Getting Started

How do I open an account with Credential Direct?

There are two ways to open an account if you’re an existing client:

  • Login to your account and select ‘Open a New Account’ from the side menu
  • Apply offline if you prefer to apply using paper forms, or if you want to open a TFSA, locked-in account, RRIF, RESP, corporate or investment club account.

 

Whether you apply online or offline, you must send us the original application documents, any other required forms, a valid picture ID and a $10 personal cheque or Account Confirmation to open your account.

 

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Can I transfer a trading account or an RRSP from another financial institution?

Yes. Simply complete and mail a Transfer Authorization for Registered Investments form if it’s a registered account (RRSP or RRIF). If you have a non-registered trading account, complete and mail a
Transfer Authorization for Non-Registered Accounts form to transfer. You must include a photocopy of your most recent account statement from the relinquishing institution.

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How long does it take to transfer my account from another financial institution?

Please allow at least 10 to 25 business days to complete the transfer. If your transfer involves mutual funds or a locked-in account, such as an LIRA, it may take closer to 25 business days.

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How long will it take to transfer my money from a U.S. account?

U.S. dollar deposits can be deposited by EFT, bank draft, or personal cheque (issued from a Canadian financial institution). The minimum hold period for all U.S. deposits is 20 business days.

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How will I know when my account transfer is complete?

If you’ve already received your trading site user ID, you can login to the trading site and view your account online. Otherwise, please contact us to check the status of your transfer.

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How do I fund (move money into) my trading account?

  • By electronic funds transfer (EFT). Send funds electronically via the Transfer Funds page of our trading platform. Or, call us to process one for you. As soon as you process an EFT to your account you can place a trade, even though it can take a day or two for the money to reach your account.
  • By online bill payment. You can login to your financial institution’s online banking service and set up Credential Direct as a bill payee just like your utility company. Please note that at least two business days are required to transfer the payment into your trading account and you will have to wait for the funds to arrive in the account before placing trades based on the transfer.
  • By cheque. You can also mail a cheque to our Vancouver office, payable to Credential Direct. Sorry, no cash deposits.
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I have a stock certificate. How do I put it in my account?

If the stock certificate is in your name and there are no restrictions noted on it, you can send the certificate to us along with a PoA-Irrevocable form. Check our Account Administration Forms  section for other certificate forms you may need to complete. We recommend that you use a courier service so you can track delivery.

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When I buy a stock do you automatically take the funds from my chequing account?

No, you have to request this either by electronic funds transfer (EFT) online or by contacting one of our representatives.

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I entered an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), why aren’t the funds in my account yet?

An Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) takes 1 to 2 business days to process, but you can trade immediately after submitting the request.

When you submit an EFT you will be given a reference number. Keep this for your records. If after two business days, the funds have not been transferred, please contact us.

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Can I EFT U.S. dollars into my U.S. trading account?

Yes, you can EFT U.S. dollars to your U.S. trading account after you have completed a one-time set up of your U.S. dollar chequing account. U.S. dollars from your bank account cannot be transferred to your Canadian dollars trading account. U.S. dollar EFT transfers take 2-3 business days.

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Can I transfer stocks using an Electronic Funds Transfer?

No, you can only transfer cash between your chequing account and your trading accounts. To transfer stocks between brokerage firms, please complete and mail a Registered Plans Transfer Form if it’s for a registered account (RRSP or RRIF), or an Authorization to Transfer Account Form if it’s for a non-registered account. To transfer securities between accounts at Credential Direct please contact us at 1.877.742.2900. Please note a $25 internal transfer fee applies per security.

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Why is my banking information not showing up when I request an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)?

Double check you’ve selected the correct account, as some Account Groups (Client IDs) may have EFT chequing information set up, others may not.

If you are the Trading Authority on the account, you do not have the authority to Transfer Funds, only to trade. The account holder will need to set up online access to their account. Please have them contact us at 1.877.742.2900.

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Are Canada Education Savings Program Grants and Canada Learning Bonds being offered by Credential?

Credential is pleased to offer the Basic and Additional Canada Educational Savings Grant (CESG), British Columbia Training and Education Savings Grant (BCTESG), Alberta Centennial Education Savings Plan (ACES), and Canada Learning Bond (CLB).

  • Canadian Education Savings Grant (CESG):
    • The Basic CESG is a payment of 20% on the first $2,500 of annual RESP contributions made on behalf of an eligible beneficiary, up until the end of the calendar year in which he or she turns 17.
    • The Additional CESG is a payment (over and above the Basic CESG) of either 10% or 20% on the first $500 of annual RESP contributions made on or after January 1, 2005, on behalf of an eligible beneficiary, up until the end of the calendar year in which the beneficiary turns 17 years old. The amount of Additional CESG that a child can receive depends on the adjusted family net income of the child’s primary caregiver.
  • British Columbia Training and Education Savings Grant (BCTESG): $1,200 grant paid into an RESP of an eligible child born in 2006 or later. It is available to children who are residents in British Columbia with a custodial parent/legal guardian who is also a resident of British Columbia at the time the application form is submitted to the RESP provider. A subscriber may be able to apply for the grant in respect of an eligible child no earlier than the beneficiary’s 6th birthday and no later than the day before the beneficiary’s 9th birthday.
  • Alberta Centennial Education Savings Plan (ACES): Children born, or adopted on or after January 1, 2005 will qualify for the Alberta grant. For the year of birth or adoption, the CES Program will pay into an RESP, on behalf of the Alberta Government, an Alberta grant in the amount of $500. Three additional grants of $100 will be paid at ages 8, 11, and 14 on the condition that the beneficiary is enrolled in an Alberta school. Application must be made within two years after the child’s date of birth.
  • Canada Learning Bond (CLB): All children born on or after January 1, 2004, who are under the care of a Public Trustee and for whom a Children’s Special Allowance is paid, or for whom the family is eligible to receive the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS), will be able to receive the CLB. An initial $500 will be paid directly into the RESP and $100 for any subsequent year of eligibility up to and including the beneficiary’s 15th year totaling to a possibility of $2000. CLB accumulates for each year of eligibility, regardless of whether an RESP has been opened in the child’s name or not. Once the RESP is opened and the CLB requested, all accumulated CLB can be paid to the eligible beneficiary. Accumulated CLB must be requested before the beneficiary’s 21st birthday.

Important Note: For CESG and CLB to be eligible in a family plan, beneficiaries MUST be siblings. CESG and CLB will NOT be paid out on a Family RESP if the beneficiaries on the account are cousins; that is, while they are blood related, their parents are not the same.

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What is a primary caregiver (PCG)?

There are two types of primary caregivers:

  • Individual: Person who receives the Canada Child Tax Benefit for a child. This may also include the National Child Benefit Supplement.
  • Public: An agency or institution eligible to receive allowances under the Children’s Special Allowances Act that maintain the child.
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What forms are required for government sponsored programs?

The application forms for the government sponsored programs are:

  • Basic and Additional Canada Education Savings Grant and Canada Learning Bond Application (HRSDC SDE 0071)
  • Basic and Additional Canada Education Savings Grant and Canada Learning Bond Application
    (HRSDC SDE 0093) Subscriber(s) only
  • Application for Alberta Centennial Education Savings Grant

All applicable forms are included in the Open an Account Offline RESP account opening process.

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Can I apply for government sponsored programs if I have an existing RESP and have not applied for these programs in the past?

Yes, just follow the same procedure outlined in the question above.

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What’s the difference between form HRSDC SDE 0071 and HRSDC SDE 0093?

  • HRSDC SDE 0071: Used when the form is completed by the subscriber, who is NOT also the custodial parent/legal guardian and primary caregiver.
  • HRSDC SDE 0093: Used when the subscriber is the custodial parent/legal guardian and primary caregiver.
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Why didn’t I get the amount of grant I was expecting?

As the amount of the CESG or CLB is dependent on the subscriber’s tax information, we do not have access to this information to determine eligibility. For questions relating to the amount of your grant, please contact CESG at 1.888.276.363.

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What do we do with an existing family plan with non-sibling beneficiaries?

To apply for the new RESP incentives, CLB and the CESG, a new account must be opened for siblings only. The two accounts cannot be merged together.

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When can I expect the Additional CESG, Canada Learning Bond (CLB) and Alberta provincial grant (ACES)?

Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) anticipates that initial payments of the CLB and the CESG grants will be received one or two months after applying. Future payments will be made at the beginning of the year, or the month after the eligible beneficiary’s birth date.

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Can the CESG, BCTESG, ACES or CLB be “clawed back”?

Yes. Any of the CESG, BCTESG, ACES or CLB can be clawed back.

If the primary caregiver income information changes due to a reassessment of income level by the CRA, Human Resources Development Canada will automatically initiate an adjustment of the additional CESG or CLB.

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Where do I find more information about these government sponsored programs?

Visit the following websites for more information:

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Who is eligible for a TFSA brokerage account?

Any Canadian resident who has reached the age of majority (18 or 19 depending on their province of residence) and has a Social Insurance Number.

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Can I open a TFSA in joint name?

No. TFSA accounts can only be opened in one individual’s name.

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What types of investments are allowed in a TFSA?

Generally speaking, the types of investments permitted in a TFSA are the same as those permitted in a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP). This includes: mutual funds, securities listed on a designated stock exchange, GICs, and bonds.

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How do I make a withdrawal?

Withdraw money from your TFSA anytime by accessing the Funds Transfer section of the trading platform. Funds transferred out will go directly into your bank account.

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Can I make ‘in-kind’ contributions?

Yes, as long as the in-kind property is a qualified investment. This will be processed at the previous day’s closing price. Contact a Credential Direct representative for assistance.

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Can I make ‘in-kind’ withdrawals?

Yes, these will be processed at fair market value at the time of withdrawal. Contact a Credential Direct representative for assistance.

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What is the tax penalty if an investment in the TFSA becomes non-qualified?

If property that is considered a ‘non-qualified investment’ is acquired or held in a TFSA, a tax of 50% of the fair market value of the property will be assessed by the CRA. Credential Direct will report the fair market value totals to the CRA and the affected client would file a corresponding TFSA return to pay the appropriate tax amount.

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Where do I find more information on the TFSA?

Visit the TFSA section of the Government of Canada’s website for more information.

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How much can I contribute?

Please visit the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website for the current contribution limit and the contribution room guidelines.

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How much does it cost to open an account?

There are no fees and no cash minimum to open an account. However, there is a minimum $2,000 deposit required for margin and options accounts.

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How much will I pay in commissions?

Equity (stock) trades placed over the phone are generally $8.88 flat. However, there are many other trades and scenarios where the commission is different. Please consult the Commissions & Fees page.

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Are there any fees I should be aware of?

There are a couple of fees that are important to note:

1.  The administration fee of $25 per quarter. This fee is easily waived for clients who meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • hold $15,000+ in cumulative assets OR
  • have an active recurring deposit/contribution of at least $100 monthly OR
  • make at least two trades per quarter OR
  • have been a client for less than 6 months

2.  A paper statement fee of $5 per quarter, which is charged to clients that receive paper statements and trade confirmations.

Visit the Commissions & Fees section of the website for more information on the fees applicable to your account.

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Will I be contacted before I am charged the administration fee?

To help ensure you don’t incur any unnecessary charges, we will endeavor to contact you by email and outline steps you can take to avoid the administration fee.

Please visit Account Settings to update your email address, if necessary.

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I’m a new client waiting for my funds to transfer into my account – will I be charged the administration fee for the first quarter that I’m a client?

We understand transfers take time. It also takes time to research your investments. That’s why the administration fee does not apply to clients that have been with Credential Direct for less than six months.

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When will I be charged a quarterly fee, if applicable to me?

Those subject to a quarterly fee will be charged on the 1st (or next business day if the 1st is not a business day) following the calendar quarter.

Quarter Quarter Ending Date Charged
1 Mar 31 Apr 1
2 Jun 30 Jul 2
3 Sep 31 Oct 1
4 Dec 31 Jan 2

The Administration fee does not apply to clients that have been with Credential Direct for less than six months.

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How do I pay for quarterly fees that are applicable to me?

For any quarterly fees, you may elect to take the fee from your bank account on record via electronic funds transfer (EFT) or from your non-registered brokerage account (Cash or Margin).

If you have not made an election (clients holding accounts prior to June 2014), fees are charged to the account with the largest cash balance at the time the fee is assessed. If there is no account with sufficient funds, the fee will be charged to the first available account in the following order: non-registered; TFSA; other registered account.

Please call 1.877.742.2900 to update your election.

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What account will quarterly fees be charged to?

For any quarterly fees, you may elect to take the fee from your bank account on record via electronic funds transfer (EFT) or from your non-registered brokerage account (Cash or Margin).

If you have not made an election (clients holding accounts prior to June 2014), fees are charged to the account with the largest cash balance at the time the fee is assessed. If there is no account with sufficient funds, the fee will be charged to the first available account in the following order: non-registered; TFSA; other registered account.

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What if I don’t have sufficient cash to cover the fee?

We strongly recommend you make arrangements to ensure the fee is paid from cash in the account or by electronic funds transfer (EFT).

If the fee brings your non-registered account (Cash or Margin) or TFSA into a debit (overdraft) balance, interest will be charged.

If the fee brings your registered account (RSP, RIF, RESP, etc.) into a debit (overdraft) balance, we will notify you by email that you need to cover the debit balance. If the debit balance is not covered within a week, we will sell a position in the account to sufficiently cover the overdraft balance (online commission will apply).

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How do I calculate the margin required for a trade?

The margin requirement depends on the price and number of shares that you plan to buy on margin. Visit the Types of Accounts section to learn more about trading on margin.

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Are there any extra commission costs I should know about?

No. Unlike many other online brokers, Credential Direct’s commissions are truly flat; there are no hidden ECN fees. Visit the Commissions & Fees section of the website for more on our commissions.

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How can I reduce the foreign exchange costs in registered accounts?

U.S. dollar trades executed in your registered account (RSP, RIF, TFSA, LIF, etc.) at Credential Direct are subject to foreign exchange conversion. For example, if you buy a U.S. dollar security, the purchase will settle in Canadian dollars with the foreign exchange rate for buy orders applied. If you then place a sell order, the foreign exchange sell rate will be applied to that sell. We are currently in development to permit U.S. dollar cash in a registered account so that foreign exchange conversion will not occur. Until that time we are pleased to provide the following: “foreign exchange flat trades” also known as “washing FX rates”.

To wash the FX rates: Washing the FX rates must be handled manually through a phone order by a representative:

  1. Orders must be $10,000 USD and executed on the same day
  2. Execute the first USD order on-line
  3. Once filled, then phone Credential Direct to place any subsequent orders. Commission will be min $43 USD
  4. The representative will manually apply the same FX rate as the first order

Credential Direct will not be responsible for washing the rates on executed orders from prior days; or, on subsequent orders that have been executed using the on-line trading system.

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What type of trading accounts can I open?

We offer a wide range of trading accounts, including cash, margin, options trading margin, Tax-Free Savings (TFSAs), as well as registered accounts (RRSPs, RRIFs, RESPs). To learn more, see Account Types.

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Do I need to belong to a credit union to open an account?

No. You can open an account no matter who you bank with.

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Can I open an account if I’m not a Canadian resident?

Sorry, we currently only serve Canadian residents.

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How do I open an account?

There are two ways to open an account if you’re an existing client:

  • Login to your account and select ‘Open a New Account’ from the side menu
  • Apply offline if you prefer to apply using paper forms, or if you want to open a TFSA, locked-in account, RRIF, RESP, corporate or investment club account.

 

Whether you apply online or offline, you must send us the original application documents, any other required forms, a valid picture ID and a $10 personal cheque or Account Confirmation to open your account.

 

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How long does it take to open an account?

It usually takes two business days once we receive your completed application, identification, cheque and other supporting documents to open your new account. It may take longer to process your application if information or required documentation is missing. We make every effort to contact you as soon as possible to get missing information.

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What is the difference between a cash and margin account?

A cash account requires you to pay for your buy orders, in full with cash, by the settlement date (two business days after your trade is executed). A margin account allows you to borrow against the loan value offered by the securities in your account. Visit the Margin Accounts page to learn more.

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I want to authorize someone else to trade on my account. What do I do?

Complete and mail in the Limited Trading Authorization form, and include a photocopy of that person’s valid ID and a $10 cheque or Account Confirmation Letter so that we may verify their identity.

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If I need to open an account for a corporation, an investment club or an estate, what forms do I need?

Visit the Forms section and you’ll find a list of account opening checklists for each account type. For corporate, investment club and estate accounts, you must complete the paper forms rather than using our online application.

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Why do I need to send a $10 personal cheque or account confirmation, and valid ID with my account application?

We must confirm the identity of each client to comply with regulatory and money laundering legislation. To do so, we are required to get a photocopy of valid photo ID from each applicant and a $10 cheque (minimum) payable to Credential Direct from a personal chequing account with your legal name hard coded on it. The cheque is deposited into your account; it is not a fee.

No money orders please. Your cheque should be from the same chequing account you provided in your application. Your chequing account will be used to electronically transfer money into and out of your trading account.

Joint-trading account applicants must submit a cheque from a joint-chequing account where either of the account holders are required to sign the cheque.

Corporate account applicants must submit a corporate cheque, as well as a personal cheque and photo ID from each person authorized to trade on the account.

We are required to hold the initial deposit for five business days before your account is enabled for trades or transfers. However, this hold period can be avoided by having your financial institution send us an account confirmation letter.

View a sample of an account confirmation letter.

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What’s the benefit of having my bank complete an optional account confirmation letter?

We are required to hold your initial deposit for five business days before your account is enabled for trades or transfers. This hold period can be avoided by having your financial institution send us a confirmation letter like the sample provided here.

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What qualifies as a valid picture ID?

Valid ID is government issued picture identification.

  • Driver’s licence. Photocopy both front and back. Saskatchewan residents need to provide a photocopy of the certificate portion.
  • Passport

If you don’t have one of the above forms of ID, please contact us for assistance.

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Can I fax my application?

No, securities regulations require we receive your original documents, a $10 cheque (minimum) and a copy of your valid picture ID before we can open an account.

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How will I know the account is open?

We’ll notify you by email (if you provided an email address in your application) or mail. If you don’t have an email address, we suggest you get one to manage your online account more efficiently. If need be, you can always contact us to check the status of your application.

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What does ‘trading authority’ mean?

A person who has trading authorization on the account. It’s someone you’ve granted the authority to buy, sell, or trade in securities for your account. This includes margin purchases, short sales, and options. This person may also be granted access to account information.

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What is a simple trust?

A simple trust, for U.S. federal tax purposes, is a trust that is required to distribute its income in the current taxable year. The beneficial owner of the assets or income for a simple trust is each beneficiary.

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What is a grantor trust?

A trust in which the person who establishes the trust—the grantor—retains an interest and control, and because of this, is required to pay taxes on trust income.

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What is a complex trust?

A trust that is neither a grantor nor simple trust. This includes a testamentary or inter vivos trust (other than a grantor trust) for which all income of the trust is not required to be distributed (or is not paid or payable) on an annual basis. The beneficial owner of the assets or income for a complex trust is the trust itself.

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