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ASB Securities review: Buy shares, invest in funds, and more
Your guide to the pros and cons of investing with ASB Securities.
ASB Securities is the DIY share trading platform of ASB Bank, offering a diverse range of investment options and different ways of trading through the same platform.
This review looks at what those options are, how much it costs and where to begin.
What is ASB Securities?
ASB Securities is an online share trading platform that allows Kiwis to invest in NZ and Australian shares, ETFs and fixed interest securities. Established in 1999, the platform is owned by ASB Bank and is one of the largest share trading platforms in NZ.
What can I invest in with ASB Securities?
You can use ASB Securities to buy and sell the following investment types:
- Shares. The platform provides access to over 170 companies listed on the NZX and more than 2,000 shares on the ASX. You can also place orders on international markets such as the New York Stock Exchange, the NASDAQ and the London stock exchange by phoning the ASB Securities broker team.
- ETFs. If you’d like to invest in ETFs, you can use your ASB Securities account to buy and sell ETFs on the NZX and ASX.
- Fixed interest securities. You can also trade fixed interest securities such as NZ Government bonds and corporate bonds on the New Zealand Debt Market (NZDX).
These offerings can be accessed through ASB Securities’ online share trading platform, although the rates and fees vary for each.
What features does ASB Securities offer?
ASB securities offers the following features to online share traders:
- ASB Cash Management Account. This account is automatically opened when you sign up for ASB Securities. It’s free to open, has no ongoing fees and is used to settle your trades.
- Margin lending. ASB Securities lets you attach a margin lending facility to your ASB Cash Management Account. This allows you to borrow funds to invest and use your shares or other securities as collateral for the loan.
- ASB Foreign Currency Account. If you want to buy and sell shares on international markets, this account allows you to settle trades in USD or other major currencies. If you don’t have a Foreign Currency Account, you’ll need to pay special attention to the exchange rate margin that applies when you buy and sell international shares.
- NZ-based brokerage team. The ASB Securities brokerage team is on hand to offer support and includes multi-language support. Phone and email support are available.
- Watchlists. You can use your ASB Securities account to create watchlists that monitor Australian and NZ shares. This allows you to view market data and track price movements for the shares you want to follow. If you make at least one trade every 90 days, you can access live market data.
- Market research tools. You can also access a range of market research resources through your ASB Securities account, including price charts, reports, recommendations and announcements for the stocks you hold, and Morningstar recommendations.
How much does it cost?
Different ASB Securities products will incur different types of fees. It’s essential that you’re aware of these, because it may be possible to rack up high fees if you’re not paying attention to costs such as overdraft fees.
Online Brokerage fees
The basic brokerage fees, for buying and selling shares, ETFs and fixed interest securities, are as follows.
|Shares, ETFs (New Zealand securities)|
|Shares, ETFs (Australian securities)|
Phone brokerage fees
If you wish to place trades over the phone, the following fees apply.
|New Zealand trades||0.70% (minimum $45 per trade)|
|New Zealand one-off trades||1% (sell trades only – minimum brokerage fee of $90 per trade)|
|Australian trades||0.70% (minimum AUD$45 per trade)|
|United States trades||0.80% (minimum of USD$50 per trade plus agency fee of 0.4%.|
Minimum trade amount of USD$40.
Orders up to USD$50,000)
|United Kingdom trades||1% (minimum of £50 per trade plus agency fee of 0.4%.|
Minimum trade amount of £40.
Orders up to £50,000)
|Canadian trades||0.80% (minimum of CAD$40 per trade plus agency fee of 0.4%.|
Minimum trade amount of CAD$30)
Margin lending fees
If you use the high-risk margin lending offering, there are also some additional fees to watch out for.
|Type||Fee||How it works|
|Margin lending interest rate||4.95% p.a.||Fee is calculated daily on the amount borrowed and charged monthly|
|Stock transfer fee||$30||Charged per stock when adding or removing stocks as margin lending collateral|
|Margin call fee||$30 per call||Charged if your loan balance is 5% or more over your facility limit|
|Nominee fee||$125 every six months||Charged after each six-month period. Waived if you have paid $400 or more in margin lending interest in the preceding 6 months.|
|Termination fee||Up to $200||Charged when closing margin lending account and transferring stocks out|
It’s mandatory for margin lenders to use the nominee service, which incurs the above nominee fee and stock transfer fee.
But other ASB Securities users can also use the nominee service if needed, with the same nominee and stock transfer fees.
When you sign up for ASB Securities, it will create an ASB Cash Management Account for you. Trading is done through this bank account, so you will need to be aware of any fees incurred in transfers you make to this account.
|Unarranged overdraft fee||0.12% |
Applies to the highest overdrawn balance each month, and all unarranged overdrafts exceeding $20
|Unarranged overdraft interest rate||22.5% p.a. charged daily|
|Funds transferred to another ASB bank account||Free|
Is ASB Securities safe?
ASB Securities is the trading service of ASB Bank, the New Zealand subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank.
The cash in your account is as safe as in any other ASB bank account, while your securities are held by registered custodians.
Pros and cons
- Live market data if you make at least one trade every 90 days
- Online access to equities on ASX and NZX
- Easy-to-use trading platform
- Also provides access to fixed interest investment options
- Higher brokerage fees than some other platforms
- You may find cheaper brokerage options elsewhere if you want to invest in US shares
How to sign up with ASB Securities
If you already have an ASB bank account you can log into it online, and then sign up for an individual share trading account through that.
If you’re not already an ASB customer, or want to open a joint, entity or business share trading account, you can fill out the online application form.
You’ll need to provide:
- Your name
- Your contact details and address
- Your date of birth
- Your country of residence
- Your IRD number or international tax details
- Proof of ID
Once you’ve created an account, you can get started by depositing funds into your ASB cash management account, and then placing orders.
ASB Securities is well worth a look if you’re looking to trade shares and ETFs on the NZX and ASX. It’s owned by a major banking group, offers an easy-to-use platform and boasts a range of convenient features.
However, you’ll need to be aware of the fees that apply before trading, and it’s a good idea to compare a range of share trading platforms before deciding which one is right for you.