International Shares

With a CommSec International Securities Trading Account, you can take advantage of investment opportunities across the globe, with access to more than 25 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 US Options and Exchange-Traded Funds, with 24-hour customer service (on US trading days).

Products you can trade with this account

US Exchange Traded Options (ETOs)

US ETOs are a versatile tool that can be used to compliment your existing share strategies1. Trades are restricted to 'limited risk' strategies, where the maximum loss is the initial investment.

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, as well as access to Exchange-Traded Options (ETOs) and Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) through CommSec. Once you've opened a CommSec International Trading Account, placing a trade is simple:

  • Contact us to transfer funds into the relevant currency for trading on your account.
  • Login to your International Trading Account via CommSec to place a trade on US markets.
  • To place a trade on non-US markets, contact the International Trading Desk.
  • View your trades and holdings online through your CommSec 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

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

0.15% execution fee

Asia Pacific

 

  • Japan
  • Hong Kong

USD $39.95 or 0.40%, whichever is greater12

Taxes and market fees put through at cost

  • Indonesia
  • New Zealand
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Thailand

USD $39.95 or 0.40%, whichever is greater12

Taxes and market fees put through at cost

Europe and Middle East

 

  • London Stock Exchange (LSE)

USD $39.95 or 0.40%, whichever is greater12

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
  • Luxembourg
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

USD $39.95 or 0.40%, whichever is greater12

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.

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 account to my application

Join Now >

Allows me to settle with an existing bank account  

Join Now >

A Joint, Company, Trust or SMSF account

These are more detailed applications, so please download the appropriate application form below

Download the Joint application form
Download the Company application form
Download the Trust application form
Download the SMSF application form

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 securites for CommSec clients.

When you open an International Trading Account with CommSec, you access international markets through Pershing LLC via the CommSec website or by calling the CommSec International Trading Desk on 1300 361 170  (+61 2 9115 1531 from outside Australia), 24 hours a day on US trading days.

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 by calling the International Trading Desk on 1300 361 170 (+61 2 9115 1531 from outside Australia), 24 hours on US trading days. Once the funds are received, we will request a currency conversion.

The request cut-off time for a transfer to be made the same day is 11am (Sydney time) and transfers are generally processed between 11am and 1pm (Sydney time). The exchange rate is determined at the time of processing. The funds are usually available within two business days after processing.

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 call the International desk on 1300 361 170 or +61 2 9115 1531 from outside Australia (24 hours on US trading days).

You can trade in 26 countries 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 our International Trading Desk on 1300 361 170 (+61 2 9115 1531 outside Australia), 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 2:30pm (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 and the funds are generally available the same night for trading.

Funds 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 Trading and enter the details of your order
  4. Press review before sending — this will give you a summary of your order
  5. Confirm order details are correct then press send order.

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, please call our International Desk on 1300 361 170 or +61 2 9115 1531 if calling from outside Australia (24 hours, US trading days).

The W-8BEN form is a requirement for setting up an International Trading Account. 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.

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 call the International Trading Desk on 1300 361 170 (+61 2 9115 1531 outside Australia), 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.

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

US ETO Product Disclosure Statement

This Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) covers exchange-traded equity and index Options traded on US exchanges. It does not include Australian Options, debt Options, foreign currency Options or flexibly structured Options.

Download the Product Disclosure Document (PDS)

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

Important Information

1 Note: It is important that you have a sound understanding of ETOs before you consider trading Options overseas as the US Options market works differently to the Australian market.

 

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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