International Shares

With a CommSec International Securities Trading Account, you can take advantage of investment opportunities across the globe, with access to many of the leading global share markets, including the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ and the London Stock Exchange.

CommSec International Trading gives you access to market news, sector analysis, stock news and indices information for US markets (including live pricing), and also offers international watchlist and portfolio capability. You can monitor your positions online, and trade Exchange-Traded Funds, with 24-hour customer service (on US trading days).

Products you can trade with this account

US Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

Exchange Traded Funds are funds that trade on a stock exchange like ordinary shares. They combine the investment advantages of a managed fund with the ease and cost-effectiveness of share trading.

How it works

CommSec has a partnership with Pershing LLC, a subsidiary of the Bank of New York Mellon, that provides you access to trade on US and non-US markets (including access to Exchange-Traded Funds – ETFs) through CommSec. Once you've opened a CommSec International Trading Account, placing a trade is simple:

  • Login to your CommSec Account
  • Transfer the funds into the relevant currency online or over the phones by contacting the International Trading Desk
  • Launch the international Trading platform to place a trade on US markets
  • Contact the International Trading Desk to place a trade on Non-US markets
  • View your trades and holdings online on your International Trading Account

Rates and fees

Markets

Brokerage Fee

Other Costs

North America

 

  • New York Stock Exchange
  • NASDAQ
  • American Stock Exchange
  • Includes equities, foreign denominated bonds and managed funds

USD $19.95 for trades up to USD $5,000

USD $29.95 for trades up to USD $10,000

0.31% for trades above USD $10,0001

US Exchange Traded Options

Note: We are no longer accepting new applications for this product

USD $65.00 or 0.75%, whichever is greater1

USD $1.10 per contract applies to US Option trades

Canada

USD $39.95 or 0.40%, whichever is greater1,2

Taxes and market fees put through at cost

Asia Pacific

 

  • Japan
  • Hong Kong

USD $39.95 or 0.40%, whichever is greater1,2

Taxes and market fees put through at cost

  • Indonesia
  • New Zealand
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Thailand

USD $39.95 or 0.40%, whichever is greater1,2

Taxes and market fees put through at cost

Europe and Middle East

 

  • London Stock Exchange (LSE)

USD $39.95 or 0.40%, whichever is greater1,2

A stamp duty of 50 basis points may apply to buy trades executed on the LSE

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

USD $39.95 or 0.40%, whichever is greater1,2

Taxes and market fees put through at cost

For all limit and market orders which are not fully executed in the same trading day, normal brokerage will be charged for the total portion executed per day. Brokerage charges may be converted and applied in the local currency. This may result in variances in the US dollar equivalent brokerage applied.

May be subject to additional local exchange fees

Fee Type

Amount (USD)

FX Rate3

0.60%

For trades in currencies to which certain restrictions apply, currency must first be transferred from USD and will incur a small additional spread. Alternatively trades can be settled in USD.

Fee Type

Amount (USD)

Custody fee for inactive accounts4

$25.00 per year

Posted trade confirmation fee

$1.80 per trade confirmation

Posted statement fee

$1.80 per statement

4 Custody fees are charged to accounts defined as inactive; that is, accounts holding a security position for a calendar year (1 January to 31 December) without generating a trade, or margin interest of USD $100 or more. Systematic reinvestment activity in mutual funds and/or exchange activity in mutual funds will be considered as a trade. However, dividend reinvestment activity is not considered a trade.

Who can apply?

You can apply for a International Securities Trading Account if you are:

  • 18 years or older with an Australian residential and postal address; or
  • An Australian registered or incorporated company; or
  • An Australian trust or SMSF; and
  • Have an existing CommSec Share Trading Account in the same name.

What you’ll need if you’re new to CommSec:

  • ID (e.g. driver’s licence or passport)
  • SMSF name and Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Company details and Australian Company Number (ACN)
  • Certified copy of the Trust Deed (if applicable)

Get started

Open a CommSec International Share Trading Account for an Individual.

To trade International Shares with CommSec, you'll need a CommSec Share Trading Account that settles to a cash account.

Already a CommSec customer?

Login to CommSec, navigate to Trading > International, and follow the prompts to add an International account.

Not a CommSec customer?

To trade international shares you first need to apply for a CommSec Equities account. Please choose the CommSec Equities account type you would like to apply for to get started

I would like to apply for an Individual Commsec Equities account that:

 

Adds a CommSec cash account1 to my application

Join Now >

 

Allows me to settle with an existing bank account

Join Now >

Frequently asked questions

Pershing LLC is a subsidiary of the Bank of New York Mellon. As our International Custodian, Pershing provides trade execution, clearing, settlement and custody of international securities for CommSec clients.

When you open an International Trading Account with CommSec, you access international markets through Pershing LLC via the CommSec website.

Yes, before you place a buy order, you need to have cleared funds in the relevant currency in your account. Funds must be transferred from a linked AUD bank account, which you can arrange via the online transfer form, or by calling the International Trading Desk, 24 hours on US trading days.

For information on transferring funds to your account, please see FAQ “How do I transfer funds to and from my International Trading Account?”.

To access the Pershing platform, you will first need to log into your CommSec account and navigate to Trading > International and by clicking on "Launch Platform".

Please note: An International Trading Account is required to access the Pershing platform, where you can access research and place trades on US markets. To find out more about our International Trading Account, navigate to Products > International Shares or click here.

For any further assistance please contact us (24 hours on US trading days).

You can trade in markets around the globe, including major markets such as the US, Canada, UK, Hong Kong, Japan and other countries in Europe and Asia.

For a full list of countries, see the International Securities Trading brochure.

There are two ways you can transfer funds between your International Trading Account and your linked Australian bank account.

1. You can submit your request online. To access the online transfer request form please log onto the CommSec website and navigate to Portfolio > Accounts then select your International Trading Account from the drop down menu and select the Transfers tab.

Simply enter the details of your transfer then review and submit your request. The exchange rate displayed during the online request is indicative only and when submitting a withdrawal request you cannot request an amount that will leave your Pershing account with a negative balance. The request must also be for the currency that you hold in your Pershing account and not the US dollar equivalent.

2. You can contact us on our International Trading Desk, 24hrs on US trading days. We must ensure you are an authority on the account before we can implement your instructions.

Please note: The request cut-off time for a transfer in all currencies to be made the same day is 11am (Sydney time) and transfers are generally processed between 11am and 1pm (Sydney time).

For transfers from Australian dollars to US dollars there is an additional request cut-off time of 2:00pm (Sydney time) for processing before 3:30pm (Sydney time). The exchange rate is determined at the time of processing. Transfer requests are processed each business day.

Funds may take up to two working days to reach your CommSec International Securities Trading Account as available funds.

Trades on the US market can be placed either online or over the phone with one of our representatives.

To place a US trade online:

1. Log into CommSec with your Client ID

2. Navigate to Trading International and click on "Launch Platform"

3. Click on Transact 

4. Select the correct account (if you have multiple accounts)

5. Enter the trade details (transaction, symbol, quantity, order type, duration)

6. Click on Review Order

7. Confirm your order details are correct, then click on Submit Order

8. View your trade confirmation by navigating to Communications All Communications > Trade confirmations (available 24 hours upon trade execution)

For all other countries (ie non-US shares) you will need to contact our International Desk and place your order over the phone.

If you are unsure of the country in which your shares are listed or require further assistance, contact us on our International Trading Desk (24 hours, US trading days).

The W-8BEN form is a requirement for Internal Revenue Service in the United States. A W-8BEN is a US Treasury form that allows foreign investors to claim special tax treaty benefits, including a reduced rate of withholding tax. Each W-8BEN form applies for three years unless there is a change of circumstances makes any information on the form incorrect.

If you do not complete the form, you may be subject to US Treasury withholding tax on investments held on your International Trading Account. In particular, any dividends and sale proceeds credited to your account may be subject to a withholding tax of 30%, rather than 15%. That means that 30% of any payments to your International Trading Account may be withheld to cover the US Treasury Withholding tax liabilities.

The W-8BEN remains in effect until 31 December three years from the year you signed the form, unless a change of circumstances makes any information on the form incorrect. We will send you a new form to complete before your existing W-8BEN expires.

For more information on the W-8BEN form and how to complete it, please contact us on our International Trading Desk 24 hours on US trading days.

If you already have a CommSec International Securities Trading Account, simply complete the account transfer form (available from the International Trading Desk) and return it to us.

If you don't have a CommSec International Securities Trading Account, complete the application form. You will also need to complete the account transfer form (available from the International Trading Desk) and  return both to us with any supporting documentation.

Please note that the time taken to transfer your shares and/or cash from another broker to your CommSec International Securities Trading Account varies from broker to broker. Once your shares have been transferred, you will be able to view your holdings online.

When the markets are volatile, understanding the differences between investing domestically and internationally is crucial. For further information on the risks associated with investing in offshore markets, click here.

Pershing Financial Services Guide

The Pershing Financial Services Guide sets out information designed to assist you in deciding whether to use any of the financial services offered under the FSG.

Download the Financial Services Guide

International Securities Trading Terms and Conditions

For a complete outline of what your obligations are when you buy or sell shares through CommSec please review the International Securities Trading Terms and Conditions document.

Download the International Securities Trading Terms and Conditions

 

Disclaimer

This site is directed and available to and for the benefit of Australian residents only. © Commonwealth Securities Limited ABN 60 067 254 399 AFSL 238814 ("CommSec") is a wholly owned, but non guaranteed, subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL 234945 and both entities are incorporated in Australia with limited liability.

By clicking on the "Download the CommSec App" buttons above, you will be directed to itunes.apple.com or play.google.com. These sites are not affiliated with CommSec and may offer a different Privacy Policy and level of security.

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