Think global

With CommSec, it’s easy to invest globally. A CommSec International Securities Trading Account gives you access to over 25 leading global share markets, including the New York Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange.

While the Australian share market offers some excellent investment opportunities, it makes up less than 2% of the world’s total by market capitalisation. So if you’re only investing in Australian shares, there’s still a whole world of investment potential you could be tapping into.

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 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 International Trading Account. 

Benefits

Access over 25 exchanges worldwide

Through CommSec, you can gain access to major international stock exchanges, such as the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, the London Stock Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Diversification

Diversification is a key element of any successful investment strategy. With international trading, you can invest in markets worldwide, accessing sectors that may not be available in Australia.

Access to well-known brands

International trading allows you to invest in businesses and brands you know, such as Google, Microsoft, Apple, Kraft and many others.1

Quotes and research for US markets

CommSec International Trading gives you access to market news, sector analysis, stock news and indices information for US markets, plus international watchlist and portfolio capability.

US margin lending

Wholesale clients (under the Corporations Act 2001) can benefit from low US interest rates to gear into US securities with a CommSec international margin loan (USD).

International advice

Access specialist CommSec Advisers for international research as well as portfolio and trading advice.2 Call us on 1300 361 170 for more information.

Risks

Currency risk

As international securities are denominated in a currency other than Australian dollars, the value of your investment may be affected by changes in currency exchange rates.

Political and regulatory risk

International shares are held by an international custodian, and are subject to risks relating to political, economic and regulatory changes in the country of the custodian or stock exchange.

Taxation risk

Taxation implications can be different from investing in Australian securities and may vary depending on your individual circumstances. You will be asked to complete a US Tax form as part of the application process. This form is valid for 3 years (unless there is a change in circumstances) and means that if you qualify for Australian treaty benefits, you will be charged 15% tax on dividend proceeds. If you do not have a valid form, you will be charged 30% on sale proceeds and dividends.

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 today

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 >

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.

 

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.

Case study

Earn by investing in what you know

Angela prefers to invest in companies that manufacture products she likes and understands. Working in a marketing company, Angela uses Apple products every day, and loves using her iPhone. She decides as Apple’s products are well known and liked, the company may make a good investment and starts to research further. Read more

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 Statement

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

Other Forms & Brochures

For all other forms & brochures regarding other financial services we offer.

If you are looking for administrative forms, please login and proceed to Support > Forms & Downloads.

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Important Information

The examples provided do not constitute advice to buy, sell or hold a security.

This service suits international investors with an international share portfolio or cash reserves of $500,000 or more.

To be eligible, you must trade online, be CHESS Participant Sponsored with CommSec and settle your trades through either a Commonwealth Direct Investment Account (CDIA) or a CommSec Margin Loan.

Investing in overseas markets exposes you to risks including those related to movements in foreign currency exchange rates and market prices.

 

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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