Will IBKR delay liquidation while I deposit funds in my account?


IBKR's margin compliance policy does not allow for transfers or other deposits if there is a margin violation/deficit in the account.  In the case of a margin violation/deficit, the account in deficit is immediately subject to liquidation. Automated liquidations are accomplished with market orders, and any/all positions in the account can be liquidated. There are cases where, due to specific market conditions, a deficit is better addressed via a manual liquidation.

Funds deposited or wired into the account are not taken into consideration from a risk standpoint until those funds have cleared all the appropriate funds and banking channels and are officially in the account. The liquidation system is automated and programmed to act immediately if there is a margin violation/deficit.

Note for Prime Clients: Executing away is not a means to resolve real time deficits as away trades will not be taken into consideration for beneficial margin purposes until 9 pm ET on Trade Date or when the trades have been reported and matched with external confirms, whichever is later. Trading away for expiring options, on expiration day, is also discouraged due to the potential for late or inaccurate reporting which can lead to erroneous margin calculations or incorrect exercise and assignment activity. Clients who wish to trade expiring options on expiration day and away from IB, must load their FTP file no later than 2:50 pm ET, and do so at their own risk.

Why does the system not recognize my SWIFT code?


S.W.I.F.T  stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication.  It is a non-profit organization comprised of member financial institutions.

Only SWIFT codes which are part of the SWIFT network are recognized as SWIFT codes.

Why does IBKR place a hold on the funds deposited via check when my bank has already debited the funds from my account?



IBKR, like any bank client, is subject to the hold periods that banks by regulation are allowed to place upon check deposits. While these regulations generally provide for full availability to be provided within 2 to 5 business days, banks in certain instances may not make the funds available until the 11th business day, and a key factor in determining the availability timeframe is whether the check is drawn upon an institution whose Federal Reserve check processing office is local relevant to IBKR’s bank (which is determined based upon the routing transit number or ABA bank code listed on the check).  As it is not operationally feasible to distinguish and track the clearance of individual checks given a large and geographically diverse client base, IBKR has opted to use a uniform hold period of 6 business days for check deposits (with funds made available on the 7th business day).  This timeframe had been selected based upon a review of historical data which suggests that the risk of non-payment of funds to be sufficiently minimal after that period.


To minimize any delays associated with the receipt and crediting of deposits, IBKR strongly recommends that clients deposit funds via wire transfer as this process introduces few of the credit risks or operational overhead typically associated with checks.  In addition, funds deposited in this manner are immediately credited to your account upon arrival and are not subject to any processing fee by IBKR.

Why do certain cash deposit and withdrawal requests require that an instruction be created while others do not?



Whether or not an instruction is required is a function of both the transaction type (i.e., deposit or withdrawal) and its underlying method (i.,e. check, ACH initiated at IBKR or wire).  In general, if the deposit method dictates that IBKR pull funds directly from the client’s account or if the withdrawal method dictates that IBKR push funds directly to the client’s account, an instruction will be required in order to obtain the necessary account specific information and authorization to act.  Outlined in the chart below are the possible scenarios.







ACH – at Bank













Yes, if instruction is  created as  Debit/Credit, no  if  Credit only




How do I transfer my US securities positions from my current broker to IB?


Broker to broker transfers for US securities are conducted via a process known as the Automated Customer Account Transfer Service or ACATS.  This process generally takes between 4 to 8 business days to complete in order to accommodate the verification of the transferring account and positions. The request is always initiated via the receiving broker (IB in this case) and can be prompted by following the steps below.

1.      Log into Account Management and select the Transfer & Pay and then Transfer Positions menu options.

2.      From the Transaction Type drop-down list select 'Inbound Position'

3.      From the Method drop-down list select 'ACATS'.

4.      Enter the sending Broker Information in the fields provided, and click CONTINUE

5.      In the Transaction Information section, indicate whether or not you wish to transfer all assets and select Yes to the authorization option. 

a.       Note that a "transfer all assets" election does not require that you specify any assets as an attempt will be made to transfer your account in its entirety.  Account holders should note, however, that certain positions may not be on the list of securities eligible to trade at IB and others, while transferable, may be subject to a house margin requirement higher than that of the delivering broker.  In the event IB receives an asset list from the delivering broker which includes ineligible positions or the aggregate of the positions transferred are such that a margin deficit would exist were the transfer to occur, IB will attempt to contact you to remedy the situation within the allocated time frame after which an automatic reject of the full transfer would take effect.  Account holders may wish to minimize potential delays or problems associated with a ‘Full’ transfer request by verifying security eligibility and margin requirements via the Contract Search link located at the upper right hand corner of the IB homepage prior to initiating the transfer.

b.      If you elect to not "transfer all assets", the system will require that you specify the positions you wish to transfer. Click Add Asset to add the positions you wish to transfer. Fill out the Asset Search and Transaction Information sections and click Continue.

6.      On the page that appears, type your signature in the Signature field, and then click CONTINUE.
Click BACK to modify the transfer request.

Please note that brokers generally freeze the account during the transfer period to ensure an accurate snapshot of assets to transfer and may restrict the transfer of option positions during the week prior to expiration. You may wish to check with the delivering broker to verify their policy in this regard. In addition, please note if your IB account is currently maintaining positions on margin, any cash withdrawals or adverse market moves could increase the likelihood that your account falls out of margin compliance during the transfer period which may delay or prevent completion of the transfer. 



Applicants may meet the initial account funding requirement through the transfer of securities positions and/or cash via the ACATS system.

Does a deposit subject to a "Credit Hold” accrue credit interest during the hold period?


The answer depends upon the method of deposit.  In the case of deposits made via ACH, any interest accrues from the date the deposit arrives through the four-business day credit hold period after which it is credited to the account.  In the case of check deposits other than Bank Checks, no interest is accrued during the credit hold period.  Bank Checks and wire transfers are credited to the account effective upon receipt and are therefore not subject to any credit hold.

Interest paid to you varies with market conditions.  For information regarding the amount of interest currently paid on credit balances see www.interactivebrokers.com/interest

Glossary terms: 
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