Canadian Online Brokerage: A Market Comes of Age

March 22, 2001


Boston, MA, USA  1st April 2001


The Canadian online brokerage market, although younger and smaller than its US counterpart, is showing the same signs of expansion and an overall rise in adoption rates. Canada’s online investment community, somewhat buffeted by recent market volatility, still continues to grow in terms of accounts and assets. Many of these firms reported much greater than expected growth in 2000 and are preparing for continued growth in 2001. These are some of the findings of a new report on the Canadian online brokerage market just released by Celent. 

Additionally, the rise of the mainstream investor segment in Canada provides increased opportunity for those firms willing and able to evolve their service to offer more robust research, analytical tools and advice. The full service firms, now just making a foray into the online market, will find themselves in position to attract large numbers of these mainstream investors.

According to Fritz McCormick of Celent, “Discount firms will fight to keep their existing accounts and will also have to strive to evolve and meet the needs of the increasingly savvy Canadian retail investment community. Those firms without the ability or willingness to add new products and services will quickly fall prey to their competition, and some degree of consolidation is very likely in the next year.”

The online brokerage offerings analyzed in this report include:

BMO Nesbitt Burns National Bank of Canada Investnet
Charles Schwab Canada Royal Bank of Canada Action Direct
CIBC Investor's Edge Scotia Bank
E*Trade Canada TD Waterhouse 
Merrill Lynch HSBC  

Along with Celent’s report looking at the overall Canadian online brokerage market, a separate piece, Case Studies in Retail eFinancial Services includes a case study entitled “BMO Nesbitt Burns: Leading the Full-Service Online Brokerage Charge in Canada,” was also released.

A Table of Contents is available online.

of Celent Communication's Retail Securities & Investments research service can download the report electronically by clicking on the icon to the left.

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America
Michele Pace
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents


Boston, MA, USA, April 1, 2001

Canadian Online Brokerage:  A Market Comes of Age

Return to report Abstract

  Segmentation  7
  Suitability 9
  Competitive Pressures 9
  Bank of Montreal 13
  Charles Schwab Canada 14
  CIBC Investor's Edge 14
  E*Trade Canada 15
  Merrill Lynch HSBC  16
  National Bank of Canada Investnet 16
  Action Direct 16
  ScotiaBank  17
  TD Waterhouse 18



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