Margin calls

When borrowing funds on margin, you’re required to maintain a certain amount of assets (in the form of cash and/or securities) as collateral for your loan. A margin call is triggered when the combined value of cash and/or securities (used as a collateral for your loan) drops below the minimum amount you require to maintain in your account when borrowing funds.

We typically notify customers by email when their account is in a margin call (on a best efforts basis).

There are a number of reasons why we may issue margin calls:

  • The securities bought with borrowed money have decreased in value
  • The exchange rate between Canadian and U.S. currency fluctuated
  • Administration charges were deducted from the account (interest charges or other fees)
  • Margin requirement increased for the individual securities (explained in detail below)
  • As mentioned earlier, there aren’t enough assets in the account. Customers who borrow funds must maintain a certain amount of assets in their account as a layer of protection

Margin calls are payable on demand. However, on a best-efforts basis, we give customers the opportunity to cover the owed amount by the due date. At times, due to market conditions, we’re required to immediately close positions in customers’ accounts to satisfy the margin call before the given due date and time without further notice (see section 1.14 of Questrade’s Account Agreements & Disclosures documents).

  • SwitchArrow Covering margin calls

    You can cover a margin call by using one of the following methods or a combination of them:

    Deposit the amount due into your accountMake an online banking bill payment to Questrade from a bank account in the same name as your Questrade account and reference your account number. As soon as you’ve made your deposit, you must send a screenshot as a proof of payment to or by fax to 1.888.767.1819. For any other inquiries, email

    Alternatively, depending on your bank, you may be able to make instant deposits to your Questrade account using Interac Online. Log in to Questrade to check if your bank offers this service.

    Pre-authorized deposit (PAD) are unacceptable for the purpose of satisfying margin calls
    Close enough positions to satisfy the entire amount of the margin callClose enough positions in your account to satisfy the margin call
    Cancel orders to open positionsIf you have orders to open a position that require margin, you can cancel them
    Activate Margin Power®If you have a tax-free savings account (TFSA), you can connect your margin account to the assets in your TFSA to increase your buying power. To activate Margin Power, an exclusive service from Questrade, log in to Questrade and go to the ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT page. If you decide to activate margin power to satisfy your margin call, please notify us by email

  • SwitchArrow Important to know

    Here are some key things to know about margin calls:

    • Each security has its own margin requirement. For example, if stock ABC has a margin requirement of 30%, it means Questrade will lend 70% and the customer will pay with cash 30%. This data shows as Long MR (for long positions) and Short MR (for short positions).
    • All margin requirements that appear in our trading platforms are for information purposes only. Questrade is not responsible for how you use this information to make investment decisions.
    • Margin requirements for securities vary due to market fluctuations.
    • When making a deposit to a Questrade trading account, your bank account (where the money is coming from) and the Questrade account (where the money is going to) must have identical names. For example, if your name at the bank is “James Smith”, your Questrade trading account must be identical to that for us to accept the deposit.
    • If you don’t take action to satisfy the debit balance by the due date or if market conditions require it, we may close positions in your account. If we close positions for you, we will charge a $45 fee for each trade we make.

You may want to check this out

Need more help?

The information contained in this website is for information purposes only and should not be used or construed as financial or investment advice by any individual. Information obtained from third parties is believed to be reliable, but no representations or warranty, expressed or implied is made by Questrade, Inc., its affiliates or any other person to its accuracy.

Questrade Wealth Management Inc. (QWM) and Questrade, Inc. are wholly owned subsidiaries of Questrade Financial Group Inc. Questrade, Inc. is a registered investment dealer, a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), the benefits of which are limited to the activities undertaken by Questrade, Inc. QWM is not a member of IIROC or the CIPF.

© 2021, Questrade, Inc. All Rights Reserved.