Is Scotia iTrade a Scam? Is Scotia iTrade Safe, Legitimate and Insured Brokerage Firm? Scotia iTrade BBB Rating

Is Scotia iTrade a Legitimate Firm?

Scotia iTrade was started in 2008 by Scotia Bank - one of the big five banks in Canada when it purchased E-trade Canada. Investors who started with E-trade will recall that very little changed with the platform during this transition, essentially Scotia just re-branded the E-trade platform, keeping all functionalities and original user interface. iTrade offers registered and non-registered accounts, fund investing, stocks and options, fixed income security trading, and exchange traded debentures. They also provide gold, silver, and platinum securities.  

When compared to other Canadian discount brokerages, the fees and commissions are competitive compared to other big banks but are still higher than independent brokerages like Questrade. They go as low as $6.99 per transaction if you make at least 150 trades per quarter, $9.99 if you can make 30 trades or have at least $50,000 in assets, and $24.99 per trade otherwise. The biggest complaints heard from users is typical of a big bank in that misc. fees and charges can creep up for certain transactions like transfer fees or fixed charges for placing orders over the phone.

The brokerage features a starter trading platform included with every account, and a more advanced trading and research platform for an extra subscription fee. They also offer practice accounts with a fictional portfolio of $100,000 in both Canadian and US currency intended to allow investors to try their trading tools risk-free. iTrade provides valuable market research and news through their website, dual currency TFSAs and RRSPs, and exceptional customer service.

Is Scotia iTrade Safe?

iTrade uses the same safety protocols as any other major bank in the country, incorporating 128-bit encryption browsers, firewall security, and tech security features like express-sign-on, access code, session timeouts, and even McAfee security software. They monitor internal systems and maintain the safety of user information on a regular basis and their customer support will assist customers with any technical issues.

Since 2008, iTrade has won numerous awards and most recently the “Best Overall Top Bank-Owned Brokerage” which was awarded by MoneySense, a well-respected national print magazine run by Rogers Communications. It also won the “SQM Call Center Best Practice Award”for the third year in a row.

Is Scotia iTrade Insured?

Operating under Scotia Bank, investors have the added security that their deposits are protected by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) - a federal Crown corporation created by Parliament in 1967 to insure individuals from loss due to failure by a financial institution. This is similar to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in the United States. 

iTrade is also a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) - an institution similar to the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) in the United States which is sponsored by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).

Is Scotia iTrade a Scam?

Scotia iTrade is owned and operated by a national bank that has been in business for over 185 years. It does not appear to be a scam but rather one of the biggest and longest running discount brokerages in Canada and widely used by many investors. While Canadian brokerages typically offer fewer products to investors and may not provide as advanced platforms as their US counterparts, it is still a legitimate business with professional memberships in CIPF and IIROC. The company strives to be at the forefront of consumer needs and offers one of the best customer service experiences available on the market. By all accounts, there is nothing to fear when conducting business with iTrade as it appears to be ethical and responsible backed by the federal government of Canada.

Scotia iTrade BBB (Better Business Bureau) Rating

iTrade is listed as an alternative business name to the Scotia bank – Head Office by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The standing is average, with a C- rating. The company is not accredited by the BBB, which is not unusual for online brokerage firms and should not be cause for concern. Since 2003 when Scotia Bank was added to BBB, there have been 50 complaints against the bank, 4 of which were filed against business and 8 filed against business that were not resolved. This number is better than average compared to other brokerages and excellent compared to other major banks in Canada. 

The company has received two customer reviews from the BBB that were negative giving it an average of 1.89 out of 5 stars. 1 complaint was with regard to a mortgage product, and another was by an individual who was locked out of their visa card. Overall, there have been no complaints or cause for concern regarding the Scotia iTrade brokerage.

Scotia iTrade Review

With no doubt Scotia iTrade is a legitimate and safe brokerage firm. Take a look at the detailed Scotia iTrade Review.

Updated on 3/31/2017.

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