Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Scotia iTrade are a bunch of money grubbing bastards

This is my review of Scotiabank's Scotia iTrade service.

I used to have an account with eTrade Canada. My former employer didn't give me many choices regarding brokerages for our employee stock purchase program, but this was back during the dot-com boom and eTrade was obviously the best known.

For the last decade, everything was fine. I had a few shares from the employee stock purchase program sitting in the account, and a little cash. I eventually moved most of the cash out to my main investment account, but I always kept the shares there as a little bit of savings that I wouldn't touch. Plus the shares had declined in value by about 70%, so it wasn't of great interest.

Then eTrade went out of business and got bought by Scotiabank. This was fine, everything was the same, just a different name.

Then, without any warning, or even a change of policy that was brought to my attention, they started charging a $25/month "inactivity fee." For the pleasure of letting them hold onto some of my money, they feel they need to charge me. Wonderful.

So, I sent the appropriate forms to my bank to get all of the assets away from Scotiabank, and that all went smoothly and wonderfully and only took a couple of days and everything was fine.

Until I got my statement. Apparently the fee for transferring my account, in order that I might avoid a $25/month charge, is $120. Plus HST.

Now, it's possible I overlooked something I was sent after the account was moved to iTrade. I don't think so, though. I usually read that sort of stuff fairly carefully.

In any case, I hereby vow to, as far as it is possible, never use Scotiabank or any of the financial services ever again. I would encourage anyone reading this to do the same, if you value your money.

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