Yesterday, I suddenly got this email from my brokerage saying that I got a negative balance on my account. Right away, identify theft jumped into my mind. How can it be negative? I just checked yesterday. Did someone deplete my account? I rushed to my computer and found that only cash balance was negative for one account. The cash balance was low to begin with. A $150 transfer fee was deducted after an account transfer from another bank was completed. I didn’t expect that it completed so fast. It took less than a week! I love online brokerage. In the good old days, I had to visit a bank branch and spend an hour talking to an advisor filling out many pages of document to initiate this transfer. Then, wait for a few weeks or even a month for the transfer to complete. How efficient it is now with online brokerage!
When we transfer a RRSP, TFSA or other registered investment accounts from one financial institution to another, the originated institution usually charges us a transfer fee. For example, TD Direct Investing charges $150 per account transfer. Most institutions to receive the transfer would reimburse the transfer fee as an incentive to bring in new business. Questrade reimburses up to $150 per account transfer. However, the customer need to submit a statement to shows the transfer fee charged.
I recalled that I was doing a business case on a rebate program for a telecom company. The program manager wanted to find out the impact on the profitability if the rebate is automatic. I, the Finance prime, found that the breakage of the rebate was around 65% because the customers needed to submit certain documents and 35% of them just didn’t bother to do it. The final decision is to keep this requirement of submitting documents for the rebate. Again, just another tug of war between customers and businesses.
My account activity record online clearly shows that $150 was deducted because of this transfer and it was given to TD. Questrade has all the information of this transaction. They knew that they just completed this transfer an RRSP account from TD. It appears that they just purposely try to make things harder for the customers to get the transfer fee rebate. It feels disingenuous. I determined to get the $150. 😊 I even put a reminder on my calendar to check TD account statement. No one is going to rid me off this $150. LOL!