I recently moved my investment accounts from Questrade to RBC Direct in order to take advantage of the RBC 1% rebate deal so I thought it would only be fitting to do a review of their services.
Who are they?
RBC Direct is the discount brokerage arm of the Royal Bank of Canada which is the biggest Canadian bank.
Good things about RBC Direct
I like the trading platform – it looks nice, easy to use and is well designed. There is also access to analysts reports etc. It does the job.
If you would like to compare all the different Canadian discount brokerages, check out the Canadian discount brokerage comparison.
Bad things about RBC Direct
Everything else. 🙂
Fees – ridiculous fees in my opinion. $10/trade is not bad for a passive investor but why anyone would pay $29 a trade is beyond my comprehension. I’ve outlined the fees at the bottom of the post.
No electronic money movement unless you have a RBC bank account. This is the stupidest thing about RBC – yes, I understand they want to ‘bundle’ all their services but forcing investors to open up new accounts to use their discount brokerage when most of the other discount brokerages offer excellent electronic money movement options is just bad business. Get out of the stone age RBC!
In order for me to put money into the account, I have to write a cheque and mail it to them. If I want to remove any money – I have to pay $10 for a cheque to be written. My plan is to keep all cash in the account until next year when I can move back to Questrade and then withdraw it electronically. The most annoying part of this is that when I looked into the 1% deal – a customer service rep told me on the phone that I could do electronic money movement which turned out to be false. Speaking of customer service….
Bad Customer service
I won’t bore you will the multitude of issues I’ve encountered with RBC but suffice to say that I think their computer system was probably build sometime in the 20’s which makes it very hard for the customer service reps to do their job.
Most of the reps are pretty good although one time I called without an account number and the rep told me it was “very hard to look up an account without the account number”. I challenged him on it and he somehow was able to find the account immediately just using my name. Kudos jackass…kudos.
I can’t really recommend RBC Direct since I really don’t like them and can’t wait to collect my 1% and go back to Questrade. However, if you already do your banking with RBC and have a $100,000 in assets then they are not a bad choice. If you don’t meet those criteria then look elsewhere.
- $28.95 per trade unless you have $100,000 in household assets at RBC Direct or complete more than 30 trades per quarter.
- $9.95 if you have $100,000 in household assets at RBC Direct.
- $9.95 if you make between 30 and 149 trades per quarter.
- $6.95 for those super-active traders who do at least 150 trades per quarter.
Annual account fees
- No fees if total client assets are $15,000 or more.
- If assets are less than $15,000, a $25 quarterly fee will be charged regardless of the number of accounts. Can be avoided by making three or more trades in all accounts