • Easy to use mobile and web platforms.

Cons

  • Higher commissions compared to competitors
Qtrade

Summary

Qtrade is a Canadian brokerage firm that offers a low-fee platform with great customer support. Combined with access to analytical tools that allow traders to discover, evaluate and monitor investments, Qtrade is a great choice for both amateur and experienced investors.

Pros

  • Variety of asset types
  • Commission-free trading available on 100 ETFs

Cons

  • Quarterly account fees and relatively high trading costs

Fortunately for Canadians, there are several alternatives to Charles Schwab.

Advanced traders who are looking to take advantage of the tools and services offered by Charles Schwab can get similar functionality with one of the alternatives mentioned here.

Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers is a versatile trading platform that offers a range of options for both beginner and advanced traders.

While commissions are already low compared to competitors, the fee structure brings commissions even lower for high-frequency traders.

One of the largest upsides is the ability to open a number of different account types.

While some platforms only offer one or two account types, Interactive Brokers offers registered account options such as Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TSFA), Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP), Spousal RRSPs, as well as non-registered options like Margin accounts and Trust accounts.

Another feature that many users enjoy is access to a wide range of asset types.

While beginners may only be interested in stocks and ETFs, advanced traders can put their funds into advanced holdings like precious metals or fixed-income products.

Definition

Registered Accounts: A type of investment account that is registered with the government in order to receive tax-deferral or tax-shelter benefits.

TD Direct Investing

For individuals looking to keep their trading account with a big 5 bank, TD Direct Investing is a solid choice.

The platform’s commissions are slightly higher than some of their discount brokerage competitors.

at $7.00 per trade for active traders, and $9.99 on standard trades.

In addition, a maintenance fee of $25 is charged per quarter if your account has a balance of less than $15,000. 

While costs are higher, TD Direct Investing offers many great features to make up for this difference.

In particular, TD Direct Investing provides access to a full suite of analytical tools that are comparable with some of the top platforms in Canada. 

In terms of the user experience, both the web platform and mobile application are easy to use.

Customers are generally happy with their user experience and also commend TD Direct Investing for their customer service. 

Qtrade

Qtrade is a brokerage platform based in Canada.

The company is owned by Aviso Wealth, a large wealth management company.

Aviso manages over $95 billion in assets on behalf of over 500,000 Canadians. 

The platform offers commission-free trading for over 100 different ETFs and charges $6.95 to $8.75 on all other trades.

Outside of stocks and ETFs, investors can access mutual funds, Canadian and U.S. bonds, options, and GICs.

For high-frequency traders, the Investor Plus option offers lower commissions, as long as you have at least $500,000 in your account or make 150+ trades per quarter.

Aside from lower commissions, Investor Plus users also gain access to USD accounts and independent research services. 

Charles Schwab platform opening on mobile phone

Will Charles Schwab come back to Canada?

While Charles Schwab was at one time available in Canada, the company sold its operations to Scotiabank in 2002.

Since then, the company has not announced any plans about returning to Canada.

It is not likely that Charles Schwab will be coming back to Canada as a standalone brand anytime soon. 

What is Charles Schwab?

Charles Schwab is a financial services company based in the United States.

The company manages $7.5 trillion dollars of assets, making it one of the largest investment service firms in the world. 

Charles Schwab is an attractive option for advanced traders, as the platform offers a suite of software tools that use sophisticated trading technology.

These tools are great for those looking to pick out undervalued stocks. 

These tools are highly regarded in the sector, with Charles Schwab winning the “Best in Class” award for Trading Platforms and Tools in 2021. 

While Charles Schwab used to offer services in Canada, they exited the market in 2002 through the sale of their Canadian operations to Scotiabank.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is Charles Schwab available in Canada?
  • Can non-US citizens open a Charles Schwab account?

I have been investing for half a decade, using the perspectives gained from my work experience in the private, public, and non-profit sectors to shape my investment outlook. I have a specific interest in the potential of emerging disruptive technologies and their impact on the future.