Summary

Recommended for investors and traders looking for assets in China and Hong Kong markets

CITIC Securities is a Chinese financial company. The firm provides services ranging from brokerage to asset management. CITIC Securities was founded in 1995 and is regulated by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).

CITIC Securities is considered safe because it has a long track record, is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, and is regulated by a top-tier financial authority.

CITIC Securities has two main legal entities, one based in Mainland China and one based in Hong Kong. In this review, we focus mostly on the Mainland China entity, but we cover some important information about the Hong Kong-based entity as well.

Overall Rating
4.8
Fees
4.1
Account opening
5.0
Deposit and withdrawal
3.8
Trading platform
3.6
Markets and products
2.5
Research
4.3
Customer service
5.0
Education
3.5

CITIC Securities pros and cons

CITIC Securities has low fees for the Chinese market and there is no inactivity or withdrawal fee. The account opening is easy, fast and fully digital. The available research tools include high-quality trading ideas and detailed fundamental data.

On the other hand, CITIC Securities covers only the Chinese and Hong Kong markets. There is no demo account, and the trading platforms lack important features such as advanced order types and a two-step login.

Pros Cons
Low fees on Chinese markets Limited product selection
Easy account opening No demo account
Excellent research tools Platforms lack important features
CITIC Securities main features and highlights
🗺️ Country of regulation China
💰 Trading fees class Low
💰 Inactivity fee charged No
💰 Withdrawal fee amount $0
💰 Minimum deposit $0
🕖 Time to open an account 1 day
💳 Deposit with bank card Available
👛 Depositing with electronic wallet Not available
💱 Number of base currencies supported 3
🎮 Demo account provided No
🛍️ Products offered Stock, ETF, Fund, Bond, Options, Futures

CITIC Securities review
Fees

4.1
To find out more about its trading and non-trading fees, visit CITIC Securities

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: DEGIRO
CITIC Securities has generally low trading and non-trading fees. Fees for Chinese stocks are one of the lowest on the market; however, fees for Hong Kong stocks are a bit higher.
Pros Cons
Low fees for Chinese stocks Higher fees for Hong Kong stocks
Low non-trading fees
CITIC Securities fees snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
US stock - Not available
EURUSD - Not available
Mutual fund Low 0.03% of trade value, but a minimum of CNY 5
Inactivity fee Low No inactivity fee

How we ranked fees

We ranked CITIC Securities's fee levels as low, average or high based on how they compare to those of all reviewed brokers.

First, let's go over some basic terms related to broker fees. What you need to keep an eye on are trading fees and non-trading fees.

In the sections below, you will find the most relevant fees of CITIC Securities for each asset class. For example, in the case of stock investing the most important fees are commissions.

We also compared Citic Securities's fees with those of two brokers we selected: Industrial Securities, another Chinese financial services provider similar to Citic, and Interactive Brokers, which is a leading international broker that is also available in China. This selection is based on objective factors such as products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed rundown of CITIC Securities alternatives.

To have a clear overview of CITIC Securities, let's start with its trading fees.

CITIC Securities trading fees

CITIC Securities trading fees are low. The fee structure is different based on whether you open an account with CITIC Securities's Mainland China legal entity or the Hong Kong-based legal entity.

We calculated the fees relevant for the Mainland China legal entity. The commissions for different assets are listed n the table below.

CITIC Securities commission
   Shanghai Shenzhen

China A Shares, funds, ETFs

0.03% of trade value, minimum CNY 5
China B Shares 

0.03% of trade value, minimum $1

0.03% of trade value, minimum HKD 5

Southbound connect* 0.12% of trade value, minimum HKD 100 0.08% of trade value, minimum HKD 100
Bonds  0.03% of trade value, minimum CNY 5

*This allows customers to trade Hong Kong stocks. However, you need to meet several criteria to be eligible for this service.

 

Below, you can also compare how CITIC Securities's stock and ETF fees stack up against its competitors.

CITIC Securities has generally low stock and ETF commissions. The fees for Chinese stocks are the same as at Industrial Securities, but much lower than the fees at Interactive Brokers.

CITIC Securities stock and ETF commission of a $2,000 trade
  CITIC Securities Industrial Securities Interactive Brokers
China share $0.8 $0.8 $2.4
Hong Kong share $13.0 $13.0 $2.3

Non-trading fees

CITIC Securities has low non-trading fees. There is no fee for account maintenance, inactivity or withdrawal.

However, there is a fee charged for account opening. For example, opening an account to trade China A-shares costs CNY 40.

CITIC Securities non-trading fees
  CITIC Securities Industrial Securities Interactive Brokers
Account fee No No No
Inactivity fee No No Yes
Deposit fee $0 $0 $0
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

CITIC Securities review
Account opening

5.0
To experience the account opening process, visit CITIC Securities

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: DEGIRO
The account opening is easy and fully digital at CITIC Securities. There is also no minimum deposit required.
Pros Cons
Fast None
Fully digital
No minimum deposit

Can you open an account?

Visit broker

CITIC Securities accepts clients only from Mainland China and Hong Kong.

What is the minimum deposit at CITIC Securities?

The required CITIC Securities minimum deposit is $0.

Account types

CITIC Securities provides many account types. You can choose between the different types based on tradable products, ownership, and whether you would like to trade on margin or not.

A) CITIC Securities accounts by tradable products

  • An equities account gives you access to stocks, ETFs, bonds, funds and options.
  • A futures account gives you access to futures.
  • A China Connect account gives you access to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the two exchanges on the mainland, the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

As a customer from Mainland China, you can apply for a Shanghai/Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect (Southbound trading) account. To be eligible for this account, you need to hold assets valued at at least CNY 500,000. Thus, Southbound trading is suitable mainly for investors with large capital transactions.

B) CITIC Securities accounts by ownership     

CITIC Securities account types by ownership
CITIC Securities (HK)  CITIC Securities (Mainland)
Individual Individual
Joint Institutional 
Corporate  
Partnership  
Sole Proprietorship  
Institutional Professional Investor  

C) Cash and margin accounts

After you selected the ownership of your CITIC Securities account, you can choose between a Cash and a Margin account. A margin account allows you to borrow money from the broker.

How to open your account

CITIC Securities account opening is fully digital and user-friendly. After online registration, the account verification takes around one business day.

To open an account at CITIC Securities, you have to go through the following steps:

  1. Download the appropriate app: customers from Mainland China should download the CITIC Securities app, while customers from Hong Kong should download the CITIC Securities Brokerage (HK) app.
  2. Verification of identity and residency: you have to upload documents to verify your identity and place of residence.
  3. Personal information: provide your personal information, like address and occupation.
  4. Financials and experience: answer a short questionnaire about your trading experience. You also have to provide your annual income and net worth.
Citic Securities review - Account opening

CITIC Securities review
Deposit and withdrawal

3.8
To find out more about the deposit and withdrawal process, visit CITIC Securities

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: DEGIRO
CITIC Securities charges no deposit or withdrawal fees, and these transactions are instant, which is a great plus. However, you can hold your cash only in CNY, HKD or USD.
Pros Cons
Free withdrawal Limited account currency selection
No deposit fee
Instant deposit and withdrawal

Account base currencies

If you open an account with CITIC Securities based in Mainland China, you can hold your cash in CNY, HKD or USD.

Base currencies at CITIC Securities vs similar brokers
  CITIC Securities Industrial Securities Interactive Brokers
Number of base currencies 3 2 22

If you have a personal bank account in a currency other than CNY, HKD or USD, then you will be charged a conversion fee.

A convenient way to save on currency conversion fees is by opening a multi-currency bank account at a digital bank. These usually offer bank accounts in several currencies with great currency exchange rates, as well as free or cheap international bank transfers. Opening an account only takes a few minutes on your phone.

Compare digital banks

Deposit fees and options

CITIC Securities charges no deposit fees. You can use bank transfer and debit cards for depositing funds. However, credit cards and electronic wallets are not available.

CITIC Securities deposit options
  CITIC Securities Industrial Securities Interactive Brokers
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/debit card No Yes No
Electronic wallets No No No

A bank transfer can take several business days at CITIC Securities (HK), while at CITIC Securities based in Mainland China it only takes a few minutes.

You can only deposit money from accounts that are in your name.

Citic Securities review - Deposit and withdrawal - Deposit

CITIC Securities withdrawal fees and options

CITIC Securities charges no withdrawal fees. Similarly to deposits, you can use bank transfers and debit cards for withdrawing funds. 

CITIC Securities withdrawal fees and options
  CITIC Securities Industrial Securities Interactive Brokers
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/debit card No Yes No
Electronic wallets No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

How long does it take to withdraw money from CITIC Securities? We tested the debit card withdrawal and it took a few minutes. You can only withdraw money to accounts in your name.

How do you withdraw money from CITIC Securities?

  • Log in to the CITIC Securities mobile app
  • Click the 'Bank-securities transfer 银证转账' tab
  • Click the second tab 'Funds transfer out 资金转出’
  • Enter the desired amount at '转账金额’
  • Preview and confirm the withdrawal request, click the '立刻转出' tab

Compare to other brokers

CITIC Securities review
Web trading platform

3.2
To try the web trading platform yourself, visit CITIC Securities

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: DEGIRO
The CITIC Securities web trading platform is simple and easy to use, with a great search function. However, the platform lacks two-step login, customizability, and the number of order types is limited.
Pros Cons
User-friendly No two-step (safer) login
Clear fee report Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
Good search function Limited order types
CITIC Securities platforms to choose from
Trading platform Score Available
Web 3.2 stars Yes
Mobile 4.2 stars Yes
Desktop 3.0 stars Yes

CITIC Securities has its own trading platform. The web trading platform is available in Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese. 

Look and feel

The CITIC Securities web trading platform is user-friendly and well-designed. You will have no trouble finding the most important features.

Citic Securities review - Web trading platform

Login and security

The CITIC Securities trading platform doesn't provide a two-step authentication.

Search functions

The search functions are good but work worse than on the desktop platform.

You only can type the initials of an asset name and it will show relevant results.

Citic Securities review - Web trading platform - Search

Placing orders

The range of order types is limited, as you can use only market or limit orders.

To get a better understanding of these terms, read our overview of order types.

There are also order time limits you can use: Good 'til day and Good 'til canceled (GTC).

Citic Securities review - Web trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

You cannot set price alerts and notifications.

Portfolio and fee reports

CITIC Securities has clear portfolio and fee reports. The portfolio tab provides a clear overview of your performance, including your historical profit/loss balance and the fees you paid.

Visit broker

CITIC Securities review
Mobile trading platform

4.2
To try the mobile trading platform yourself, visit CITIC Securities

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: DEGIRO
The CITIC Securities mobile trading platform is great, with a lot of functions, including price alerts and a useful chatbot. However, the range of order types is limited.
Pros Cons
User-friendly No two-step (safer) login
Good search function Limited order types
Price alerts

CITIC Securities provides its own mobile trading platform, which is available both for iOS and Android. In this review, we tested the mobile platform on iOS. 

The mobile trading platform is available only in Chinese.

Look and feel

The CITIC Securities mobile trading platform is user-friendly. It also offers innovative functions like asset analysis, AI investment advisory and Quantitative strategy. 

Citic Securities review - Mobile trading platform

Login and security

CITIC Securities doesn't provide a two-step login. Providing this feature would be an additional safety layer.

As a plus, you can log in using biometric authentication. It's a convenient feature.

Search functions

The search functions work well. You can search by typing the name or the symbol of the asset you are looking for.

Citic Securities review - Mobile trading platform - Search

Placing orders

The CITIC Securities mobile app has the same order types as the web platform. 

Citic Securities review - Mobile trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

Unlike the web trading platform, you can set alerts and notifications on the CITIC Securities mobile platform.

Visit broker

CITIC Securities review
Desktop trading platform

3.0
To try the desktop trading platform yourself, visit CITIC Securities

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: DEGIRO
CITIC Securities provides a desktop trading platform with many advanced features and customization options. That also means that it may be a bit too complex for beginners.
Pros Cons
Clear fee report Limited order types
Good customizability (for charts, workspace) No two-step (safer) login
Good search function Interface is a bit complex

CITIC Securities has its own desktop trading platforms: there are different platforms for stocks and futures/options. In this review, we tested the platform for stock trading.

The trading module includes ordinary trading, block trading, fund management, margin trading, Shanghai/Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect, margin trading, stock options, etc. It supports multiple types of accounts with one login operation.

Look and feel

The CITIC Securities desktop platform has a lot of features and many customizability options, e.g. you can set up your own templates.

If you are an advanced and professional trader, the platform is ideal for you. However, for first-timers or long-term investors, it may be a struggle to take advantage of many of the platform's features.

Citic Securities review - Desktop trading platform

Login and security

Similarly to the web and mobile trading platforms, the CITIC Securities desktop trading platform doesn't have a two-step login feature.

Search functions

The search functions are great. When you start typing the asset you're looking for, the search results shown will be relevant. For example, we easily found Kweichow Moutai stock, a Chinese alcoholic beverages group.

Citic Securities review - Desktop trading platform - Search

Placing orders

You can use the same order types and order terms as on the web trading platform.

Citic Securities review - Desktop trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

You can set alerts and notifications on the desktop trading platform. You can also set additional alerts, for example for price changes, daily profits or losses, executed trades, etc.

Portfolio and fee reports

The portfolio and fee reports are transparent, just like on the web trading platform.

Visit broker

CITIC Securities review
Markets and products

2.5
To dig even deeper in markets and products, visit CITIC Securities

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: DEGIRO
CITIC Securities gives access to many asset classes, including stocks, ETFs, funds and bonds. However, these asset classes cover only Chinese and Hong Kong markets. Also, forex and CFDs are not available.

The product selection is average compared to similar brokers.

CITIC Securities asset classes
  CITIC Securities Industrial Securities Interactive Brokers
Stock Yes Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes
Forex No No Yes
Fund Yes Yes Yes
Bond Yes Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes Yes
CFD No No Yes
Crypto No No Yes

Stocks and ETFs

CITIC Securities provides access only to Chinese and Hong Kong markets, similarly to Industrial Securities. In comparison, Interactive Brokers give access to exchanges all over the world.

It's also important to note that you can invest in both China-A and China-B shares.

CITIC Securities stock and ETF selection
  CITIC Securities Industrial Securities Interactive Brokers
Stock markets (#) 3 3 78
ETFs (#) 600 600 13,000

Funds

Through CITIC Securities, you have access to around 140 fund providers. 

CITIC Securities mutual fund selection
  CITIC Securities Industrial Securities Interactive Brokers
Fund providers (#) 140 n.a. 260

Bonds

CITIC Securities provides access to a mid-range number of bonds.

CITIC Securities bond selection
  CITIC Securities Industrial Securities Interactive Brokers
Bonds (#) 40,000 n.a. 60,000

You can invest in many types of bonds, such as treasury or corporate bonds.

Options and futures

At CITIC Securities, you can trade options and futures only on Chinese and Hong Kong markets. This selection lags behind that of Interactive Brokers, which gives access to many international markets.

The following futures exchanges are available on the CITIC Securities (Mainland China) platform:

  • China Financial Futures Exchange (CFFEX) 
  • Dalian Commodity Exchange
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE)
  • Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange (ZCE)

CITIC Securities review
Research

4.3
To check the available research tools and assets, visit CITIC Securities

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: DEGIRO
CITIC Securities offers great research, including detailed fundamental data and high-quality news. However, the technical tools are limited and the charting tools could be better.
Pros Cons
Trading ideas Limited set of analytic tools
Data on asset fundamentals
Quality news flow

Trading ideas

CITIC Securities provides trading ideas, but only on the desktop platform. You can find recommendations about stocks and industries from all major mainland broker firms. 

The ideas include specific recommendations to buy, hold or sell the specific asset. You can also find target prices and projections on EPS. 

Citic Securities review - Research - Recommendations

Fundamental data

CITIC Securities provides a broad selection of fundamental data on all of its platforms. You can find many types of data, from financial statements to earnings ratios.

Citic Securities review - Research - Fundamental data

Charting

CITIC Securities has OK charting tools. You can use over 200 technical indicators; however, the charting tool is a bit difficult to use for beginners. 

Citic Securities review - Research - Charting

News feed

CITIC Securities has a high-quality news feed. It can be found under the 'News' section on the trading platforms.

The news feed is categorized by products and sectors. For example, you can find news separately for stocks, funds, bonds, HK stocks, US stocks, etc. 

Compare research pros and cons

CITIC Securities review
Customer service

5.0
To find customer service contact information details, visit CITIC Securities

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: DEGIRO
Customer service at CITIC Securities is exceptionally good across all channels, so you'll be in good hands when it comes to your broker-related questions.
Pros Cons
Phone support None
Live chat
Fast response time

You can contact CITIC Securities via:

  • live chat
  • phone
  • email
  • AI chatbot

 

See CITIC Securities contacts and hours of operation in the table below.

CITIC Securities customer service
  Number   Hours of operation
Hong Kong  (852) 2237 9338 Monday-Friday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Night trading support (HK) (852) 2237 9466  
China Toll-Free Line 400 8180 338 / 95548  Monday-Friday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Email [email protected]  

CITIC Securities has a fast live chat. The relevancy of the answers was satisfactory.

Phone support was fast and we received relevant answers from their staff.

CITIC Securities also provides an AI chatbot service, where you can get basic information quickly. You can even ask the bot about a specific stock, and receive the latest stock price and its recent movements.

Lastly, we liked the 24/7 availability of customer service.

Citic Securities review - Customer Service

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CITIC Securities review
Education

3.5
To check the available education material and assets, visit CITIC Securities

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: DEGIRO
CITIC Securities has OK educational tools, including some videos and educational articles. However, there is no demo account available.
Pros Cons
Trading platform tutorial No demo account
Educational videos

At CITIC Securities you can learn in the following ways:

  • Platform tutorial videos
  • General educational videos
  • Quality educational articles
  • Live events
  • Simulation contest 

CITIC Securities doesn't provide a demo account. This is too bad, as we believe this would be the best way to learn how the CITIC Securities trading platform works.

Citic Securities review - Education

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CITIC Securities review
Safety

To find out more about safety and regulation, visit CITIC Securities

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: DEGIRO
CITIC Securities is listed on multiple exchanges, including the Shanghai Stock Exchange. In addition, the company is regulated by the top-tier Chinese financial authority.
Pros Cons
Majority of clients belong to a top-tier financial authority None
Listed on stock exchange
Financial information is publicly available

Is CITIC Securities regulated?

Yes, it is regulated by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).

Is CITIC Securities safe?

To be certain if a brokerage is safe, we highly advise that you check two facts:

  • how you are protected if something goes wrong
  • what the background of the broker is

How you are protected

CITIC Securities operates two legal entities: one in Mainland China and one in Hong Kong. The investor protection is different at the two entities:

  • There is no specific limit at the entity based in Mainland China. However, there is a protection fund that is overseen by the CSRC and the People's Bank of China to protect all investors. This protection fund requires all securities companies registered in China to pay 0.5-5.0% of their revenue into the fund. The specific payment rate of each firm is determined by the fund based on the risk status of the individual securities company. CITIC Securities has to pay 0.5% of its revenue into the fund. 
  • In Hong Kong, the protection limit is HKD 500,000 for securities. There is no protection for cash holdings on accounts.

Background

CITIC Securities was established in 1995. The longer the track record a broker has, the more proof we have that it has successfully survived previous financial crises.

It’s a good sign that CITIC Securities has a banking license, which can be considered as a safety net. Even if the law does not require a parent bank to save its struggling brokerage firm, in most cases you can count on this happening, so having a banking parent adds another layer of security.

CITIC Securities is listed on the stock exchange, which is a big plus for safety as it means the company releases financial statements regularly and transparently.

Having a banking license, being listed on a stock exchange, publishing financial statements, and being regulated by a top-tier authority are all great signs for CITIC Securities's safety.

Find your safe broker

CITIC Securities review
Bottom line

Visit CITIC Securities if you are looking for further details and information

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: DEGIRO

CITIC Securities is great for investors and traders looking for a broker with a solid background and focusing on the Chinese and Hong Kong markets.

On the plus side, CITIC Securities has low fees for Chinese markets. The account opening is fast, and research tools cover great services, such as detailed fundamental data.

There are some drawbacks, though. The product selection covers only China and Hong Kong markets. There is no demo account and the trading platform lacks important features.

As your account will be ready within a few minutes and there is no minimum deposit, feel free to give CITIC Securities a try.

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CITIC Securities review
FAQ

We recommend CITIC Securities for investors and traders looking for assets in china and hong kong markets.

Below you can find links to all aspects of CITIC Securities in this comprehensive collection.

Lower fees, lower costs?

We detailed this in our CITIC Securities fees article.

What about the minimum deposit?

Our ultimate guide to the CITIC Securities minimum deposit is updated regularly.

How to start your CITIC Securities account?

Look no further than our evaluation of the CITIC Securities account opening.

How's their trading app?

Here's our expert view after checking the CITIC Securities trading app.

Is the quality of customer service satisfactory?

All you need to know about the CITIC Securities customer service.

Legit or scam?

Is CITIC Securities legit features all the key aspects you need to look at to see if a broker is safe and legit.

Free or premium? Or both?

A glance at actual costs and whether CITIC Securities is really free.

Is this broker good for beginners?

We checked it in Is CITIC Securities good for beginners.

Should you buy your silver bullets on CITIC Securities?

Research for silver bugs in the Silver buy on CITIC Securities guide

What is the minimum account balance at CITIC Securities?

Check out the current account balance requirements at CITIC Securities in our What is the minimum account balance at CITIC Securities article.

Looking for commission and fees data for CITIC Securities?

We collected them in CITIC Securities commission and fees.

How do you withdraw money from CITIC Securities?

We tested it and collected the options and costs in How to withdraw money on CITIC Securities.

Author of this review

Ádám Nasli

Author of this review

Ádám worked in banking and investment, and holds a professional degree in this field. He is a motivated finance expert, having joined BrokerChooser in 2018. He's also eager to help people find the best investment provider for them, and to make the investment sector as transparent as possible. In his spare time, he loves learning new things, especially data science, algo-trading, programming and trading.

Ádám Nasli

Broker Expert

Ádám worked in banking and investment, and holds a professional degree in this field. He is a motivated finance expert, having joined BrokerChooser in 2018. He's also eager to help people find the best investment provider for them, and to make the investment sector as transparent as possible. In his spare time, he loves learning new things, especially data science, algo-trading, programming and trading.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

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