Commonwealth Securities

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Commonwealth Securities (CommSec)
Traded as ASXCBA
Industry Financial Services
Founded Sydney, New South Wales (1995)
Headquarters Sydney, Australia
Area served
New Zealand
Key people
Paul Rayson, Managing Director

Commonwealth Securities, also known as CommSec, is Australia's largest online stockbroking firm operated by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

It offers a telephone based brokerage service and advisory service, though its Internet trading platform constitutes the vast majority of its business.[1]


The brokerage arm started operations in 1995 and launched its share trading website in 1997.[2][3]

CommSec initially offered only Australian equities trades, but has since expanded into derivative products, international equities, managed funds, self-managed super fund (SMSF) administration, contracts-for-difference (CFDs), margin lending and short-term deposits. The firm's large retail customer base has also allowed it to successfully market a number of initial public offering (IPO) fund raisings.

In 2008 CommSec became the first Australian brokerage firm to offer a brokerage website specifically designed for a portable-device.[4] It created CommSec iPhone Edition for the Apple iPhone, the first home-grown iPhone application in Australia. In 2008 the broker disbanded its Share Shops (face-to-face operations) closing the front in the Commonwealth Bank branch in Pitt St, Sydney, following the earlier closure of the Melbourne Share Shop in Collins St.

Mergers and Acquisitions[edit]

CommSec has retained and increased its already significant market share in retail broking through both CBA's acquisition of other banks and its own acquisition of other broking firms.[5] CommSec now performs broking operations for Colonial First State,[6] TD Waterhouse,[7] AOT,[8][9] Neville Ward Direct,[10][11] Auckland Savings Bank (ASB),[12] and IWL (Westpac Broking, Sanford and Avcol).[13] The acquisition of IWL in 2007 gave CommSec significant market share in wholesale broking to complement its existing retail presence.[14]


CommSec's primary channel for customers is its website. The website provides static information that can be refreshed for updates on the frequently changing markets. It offers a comprehensive suite of features including trades, watchlists, funds management, portfolios, holdings management, financial & contract details, cash management, chatrooms and news & research.

CommSec's frequent equities, CFDs and options traders use the realtime trading platform CommSecIRESS. It is a web-based solution, developed by IRESS Market Technology (ASXIRE) and based on the Java runtime environment. This platform combines the majority of the features of the website, while adding more advanced features and streaming live data from the Australian Securities Exchange.

CommSec also offers phone-based trading through its call-centre, advisory service and the automated voice recognition platform PhoneTrader (formerly Voice Broker).

Cash management[edit]

In 2008 CommSec diversified into the short term deposit sector with the introduction of its Cash Management product.[15] The product consists of two distinct accounts the CommSec Cash Account (CCA) and the CommSec Investment Account (CIA). The CCA is the source of funds for stock trading and also an everyday transaction account, with a linked debit MasterCard. The CIA earns interest and cash can only be transferred to and from the CCA.

In December 2012, CommSec announced plans to replace CCA and CIA accounts with a Commonwealth Direct Investment Account (CDIA), which is a settlement account that earns interest.[16]


  1. ^ "Big is beautiful for online brokers". Sydney Morning Herald. 28 March 2006. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  2. ^ "Site Description for". Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  3. ^ "Investment in 64-bit Itanium 2 Servers pays returns for CommSec" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  4. ^ Tung, Liam (11 July 2008). "CommSec launces iPhone trading app". Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  5. ^ "CommSec snaps up direct funds firm". 6 April 2006. Archived from the original on 21 October 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  6. ^ "Commonwealth Bank takes over Colonial Mutual". Australia: ABC. 31 May 2000. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  7. ^ "TD Bank selling Australian discount brokerage operations". Canada: CBC. 15 April 2003. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  8. ^ "AOT swallowed by CBA". Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  9. ^ "Faqs For Aot Options Clients". Archived from the original on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  10. ^ "Commonwealth Securities Limited (Commsec) – acquisition of Neville Ward Direct Pty Limited". 19 April 2006. Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  11. ^ "Neville Ward Direct and CommSec – two strong teams united" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  12. ^ "Welcome to the ASB Bank of New Zealand". Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  13. ^ "CommSec takes over Sanford clients". Archived from the original on 3 March 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  14. ^ 2 August 2007 12:00 am (2 August 2007). "Commsec unfazed in IWL purchase". Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  15. ^ Better cash management from CommSec[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ "Your cash account for trading". CommSec. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 

External links[edit]