Interactive Brokers (U.K.) Limited – MiFID Categorisation

Introduction

The European Union legislative act known as the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, or MiFID, as amended by MiFID II, requires Interactive Brokers (U.K.) Limited (IBUK) to classify each Client according to their knowledge, experience and expertise: "Retail", "Professional" or "Eligible Counterparty". 

In accordance with the Financial Conduct Authority rules, IBUK categorises most clients as Retail clients, providing them with a higher degree of protection.
 
Only those clients that are either regulated entities or funds managed by regulated fund managers, are categorised as Per Se Professional Clients.

The main differences in regulatory protections afforded to Professional Clients as compared with Retails Clients are:

1. Description of the nature and risks of packaged investments: A firm that offers an investment service with another service or product or as a condition of the same agreement with a retail client must: (i) inform retail clients if the risks resulting from the agreement are likely to be different from the risks associated with the components when taken separately; and (ii) provide retail clients with an adequate description of the different components of the agreement and the way in which its interaction modifies the risks. The above requirements do not apply in respect of professional clients. However, IBUK will not make such differentiation apart from the case specified under point 3 below.

2. Investor protection measures on the provision of Contracts for Differences (“CFDs”): The European Securities and Markets Authority (“ESMA”) introduced product intervention measures on the provision of CFDs to retail investors. The measures include: (i) New leverage limits on the opening of a position, which vary according to the volatility of the underlying; (ii) A margin close out rule on a per account basis that standardises the percentage of margin at which providers are required to close out one or more open CFDs; (iii) Negative balance protection on a per account basis;
(iv) A restriction on the incentives offered to trade CFDs; and (v) A standardised risk warning, including the percentage of losses on a CFD provider’s retail investor accounts.The above requirements do not apply in respect of professional clients.

3. Communication with clients: A firm must ensure that its communications with all clients are fair, clear and not misleading. However, the way in which a firm may communicate with professional clients (about itself, its services and products, and its remuneration) may be different from the way in which the firm communicates with retail clients. A firm’s obligations in respect of the level of details, medium and timing of the provision of information are different depending on whether the client is a retail or professional client. The requirements to deliver certain product-specific documents, such as Key Information Documents (“KID”) for Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products (“PRIIPs”), are not applied to professional clients.

4. Depreciation in value reporting: A firm that holds a retail client account that includes positions in leveraged financial instruments or contingent liability transactions must inform the retail client, where the initial value of each instrument depreciates by 10 per cent and thereafter at multiples of 10 per cent. The above requirements do not apply in respect of professional clients.

5. Appropriateness: When assessing appropriateness for non-advised services, a firm may be required to determine whether the client has the necessary experience and knowledge in order to understand the risks involved in relation to the product or service offered or demanded. Where such an appropriateness assessment requirement applies in respect of a client, the firm may assume that a professional client has the necessary experience and knowledge in order to understand the risks involved in relation to those particular investment services or transactions, or types of transaction or product, for which the client is classified as a professional client. A firm may not make such an assumption for a retail client and must determine that a retail client does have the necessary level of experience and knowledge.
 

IBUK provides non-advised services and is not required to request information or adhere to the assessment procedures for a professional client when assessing the appropriateness of a given service or product as with a retail client, and IBUK may not be required to give warnings to the professional client if it cannot determine appropriateness with respect to a given service or product. 

6. Exclusion of liability: Firms’ ability to exclude or restrict any duty or liability owed to clients is narrower under the FCA rules in the case of retail clients than in respect of professional clients.

7. The Financial Services Ombudsman: The services of the Financial Ombudsman Service in the UK may not be available to professional clients, unless they are, for example, consumers, small businesses or individuals acting outside of their trade, business, craft or profession.

8. Compensation: IBUK is a member of the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme. You may be entitled to claim compensation from that scheme if IBUK cannot meet its obligations to you. This will depend on the type of business and the circumstances of the claim; compensation is only available for certain types of claimants and claims in respect of certain types of business. Eligibility for compensation from the scheme is determined under the rules applicable to the scheme.
 

Re-categorisation as Professional Client

IBUK allows its Retail Clients to request to be re-categorised as Professional Clients. Clients are notified of their Client Category and can check it at any time from Account Management, under Settings> Account Settings> MiFID Client Category. From this same screen, Clients can also request to change their MiFID Category.

IBUK will consider re-categorising Retail Clients to Professional Clients in two instances:

1. Per Se Professional Clients can notify IBUK that they consider that they should have been categorised as Per Se Professionals under the FCA rules, because at least one of the following conditions applies:

(i) authorised or regulated to operate in the financial markets; or

(ii) a large undertaking meeting two of the following size requirements on a company basis:

(a) balance sheet total of EUR 20,000,000;
(b) net turnover of EUR 40,000,000;
(c) own funds of EUR 2,000,000;

(iii) an institutional investor whose main activity is to invest in financial instruments. This includes entities dedicated to the securitisation of assets or other financing transactions.

2. IBUK may treat Clients as Elective Professional Clients if, based on an assessment of the Client’s expertise, experience, and knowledge, IBUK is reasonably assured that, in light of the nature of the transactions or services envisaged, the Client is capable of making its own investment decisions and understand the risks involved. Clients who do not meet the requirements to be categorised as Per Se Professional Clients can still request to be categorised as Elective Professional Clients.

To obtain such re-categorisation, Retail Clients must provide evidence that they satisfy at least two (2) of the following criteria:

1. Over the last four (4) quarters, the Client conducted trades in financial instruments in significant size at an average frequency of ten (10) per quarter.

To determine the significant size IBUK considers the following:

a. During the last four quarters, there were at least forty (40) trades; and
b. During each of the last four (4) quarters, there was at least one (1) trade; and
c. The total notional value of the top forty (40) trades of the last four (4) quarters is greater than EUR 200,000; and
d. The account has a net asset value greater than EUR 50,000.

Trades in Spot FX and Unallocated OTC Metals are not considered for the purpose of this calculation.

2. The Client holds a portfolio of financial instruments (including cash) that exceeds EUR 500,000 (or equivalent);

3. The Client is an individual accountholder or a trader of an organisation account who works or has worked in the financial sector for at least one year in a professional position which requires knowledge of products it trades in.

Upon review and verification of the information and supporting evidence provided, IBUK will re-categorise clients if all relevant conditions are met to satisfaction.

Retail Clients requesting to be re-categorised as Professional Accounts must read and understand the warning provided by IBUK before the relevant request is submitted.

Re-categorisation as Retail Client Professional Clients can request IBUK to be re-categorised as Retail Clients, from the same Account Management page described above (under Settings> Account Settings> MiFID Client Category).

With the sole exception of regulated entities or funds managed by regulated fund managers, which are categorised as Per Se Professional Clients, IBUK accepts all such requests.

THIS INFORMATION IS GUIDANCE FOR INTERACTIVE BROKERS FULLY DISCLOSED CLEARED CUSTOMERS ONLY.
NOTE: THE INFORMATION ABOVE IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A COMPREHENSIVE, EXHAUSTIVE NOR A DEFINITIVE INTERPRETATION OF THE REGULATION, BUT A SUMMARY OF IBUK’S APPROACH TO CLIENT CATEGORISATION AND RE-CATEGORISATION POLICY.

 

 

Converting From an Individual to Trust Account

The process of converting from an individual account to a trust account is outlined below: 

1. As the trust account structure differs from that of the individual in terms of account holder information required, legal agreements and, in certain cases, taxpayer status, direct conversion is not supported and a new trust account application must be completed online.

The online trust application may be initiated by visiting www.ibkr.com and clicking the "Open Account" button. Be sure to request trading permissions and, if necessary, margin status, sufficient to maintain the positions currently carried in your individual account. Note that if your account is managed by a financial advisor or you are a client of an introducing broker, please contact your advisor or broker to initiate the new application (you may need to make arrangements with your advisor or broker for fees that have accrued but not yet paid when the individual account closes).

2. The trust account application requires Compliance review and approval and documentation evidencing the creation of the trust and proof of identity and address of trustees may also be required. If this is the case, notice as to the required documents and how to submit will be provided at the conclusion of the online application.

3. Once you have received an email confirming approval of the trust account application, send a request from your Message Center authorizing IB to manually transfer positions from your Individual to trust account. Prior to submitting the request you should make sure to close all open orders in the individual account to ensure that no executions take place following the transfer.

Due to the manual steps and scheduling required, you should allow a minimum of one week after trust account approval and submitting your request for the transfer to take effect.


IMPORTANT NOTES

1. Note that exchange regulations preclude ownership transfer of derivative contracts such as futures and options. If you are holding such positions you would either need to close them prior to the transfer taking place or request that they remain in your individual account.

2. Prior to processing the transfer, you should make sure to close all open orders in the individual account to ensure that no executions take place following the transfer.

3. The SMA (Special Memorandum Account) balance in your individual account will not transfer to the trust account. In certain cases this may impact your ability to open new positions in the trust account on the first day after the transfer is completed.

4. Elective options such as market data subscriptions and participation in IB's Yield Enhancement Program will not be carried over to the trust account and must be re-initiated to continue. Note that trusts are often classified as Professionals for market data subscription purposes which generally implies higher subscription rates than that for Non-Professionals.

5. The cost basis of transferred positions as reported in the activity statements will remain unchanged for tax purposes. The cost basis as reported in your trading platform (which is not used for tax reporting purposes) will not transfer over to the trust account but may be manually adjusted.

6. Once the transfer has been completed and assuming all positions have been transferred your individual account will be designated for automatic closure. Note that certain balances such as dividend accruals can’t be transferred until paid, after which they will then be transferred and your individual account closed.

7. You'll receive any applicable tax forms for the reportable activity transacted in each of your individual and trust accounts at year end. Access to Account Management for you individual account will remain after it has been closed for the purpose of reviewing and printing activity statements and tax forms.

8. IBKR does not provide tax advice or investment guidance and recommends that account holder consult with qualified professionals to determine any legal, tax or estate planning consequences associated with individual to trust transfer requests.
 

Free Riding Rule

In a cash account, an investor must pay for the purchase of a security (meaning, the trade must settle) prior to selling that security. If an investor buys a security and then sells that same security without paying for the security in full by settlement date, the investor is considered to be “free riding.” Accounts that commit free riding violations will be restricted for 90 days, during which time the account can only purchase securities using settled funds.

Free riding examples that would be considered a violation at Interactive Brokers

Example A:

1) On T, the account has settled cash of $10,000

2) On T, the account buys ABC for $10,000

3) On T+1, the account sells ABC and buys $10,000 of XYZ

4) The customer sells the XYZ shares without depositing sufficient funds to pay for the purchase of XYZ in full

 

Example B:

1) On T, the account has fully paid for stock in ABC and no excess cash

2) On T, the account sells $10,000 of ABC

3) On T, the account buys $10,000 of XYZ

4) On T+1, the account sells the XYZ shares without depositing sufficient funds to pay for the purchase of XYZ in full

 

The end of day surveillance process would consider both of these scenarios to be free riding violations, which would restrict the account to only purchase using settled funds for 90 days. IB has put certain controls in place to help prevent free riding violations.

 

Can I have more than two individuals on a joint account?

IB offers three types of joint accounts: Tenants with Rights of Suvivorship, Tenancy in Common and Community Property. Each of these joint account types is limited to two account holders.

Applicants interested in opening an account with muliple owners in excess of two may consider the corporate, partnrship, limited liability company or unincorporated legal structure account types offered by IB.  Note that documentation establishing proof of formation and address are generally required at the point of application.

Converting From a Single to Joint Account

The process of adding a second owner to an existing single account for purposes of converting to a joint account is outlined below:

1.       As the joint account structure differs from that of the individual in terms of account holder information required, legal agreements and, in certain cases, taxpayer status, direct conversion is not supported and a new joint account application must be completed online.
 
The joint application may be initiated online from the single account by logging into Account Management and clicking the Settings and Account Settings options followed by clicking the gear icon next to the words "Create, Move, Link or Partition an Account" in the Configuration section. This process will allow you to retain your existing user name, password and security device for purposes of operating the joint account. Be sure to request trading permissions and, if necessary, margin status, sufficient to maintain the positions currently carried in your individual account.  Note that if your account is managed by a financial advisor or you are a client of an introducing broker, please contact your advisor or broker to initiate the new application (you may need to make arrangements with your advisor or broker for fees that have accrued but not yet paid if the individual account closes).
 
The joint account application requires Compliance review and approval and documentation evidencing the identity and address of the second account holder may be required. If this is the case, notice as to the required documents and how to submit will be provided at the conclusion of the online application.
 
 
2.       Once you have received an email confirming approval of the joint account application, send a request from your Message Center authorizing IB to manually transfer positions from your single to joint account. Prior to submitting the request you should make sure to close all open orders in the individual account to ensure that no executions take place following the transfer.
 
Due to the manual steps and scheduling required, you should allow a minimum of one week after joint account approval and submitting your request for the transfer to take effect. 

 

IMPORTANT NOTES
 
1.       Note that exchange regulations preclude ownership transfer of derivative contracts such as futures and options. If you are holding such positions you would either need to close them prior to the transfer taking place or request that they remain in your individual account.
 
2.       Prior to processing the transfer, you should make sure to close all open orders in the individual account to ensure that no executions take place following the transfer.
 
3.       The SMA (Special Memorandum Account) balance in your individual account will not transfer to the joint account. In certain cases this may impact your ability to open new positions in the joint account on the first day after the transfer is completed.
 
4.       Elective options such as market data subscriptions and participation in IB's Yield Enhancement Program will not be carried over to the joint account and must be re-initiated to continue.
 
5.       The cost basis of transferred positions as reported in the activity statements will remain unchanged for tax purposes.  The cost basis as reported in your trading platform (which is not used for tax reporting purposes) will not transfer over to the joint account but may be manually adjusted.
 
6.       Once the transfer has been completed and assuming all positions have been transferred your individual account will be designated for automatic closure. Note that certain balances such as dividend accruals can’t be transferred until paid, after which they will then be transferred and your individual account closed.
 
7.       You'll receive any applicable tax forms for the reportable activity transacted in each of your individual and joint accounts at year end. Access to Account Management for you individual account will remain after it has been closed for the purpose of reviewing and printing activity statements and tax forms.
 
8.       IBKR does not provide tax advice or investment guidance and recommends that account holder consult with qualified professionals to determine any legal, tax or estate planning consequences associated with single to joint transfer requests.

Designation of Eligible Contract Participant

Account holders may designate their status as an Eligible Contract Participant (ECP) by completing an online questionnaire provided via Account Management.  In the case where the account holder has provided information via the application process which suggests that they meet the ECP financial and/or organizational qualifications (see KB2731), the questionnaire is posted online in Account Management.  If the information submitted at the point of application does not support ECP qualification, the account holder may update their information online to obtain the questionnaire.  Outlined below are the steps necessary to access the questionnaire.

 

Step 1. Determine if the ECP questionnaire has been posted to your account:

For individual accounts, log into Account Management and select the Manage Account, Account Information, and then Investor Category menu options. If you reported net worth in excess of the minimum qualifying threshold, you will be provided with the ECP questionnaire. Note that account holders reporting net worth below the ECP qualifying threshold may be provided with questionnaires for different investor categories (i.e., Accredited Investor).

For organization accounts, log into Account Management and select the Manage Account, Account Information, and then Investor Category menu options. If your organization is of a specified category (e.g., registered broker dealer, FCM) or reported net worth in excess of the minimum qualifying threshold, you will be provided with the ECP questionnaire. Note that organizations reporting net worth below the ECP qualifying threshold may be provided with questionnaires for different investor categories (i.e., Qualified Purchaser).

If the ECP questionnaire has been posted to your account, complete and acknowledge the document via electronic signature.  If the questionnaire has not been posted to your account, follow Step 2 below.

 

Step 2. Update your account information:

For individual and organization accounts, if your net worth exceeds the minimum qualifying threshold of $10 million, you may log into Account Management and select the Manage Account, Account Information, Details and then Financial Information menu options. Included on that page will be a section where account holders can update and confirm their financial information.  Note that updates to this information are subject to review by our Compliance Department prior to taking effect. Once changes have taken effect and, assuming those changes meet the qualifying threshold, the ECP questionnaire will be made available as noted in Step 1 above.

Eligible Contract Participant - Definition

IMPORTANT: Note that regulations are subject to change and clients are responsible for determining whether or not they qualify as an ECP. Please refer to "7 U.S. Code § 1a – Definitions" to ensure you are reviewing the most current definition of an ECP.

Account holders should take note of the below excerpt from the definition which is likely to be the most relevant.

(xi) an individual who has amounts invested on a discretionary basis, the aggregate of which is in excess of—
(I) $10,000,000; or
(II) $5,000,000 and who enters into the agreement, contract, or transaction in order to manage the risk associated with an asset owned or liability incurred, or reasonably likely to be owned or incurred, by the individual;

 

(18) Eligible contract participant
The term “eligible contract participant” means—
 
(A) acting for its own account—
 
(i)                  a financial institution;
 
(ii)                an insurance company that is regulated by a State, or that is regulated by a foreign government and is subject to comparable regulation as determined by the Commission, including a regulated subsidiary or affiliate of such an insurance company;
 
(iii)               an investment company subject to regulation under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a–1 et seq.) or a foreign person performing a similar role or function subject as such to foreign regulation (regardless of whether each investor in the investment company or the foreign person is itself an eligible contract participant);
 
(iv)       a commodity pool that—
(I) has total assets exceeding $5,000,000; and
(II) is formed and operated by a person subject to regulation under this chapter or a foreign person performing a similar role or function subject as such to foreign regulation (regardless of whether each investor in the commodity pool or the foreign person is itself an eligible contract participant) provided, however, that for purposes of section 2(c)(2)(B)(vi) of this title and section 2(c)(2)(C)(vii) of this title, the term “eligible contract participant” shall not include a commodity pool in which any participant is not otherwise an eligible contract participant;
 
(v)        a corporation, partnership, proprietorship, organization, trust, or other entity—
(I) that has total assets exceeding $10,000,000;
(II) the obligations of which under an agreement, contract, or transaction are guaranteed or otherwise supported by a letter of credit or keepwell, support, or other agreement by an entity described in subclause (I), in clause (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), or (vii), or in subparagraph (C); or
(III) that—
(aa) has a net worth exceeding $1,000,000; and
(bb) enters into an agreement, contract, or transaction in connection with the conduct of the entity’s business or to manage the risk associated with an asset or liability owned or incurred or reasonably likely to be owned or incurred by the entity in the conduct of the entity’s business;
 
(vi)       an employee benefit plan subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.), a governmental employee benefit plan, or a foreign person performing a similar role or function subject as such to foreign regulation—
(I) that has total assets exceeding $5,000,000; or
(II) the investment decisions of which are made by—
(aa) an investment adviser or commodity trading advisor subject to regulation under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80b–1 et seq.) or this chapter;
(bb) a foreign person performing a similar role or function subject as such to foreign regulation;
(cc) a financial institution; or
(dd) an insurance company described in clause (ii), or a regulated subsidiary or affiliate of such an insurance company;
(vii)
(I) a governmental entity (including the United States, a State, or a foreign government) or political subdivision of a governmental entity;
(II) a multinational or supranational government entity; or
(III) an instrumentality, agency, or department of an entity described in subclause (I) or (II); except that such term does not include an entity, instrumentality, agency, or department referred to in subclause (I) or (III) of this clause unless (aa) the entity, instrumentality, agency, or department is a person described in clause (i), (ii), or (iii) of paragraph (17)(A); (bb) the entity, instrumentality, agency, or department owns and invests on a discretionary basis $50,000,000 or more in investments; or (cc) the agreement, contract, or transaction is offered by, and entered into with, an entity that is listed in any of subclauses (I) through (VI) of section 2(c)(2)(B)(ii) of this title;
(viii)
(I) a broker or dealer subject to regulation under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78a et seq.) or a foreign person performing a similar role or function subject as such to foreign regulation, except that, if the broker or dealer or foreign person is a natural person or proprietorship, the broker or dealer or foreign person shall not be considered to be an eligible contract participant unless the broker or dealer or foreign person also meets the requirements of clause (v) or (xi);
(II) an associated person of a registered broker or dealer concerning the financial or securities activities of which the registered person makes and keeps records under section 15C(b) or 17(h) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78o–5(b), 78q(h));
(III) an investment bank holding company (as defined in section 17(i) [2] of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78q(i)); [3]
 
(ix)       a futures commission merchant subject to regulation under this chapter or a foreign person performing a similar role or function subject as such to foreign regulation, except that, if the futures commission merchant or foreign person is a natural person or proprietorship, the futures commission merchant or foreign person shall not be considered to be an eligible contract participant unless the futures commission merchant or foreign person also meets the requirements of clause (v) or (xi);
 
(x)        a floor broker or floor trader subject to regulation under this chapter in connection with any transaction that takes place on or through the facilities of a registered entity (other than an electronic trading facility with respect to a significant price discovery contract) or an exempt board of trade, or any affiliate thereof, on which such person regularly trades; or
 
(xi)       an individual who has amounts invested on a discretionary basis, the aggregate of which is in excess of—
(I) $10,000,000; or
(II) $5,000,000 and who enters into the agreement, contract, or transaction in order to manage the risk associated with an asset owned or liability incurred, or reasonably likely to be owned or incurred, by the individual;
 
(B)
 
(i)                  a person described in clause (i), (ii), (iv), (v), (viii), (ix), or (x) of subparagraph (A) or in subparagraph (C), acting as broker or performing an equivalent agency function on behalf of another person described in subparagraph (A) or (C); or
 
(ii)        an investment adviser subject to regulation under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 [15 U.S.C. 80b–1 et seq.], a commodity trading advisor subject to regulation under this chapter, a foreign person performing a similar role or function subject as such to foreign regulation, or a person described in clause (i), (ii), (iv), (v), (viii), (ix), or (x) of subparagraph (A) or in subparagraph (C), in any such case acting as investment manager or fiduciary (but excluding a person acting as broker or performing an equivalent agency function) for another person described in subparagraph (A) or (C) and who is authorized by such person to commit such person to the transaction; or
 
(C) any other person that the Commission determines to be eligible in light of the financial or other qualifications of the person.
 

 

Welcome to Interactive Brokers

Overview: 

Now that your account is funded and approved you can start trading. The information below will help you getting
started as a new customer of Interactive Brokers.

  1. Your Money
  2. Configure your account to trade
  3. How to trade
  4. Trade all over the World
  5. Five points to enrich your IB experience

 

1. Your Money
Deposits & Withdrawals General Info. All transactions are administered through your secure Account Management
Deposits
First, you create a deposit notification through your Account Management > Funding > Fund Transfers > Transaction Type: “Deposit” How to create a deposit notification. The second step is to instruct your Bank to do the wire transfer with the bank details provided in your Deposit Notification.
Withdrawals
Create a withdrawal instruction via your secure Account Management > Funding > Fund Transfers > Transaction Type: "Withdrawals" How to create a withdrawal instruction
If you instruct a withdrawal over the Withdrawal limits, it will be considered an exceptional withdrawal and we will therefore need to match bank account holder and IB account. If destination bank account has been used for a deposit, withdrawal will be processed; otherwise, you must contact customer service and provide the documents needed.
Troubleshooting
Deposits: My bank sent the money but I do not see it credited into my IB account. Possible reasons:
a) A fund transfer takes 1-4 business days
b) A Deposit Notification is missing. You have to create it via your Account Management and send a ticket to Customer Service
c) Amending details are missing. Your name or IB account number is missing in the transfer details. You have to contact your bank and ask for the full amending details.
d) ACH initiated by IB is limited to 100k USD in a 7 business period. If you opened a Portfolio Margin account where the initial requirement is 110k, a wire deposit might be the better deposit option to reduce wait time for your first trade. If selecting ACH a wait time of almost 2 weeks or a temporary downgrade to RegT can be possible solutions.
Withdrawals: I have requested a withdrawal but I do not see the money credited to my bank account. Possible reasons:
a) A fund transfer takes 1-4 business days
b) Rejected. Over the max it can be withdrawn. Please check your account cash balance. Note that for regulatory requirements, when the funds are deposited, there is a 3 day holding period before they can be withdrawn.
c) Your bank returned the funds. Probably because receiving bank account and remitting bank account names do not match.

 

2. Configure your account to trade
Difference between Cash and Margin accounts: If you have chosen the FastTrack application, by default your account type is a cash account with US stock permission. If you would like to get leverage and trade on margin, here how to upgrade to a RegT Margin account
Trading Permissions
In order to be able to trade a particular asset class in a particular country, you need to get the trading permission for it via your Account Management. Please note that trading permissions are free. You might however be asked to sign risk
disclosures required by local regulatory authorities. How to Request Trading Permissions
Market Data
If you want to have market data in real-time for a particular product/exchange, you need to subscribe to a market data package charged by the exchange. How to subscribe to Market data
The Market data assistant will help you choose the right package. Please watch this Video explaining how it works.
Customers have the option to receive delayed market data for free by clicking the Free Delayed Data button from a non-subscribed ticker row.
Advisor Accounts
Have a look at the user guide getting started as advisors. Here you see how to create additional users to your advisor account and grant them access and much more.

 

3. How to trade
The Trader's University is the place to go when you want to learn how to use our Platforms. Here you will find our webinars, live and recorded in 10 languages and tours and documentation about our various Trading Platforms.
Trader Workstation (TWS)
Traders who require more sophisticated trading tools can use our market maker-designed Trader Workstation (TWS), which optimizes your trading speed and efficiency with an easy-to-use spreadsheet interface, support for more than 60 order types, task-specific trading tools for all trading styles, and real-time account balance and activity monitoring. Try the two models
TWS Mosaic: for intuitive usability, easy trading access, order management, watchlist, charts all in one window or
TWS Classic: the Advanced Order Management for traders who need more advanced tools and algos.
General Description and Information / Quick start guide / Usersguide
Interactive Tours: TWS Basics / TWS configuration / TWS Mosaic
How to place a trade:  Video Classic TWS / Video Mosaic
Trading tools: General Description and InformationUsers guide
Requirements: How to install Java for WindowsHow to install Java for MAC / Port 4000 and 4001 needs to be open
Login TWSDownload TWS
WebTrader
Traders who prefer a clean and simple interface can use our HTML-based WebTrader, which makes it easy to view market data, submit orders, and monitor your account and executions. Use the latest WebTrader from every browser
Quick Start Guide / WebTrader User's Guide
Introduction: Video WebTrader
How to place a Trade: Video WebTrader
Login WebTrader
MobileTrader
Our mobile solutions allow you to trade your IB account on the go. The mobileTWS for iOS and the mobileTWS for BlackBerry are custom-designed for these popular models, while the generic MobileTrader supports most other Smart phones.
General Description and Information
Order Types Order Types available and Description / Videos / Tour / Users guide
Paper Trading General Description and Information / How to get a Paper Trading Account
Once your paper account is created, you can share the market data of your real account with your paper trading account: Account Management > Manage Account > Settings > Paper trading

 
4. Trade all over the World
IB accounts are multi-currency accounts. Your account can hold different currencies at the same time, this allows you to trade multiple products around the world from a single account.
Base Currency
Your base currency determines the currency of translation for your statements and the currency used for determining margin requirements. Base currency is determined when you open an account. Customers may change their base currency at any time through Account Management.
We do not automatically convert currencies into your Base currency
Currency conversions must be done manually by the customer. In this video you can learn how to do a currency conversion.
In order to open a position denominated in a currency that you do not have in your account, you have two possibilities:
A) Currency conversion.
B) IB Margin Loan. (Not available for Cash Accounts)
Please see this course explaining the mechanics of a foreign transaction.

 

5. Five points to enrich your IB experience
1. Contract Search
Here you will find all our products, symbols and specifications.
2. IB Knowledge Base
The Knowledge Base is a repository of glossary terms, how-to articles, troubleshooting tips and guidelines designed to assist IB customers with the management of their IB accounts. Just enter in the search button what you are looking for and you will get the answer.
3. Account Management
As our trading platforms give you access to the markets, the Account Management grants you access to your IB account. Use Account Management to manage account-related tasks such as depositing or withdrawing funds, viewing your statements, modifying market data and news subscriptions, changing your trading permissions, and verifying or changing your personal information.
Log In Account Management / AM Quick Start Guide / AM Users Guide
4. Secure Login System
To provide you with the highest level of online security, Interactive Brokers has implemented a Secure Login System (SLS) through which access to your account is subject to two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication serves to confirm your identity at the point of login using two security factors: 1) Something you know (your username and password combination); and 2) Something you have (an IB issued security device which generates a random, single-use security code). As both knowledge of your username/password and physical possession of the security device are required to login to your account, participation in the Secure Login System virtually eliminates the possibility of anyone other than you accessing your account.
How to Activate your Security Device / How to Obtain a Security Code Card / How to return Security device
In case you forgot your password or lost your security code card, please call us for immediate assistance.
5. Statements and Reports
Easy to view and customize, our statements and reports cover all aspects of your Interactive Brokers account. How to view an Activity Statement 

 

Change Your Billable Account

If you have additional linked, duplicate or consolidated accounts, the Billable Account section appears on the Market Data Subscriptions screen. Use the Billable Accounts panel to change the account that is currently being billed for market data.

To change your billable account

1. Click Settings > User Settings
2. In the Trading Platform panel, click the Configure (gear) icon for Market Data Subscriptions.

The Market Data Subscription screen opens.

3. Click the Configure (gear) icon in the Billable Account panel.
4. Select the account you want to be billed for market data, then click Save.

Beginning with the next billing cycle, your market data subscriptions will be billed to the account you selected.

 

 

Linking Accounts

Overview: 

Account linkage allows for individual account holders maintaining multiple existing accounts or seeking to open a new account the ability to group those accounts together.  In the case of a new account, linkage afffords the opportunity to open the account without having to complete a full application, with the account holder providing solely that additional information which is specific to the new account.  New account linkages are initiated either from the Account Management/Client Portal of the existing account (via the Settings > Account Settings > Create, Move, Link or Partition an Account menu options) or automatically when initiating a new application from the website. The following article outlines the steps for linking one or more existing accounts.

1) Login to Account Management/Client Portal and select the Settings and Account Settings menu options. 

 

2) On the Account Settings screen, you will see a section titled "Configuration". Click the Configure (gear) icon next to the words "Create, Move, Link or Partition an Account".

 

3) The Create, Move, Link or Partition an Account screen will list the various linkage options offered for your particular account. In order to link the account to one or more existing accounts, check the box to "Link All of My Existing Accounts Under a Single Username and Password" and click CONTINUE.

 

4) The Select Username screen will open and will list the accounts eligible for consolidation. Please note that there is no ability to consolidate a subset of the accounts. If a decision is made to consolidate, it must include all. In addition, while an account holder may place the consolidation request at any time, the actual consolidation takes place as of the close of business each Friday. 

5) Select which username you want to keep from the drop down menu. The screen will update to display the security device for the selected username. Once your accounts are linked, you will use the selected username and security device to login to any of the linked accounts. When finished, click CONTINUE.

6) You will be prompted to enter the username and password for each account to be linked, followed by additional authentication using your Secure Login device. Enter the username, password and authentication values for each account to be linked on the next screens, clicking CONTINUE to advance to the next screen.

7) We aggregate the financial information and trading experience information for all accounts to be linked. Verify your financial information and trading experience for the accounts to be linked, and then click CONTINUE.

8) Verify your account information and click CONTINUE. If you need to update your financial information, trading experience or account information, wait for those updates to be approved and then restart this linking procedure.

9) Verify any saved bank information you may have and click CONTINUE. Follow the remaining prompts on screen.

For information on how to cancel a linkage request, see Canceling a Pending Link Request.

IMPORTANT NOTES

* Once linked, account access to Account Management/Client Portal and the trading platform is accomplished using a single user name and password each of which will contain a drop-down window for selecting the account that the owner wishes to act upon.

* Linked accounts use the consolidated monthy commissions to calculate the Monthly Minimum Activity fee. Total commissions between the linked accounts must be at least (number of accounts) x USD 10 in order to avoid a fee. If the monthly consolidated commissions are less than this amount, an activity fee is charged on an account-by-account basis using the Standard Activity Fee calculcation. 

* As market data subscriptions are billed at a session level (i.e., user name) and only a single TWS session can be open for any one user at a given time, account holders previously maintaining subscriptions for multiple users have the opportunity to consolidate subscriptions to a single user.  Account holders wishing to view multiple TWS sessions simultaneously may add additional users (subject to separate market data subscribtions). In addition, only those market data subscriptions already associated with the surviving user name will remain in effect following consolidation.  Account holders maintaining different subscriptions across multiple users are advised to review those subscriptions subject to cancellation in order to determine which they wish to resubscribe to under the surviving user name.  Also note that the market data subscriptions either terminated or initiated mid-month are subject to billing as if they were provided for the entire month (i.e., fees are not prorated).

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