Credential Direct provides the quickest customer service responses among Canadian online discount brokerage firms, according to a yearlong mystery shopping program conducted by Toronto-based research and business analysis firm Surviscor Inc.

Qtrade Investor and Scotia iTRADE rounded up the top three.

The results, which were released Thursday evening, indicated that online brokerage customers are being better serviced than online banking customers, as the top five brokerage firms respond over two hours quicker than online banking firms.

“The Canadian brokerage industry continues to improve its response times and dominance over Canadian banking and credit union firms” said Glenn LaCoste, president of Surviscor, in a news release. “Credential Direct, on average, responds in less than two hours to our emails and should be commended for its efforts as they not only outperform their brokerage peers, they outperform the best banking firm by four hours” added LaCoste.

The Service Level Assessment (SLA) program, now in its ninth year, analyzed 178 ‘mystery shopper’ service enquiries, per firm, sent between Jan. 1, 2014 and Dec. 31, 2014 to over 40 Canadian online brokerage and banking firms.

Surviscor determines the average response time to service enquiries over the year and calculates a Service Level Index per month for each firm. In addition, Surviscor tracks every detail of correspondence including the time to respond, the performance of the stated response guidelines through auto-responses, the full dialogue and the accuracy of the answer provided.

Complete rankings for both brokerage and banking can be found at