IBKR Application of CFD Concentration Margin for Retail Clients

Background: 

A concentration charge is applied if your portfolio consists of a small number of CFD positions, or if the two largest positions have a dominant weight. We stress the portfolio by applying a 60% adverse move on the two largest positions and a 10% adverse move on the remaining positions. The total loss is applied as the initial margin requirement if it is greater than the standard requirement.

However in order to avoid excessive initial margin requirements on relatively small positions, we apply a USD 100k rebate to the Initial Concentration Margin (the result cannot be negative);
appliedConcentration = max(calculatedConcentration – USD 100k,0).

The maintenance margin is 50% of the appliedConcentration margin, as prescribed by ESMA.

The effect of the rebate is to eliminate the concentration charge for concentrated positions under USD 250k equivalent. The charge will increase gradually thereafter, so that e.g. a concentrated position of USD 500k carries an initial margin of 40%, and a position of 1 million 50%. These examples assume that a client has maximum 2 positions; additional positions will reduce the aggregate charge.

Examples (Applied Margin in Bold)

Concentrated positions only

1. Small size, concentration eliminated
Initial Margin   Concentration Charge   Standard  
Position USD USD % USD %
1 100,000 60,000 60% 20,000 20%
2 50,000 30,000 60% 15,000 30%
Total 150,000 90,000 60% 35,000 23%
After Rebate   0 0%    
 2. Concentration applies at reduced rate

Initial Margin   Concentration Charge   Standard  
Position USD USD % USD %
1 250,000 150,000 60% 50,000 20%
2 150,000 90,000 60% 45,000 30%
Total 400,000 240,000 60% 95,000 24%
After Rebate   140,000 35%    

Additional Positions

3. Concentration further reduced by additional positions

Initial Margin   Concentration Charge   Standard  
Position USD USD % USD %
1 250,000 150,000 60% 50,000 20%
2 150,000 90,000 60% 45,000 30%
3 100,000 10,000 10% 20,000 20%
4 50,000 5,000 10% 10,000 20%
5 50,000 5,000 10% 10,000 20%
6 50,000 5,000 10% 10,000 20%
Total 650,000 265,000 41% 145,000 22%
After Rebate   165,000 25%    

Risk Warning

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.

69% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with IBKR (UK).

You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Overview of ESMA CFD Rules Implementation at IBKR - Retail Investors Only

Overview: 

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) enacted new rules applicable to retail clients trading CFDs, effective 1st August 2018. Professional clients are unaffected.

The rules consist of: 1) leverage limits; 2) a margin close out rule on a per account basis; 3) negative balance protection on a per account basis; 4) a restriction on the incentives offered to trade CFDs; and 5) a standardized risk warning.

Most clients (excepting regulated entities) are initially categorised as Retail Clients. IBKR may in certain
circumstances agree to reclassify a Retail Client as a Professional Client, or a Professional Client as a
Retail Client. Please see MiFID Categorisation for further detail.

The following sections detail how IBKR (UK) has implemented the ESMA Decision.

1 Leverage Limits

1.1 ESMA Margins
Leverage limits were set by ESMA at different levels depending on the underlying:

  • 3.33% for major currency pairs; Major currency pairs are any combination of USD; CAD; EUR; GBP; CHF; JPY
  • 5% for non-major currency pairs and major indices;
    • Non-major currency pairs are any combination that includes a currency not listed above, e.g. USD.CNH
    • Major indices are IBUS500; IBUS30; IBUST100; IBGB100; IBDE30; IBEU50; IBFR40; IBJP225; IBAU200
  • 10% for non-major equity indices; IBES35; IBCH20; IBNL25; IBHK50
  • 20% for individual equities

 1.2 Applied Margins - Standard Requirement

In addition to the ESMA Margins, IBKR (UK) establishes its own margin requirements (IB Margins) based on the historical volatility of the underlying, and other factors. We will apply the IB Margins if they are higher than those prescribed by ESMA.

Details of applicable IB and ESMA margins can be found here.

1.2.1 Applied Margins - Concentration Minimum

A concentration charge is applied if your portfolio consists of a small number of CFD positions, or if the two largest positions have a dominant weight. We stress the portfolio by applying a 30% adverse move on the two largest positions and a 5% adverse move on the remaining positions. The total loss is applied as the maintenance margin requirement if it is greater than the standard requirement.

For retail clients, the initial margin is in principle 2x the minimum concentration maintenance margin as described above. However in order to avoid excessive initial margin requirements on relatively small positions, we apply a USD 100k rebate to the Initial Concentration Margin for Retail clients (the result cannot be negative);

appliedConcentration = max(calculatedConcentration – USD 100k,0).

The effect of the rebate is to eliminate the concentration charge for concentrated positions under USD 250k equivalent. The charge will increase gradually thereafter, so that e.g. a concentrated position of USD 500k carries an initial margin of 40%, and a position of 1 million 50%. These examples assume that a client has maximum 2 positions; additional positions will reduce the aggregate charge.

You can find worked examples here (retail client-portfolios).

1.3 Funds Available for Initial Margin

You can only use cash to post initial margin to open a CFD position. Realized CFD profits are included in cash and are available immediately; the cash does not have to settle first. Unrealized profits however cannot be used to meet initial margin requirements.

1.4 Automatic Funding of Initial Margin Requirements (F-segments)

IBKR (UK) automatically transfers funds from your main account to the F-segment of your account to fund initial margin requirements for CFDs.

Note however that no transfers are made to satisfy CFD maintenance margin requirements. Therefore if qualifying equity (defined below) becomes insufficient to meet margin requirements, a liquidation will occur even if you have ample funds in your main account. If you wish to avoid a liquidation you must transfer additional funds to the F-segment in Account Management.

2 Margin Close Out Rule

2.1 Maintenance Margin Calculations & Liquidations

ESMA requires IBKR to liquidate CFD positions if qualifying equity falls below 50% of the initial margin posted to open the positions. Qualifying equity for this purpose includes cash in the F-segment (excluding cash in any other account segment) and unrealized CFD P&L (positive and negative).

The basis for the calculation is the initial margin posted at the time of opening a CFD position. In other words, and unlike margin calculations applicable to non-CFD positions, the initial margin amount does not change when the value of the open position changes.

2.1.1 Example

You have EUR 2000 cash in your CFD account. You want to buy 100 CFDs of XYZ at a limit price of EUR 100. You are first filled 50 CFDs and then the remaining 50. Your available cash reduces as your trades are filled:

  Cash Equity* Position Price Value Unrealized P&L IM MM Available Cash MM Violation
Pre Trade 2000 2000             2000  
Post Trade 1 2000 2000 50 100 5000 0 1000 500 1000 No
Post Trade 2 2000 2000 100 100 10000 0 2000 1000 0 No

*Equity equals Cash plus Unrealized P&L

The price increases to 110. Your equity is now 3000, but you cannot open additional positions because your available cash is still 0, and under the ESMA rules IM and MM remain unchanged:

  Cash Equity Position Price Value Unrealized P&L IM MM Available Cash MM Violation
Change 2000 3000 100 110 11000 1000 2000 1000 0 No

 The price then drops to 95. Your equity declines to 1500 but there is no margin violation since it is still greater than the 1000 requirement:

  Cash Equity Position Price Value Unrealized P&L IM MM Available Cash MM Violation
Change 2000 1500 100 95 9500 (500) 2000 1000 0 No

The price falls further to 85, causing a margin violation and triggering a liquidation:

  Cash Equity Position Price Value Unrealized P&L IM MM Available Cash MM Violation
Change 2000 500 100 85 8500 (1500) 2000 1000 0 Yes

 

3 Negative Equity Protection

The ESMA Decision limits your CFD-related liability to the funds dedicated to CFD-trading. Other financial instruments (e.g. shares or futures) cannot be liquidated to satisfy a CFD margin-deficit.*

Therefore assets in the security and commodity segments of your main account, and non-CFD assets held in the F-segment, are not part of your capital at risk for CFD trading. However, all cash in the F-segment can be used to cover losses arising from CFD trading.

As Negative Equity Protection represents additional risk to IBKR, we will charge retail investors an additional financing spread of 1% for CFD positions held overnight. You can find detailed CFD financing rates here.

*Although we cannot liquidate non-CFD positions to cover a CFD deficit, we can liquidate CFD positions to cover a non-CFD deficit.

4 Incentives Offered to trade CFDs

The ESMA Decision imposes a ban on monetary and certain types of non-monetary benefits related to CFD trading. IBKR does not offer any bonus or other incentives to trade CFDs.

5 Risk Warning

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.

65% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with IBKR (UK).

You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

 

 

CFD Accounting Methods: Open Trade Equity vs. Variation Margin

INTRODUCTION

Open Trade Equity (OTE) and Variation Margin (VM) are two methods by which brokers report CFDs to clients. While account equity and position P/L are identical under the two methods, they are represented differently for statement reporting purposes. An overview of each method is provided below for a sample position.

SAMPLE POSITION

Assume a position in which the client has a starting cash balance of $2,500 and purchases 100 CFD contracts of hypothetical contract "ABC" at a price of $100. Further assume that the closing price of ABC is $100 on Day 1, $110 on Day 2, $95 on Day 3 and $105 on Day 4.

VM MODEL

In the VM model we calculate variation margin as the difference between the closing price of the day and the closing price on the previous day with the difference applied to cash.

The realized profit is the difference between the price at which you opened the position and the price when closed, however, as both the Trade and Position Variation are booked to cash, the Cash Balance equals Account Equity.
 

In this example:

  Day 1 Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Price $100 $110 $95 $105
Traded Size 100 0 0 (100)
Position VM
$0 $1,000 ($1,500) $0
Trade VM $0 $0 $0 $1,000
Realized P&(L) $0 $0 $0 $500
Starting Cash $2,500 $2,500 $3,500 $2,000
Ending Cash $2,500 $3,500 $2,000 $3,000
Account Equity $2,500 $3,500 $2,000 $3,000


 

OTE MODEL

In the OTE model, the accumulated P&L is carried as OTE, which is the difference between the closing price of the day and the price at which you opened the position. OTE is a component of equity, but not cash. Equity therefore is Cash + OTE, and consistent with the VM model above.

The realized profit is again the difference between the price at which you opened the position and the price when closed it, however, since the running P/(L) is booked as OTE it is only the applied to the Cash Balance once realized.

  Day 1 Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Price $100 $110 $95 $105
Traded Size 100 0 0 (100)
OTE
$0 $1,000 ($500) $0
Realized P&(L) $0 $0 $0 $500
Starting Cash $2,500 $2,500 $2,500 $2,500
Ending Cash $2,500 $2,500 $2,500 $3,000
Account Equity $2,500 $3,500 $2,000 $3,000

 

IBKR OTC Futures on LME Metals – Facts and Q&A

The following article is intended to provide a general introduction to LME-based OTC Futures issued by IBKR.
 
Note: Residents of the US, Canada, Hong Kong, and Israel cannot trade IBKR LME OTC Futures.

 

Introduction

IBKR LME OTC Futures provide clients synthetic access to the London Metal Exchange, a peer to peer exchange not generally available to non-member investors.

The LME OTC Futures are OTC derivative contracts with IBUK as the counterparty. The LME OTC Futures reference the corresponding LME future in terms of price, lot size, type and specification but are themselves not registered contracts. Physical delivery is not permitted.

IBKR LME OTC Futures are traded through your margin account, and you can therefore enter long as well as short leveraged positions. Margin rates equal those established by the LME. Like other futures they are risk-based (SPAN), and therefore variable. Current margins range between 6 and 9% depending on the contract.

Contracts

IBKR offers OTC Futures on the 3rd Wednesday expirations for the following metals:

Metal IB Symbol Price USD/ Multiplier
High Grade Primary Aluminium AH Metric Ton 25
Copper Grade A CA Metric Ton 25
Primary Nickel NI Metric Ton 6
Standard Lead PB Metric Ton 25
Tin SNLME Metric Ton 5
Special High Grade Zinc ZSLME Metric Ton 25

3rd Wednesday Expirations

The LME features a range of contracts adapted to the needs of physical traders and hedgers. The principal among them are daily 3-month forwards used by physical traders to precisely match their hedges to their needs.

The 3rd Wednesday contracts are monthly contracts, like futures, and as such better adapted to the needs of financial traders. As the name suggests, they expire on the 3rd Wednesday of each month and, although physically settled on the LME, are strictly cash-settled at IBKR. The 3rd Wednesday contracts have become increasingly popular and account for 65% of open interest on the LME.

Quotes and Market Data

IBKR streams quotes from the LME (L2 market data) and does not widen the quote. Every client order is first hedged on exchange and the LME OTC order filled at the price of the hedge.

Cash Flows

Daily variation margin and realized P&L for the IBKR LME OTC Futures are cash-settled daily, like a standard future. By contrast, cash flows for the underlying LME contract are only settled after the contract has expired.

Margins

The margin requirements for the IBKR LME OTC Futures equal the requirement for the underlying contract on the LME. LME uses Standard Portfolio Analysis of Risk (SPAN) to calculate Initial Margin.

Like for other futures, the margin rates are established as an absolute value per contract and usually updated monthly.

Trading Permissions

You will need to set up permissions for United Kingdom Metals in Account Management.

Market Data

You will need a subscription for Level II London Metal Exchange, currently GBP 1.00.

LME OTC Resources

Product Listings & Links to Contract Details
Commissions
Margin Requirements

Frequently asked Questions

What do I need to do to start trading LME OTC Futures?
You need to set up trading permission for United Kingdom Metals in Account Management. If you have an IB LLC or an IB UK account carried by IB LLC we will set up a new account segment (identified with your existing account number plus the suffix “F”). Once the set-up is confirmed you can begin to trade. You do not need to fund the F segment separately; funds will be automatically transferred from your main account to meet margin requirements.

How are my LME OTC Futures trades and positions reflected in my statements?
Your positions are held in a separate account segment identified by your primary account number with the suffix “F”. You can choose to view Activity Statements for the F-segment either separately or consolidated with your main account. You can make the choice in the statement window in Account Management.

What account protections apply when trading LME OTC Futures?
LME OTC Futures are contracts with IB UK as your counterparty, and are not traded on a regulated exchange and are not cleared on a central clearinghouse. Since IB UK is the counterparty to your trades, you are exposed to the financial and business risks, including credit risk, associated with dealing with IB UK. Please note however that all client funds are always fully segregated, including for institutional clients. IB UK is a participant in the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme ("FSCS"). IB UK is not a member of the U.S. Securities Investor Protection Corporation (“SIPC”).

Can I trade LME OTC Futures over the phone?
No. In exceptional cases we may agree to process closing orders over the phone, but never opening orders.

Overview of Forex CFDs issued by IB Australia - Facts and Q&A

Overview: 

The following article is intended to provide a general introduction to forex-based Contracts for Differences (CFDs) issued by IB Australia (IBA).

Background: 

IBA Forex CFDs are available for 85 tradable currency pairs , with low commissions and margin rates. Forex CFDs feature a contract-style highly competitive financing model detailed below.

For information on IBA Share CFDs click here. For Index CFDs click here.

Transparent DMA Quotes: IBA ensures tight spreads and substantial liquidity as a result of combining quotation streams from 14 of the world's largest foreign exchange dealers which constitute more than 70% of market share in the global interbank market*. This results in displayed quotes as small as 0.1 PIP. IBA does not mark up the quotes, rather passes through the prices that it receives and charges a separate low commission.

*Source: Euromoney FX survey FX Poll 2016.

Carry Interest: Forex CFDs are rolled over reflecting the benchmark interest rate differential of the relevant currency pair. This is in principle similar to the TOM Next rolls used by other brokers, but offers greater stability as benchmark rates generally are less volatile than swap rates. In addition IBA applies a low financing spread that for major pairs starts at just 1.0% and can be as low as 0.5% for large balances. More volatile pairs have higher financing spreads.

The carry interest for IBA Forex CFDs is based on a currency-pair specific benchmark and a spread. The benchmark is the difference between the IBA benchmark rates for the two currencies. It is calculated as + BM Base currency – BM Quote currency.

For example, April 21, 2016 the GBP benchmark rate was 0.483%, the USD rate was 0.37%. The applicable benchmark rate is:

GBP.USD BM +0.48% - 0.37% = +0.113%

The applicable customer rate is Pair BM – IBA spread for long positions, BM + spread for short positions:

GBP.USD Long Rate +0.113% - 1.00% = -0.887%

GBP.USD Short Rate +0.113% + 1.00% = +1.113%

It is important to note that the long rate is applied as a credit, the short rate as a debit. Consequently for a long position a positive rate means a credit, a negative rate a charge. However for short positions a positive rate means a charge, a negative rate a credit.

Interest is calculated on the contract value expressed in the quote currency, and credited or debited in that currency if it is either AUD or USD. Interest in other currencies is converted into the base currency of your account and then credited or debited.

For example:

Daily Interest

  Position GBP.USD Close USD Value Rate USD
GBP.USD -20,000 1.43232 -28,646.40 1.113% -0.89

Interest on Forex CFD balances is calculated on a stand-alone contract basis, and not combined or netted with other currency exposures, including Spot FX. Although IBA does not directly reference swap rates, IBA reserves the right to apply higher spreads in exceptional market conditions, such as during spikes in swap rates that can occur around fiscal year-ends.
Detailed interest schedules can be viewed here.

Trading: IBA Forex CFDs can be traded either in classical TWS or in the IBA FX Trader, with over 20 available order types and algos. To find the contract you want to trade in classical TWS or FX Trader, enter the currency pair (i.e. EUR.USD) and choose Sec Type CFD in the Contract Selection pop-up.

Margin: IBA Forex CFD margins are determined for each currency pair on a per contract basis without regard to other Forex balances held in the account. Margins start as low as 2.5% of contract value for major currency pairs. Details for all currency pairs can be found here.

Commissions: IBA passes through the prices that it receives and charges a separate low commission. We do this in the interest of providing a transparent pricing structure instead of marking up our quotes and charging nothing in commissions as is the practice with many forex brokers. Commissions are tiered based on monthly traded value, and range from 0.20 basis points to 0.08 basis points.

Details are found here.

Trading Permissions: In order to trade Forex CFDs, you must set up the trading permission for Forex CFDs in Account Management. The suitability criteria are the same as those for Leverage FX. Share and Index CFDs are a separate trading permission.

Trading Example

Opening the position

You purchase 10 lots (200000) EUR.CHF CFDs at $1.16195 for CHF 232,390, which you then hold for 5 days.

EUR.CHF Forex CFDs – New Position
Reference Underlying Price 1.16188 - 1.16195
CFDs Reference Price 1.16188 - 1.16195
Action Buy
Quantity 200,000
Trade Value CHF 232,390.00
Margin (3% x 232,390) AUD 9,100

 

Interest Charged (on CHF 232,390 over 5 days)
Tier I (Pair BM 0.42% - IB Spread 1%) CHF 232,390.00 -0.58% (CHF 18.72)

Closing the position

Exit CFD Position
  Profit Scenario Loss Scenario
Reference Underlying Price 1.16840 - 1.16848 1.15539 - 1.15546
CFDs Reference Price 1.16840 - 1.16848 1.15539 - 1.15546
Action Sell Sell
Quantity 200,000 200,000
Trade Value CHF 233,680.00 CHF 231,078.00
Trade P&L CHF 1,290.00 (CHF 1,312.00)
Financing (CHF 18.72) (CHF 18.72)
Entry Commission 0.002% (CHF 4.65) (CHF 4.65)
Entry Commission 0.002% (CHF 4.67) (CHF 4.62)
Total P&L CHF 1,261.96 (CHF 1,339.99)
Total P&L @ AUD.CHF 0.770855 AUD 1,637.09 (AUD 1,738.32)

 

CFD Resources

Below are some useful links with more detailed information on IBA’s CFD offering:

Contract Specifications

CFD Product Listings

CFD Commissions

CFD Financing Rates

CFD Margin Requirements

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between IBA Forex CFDs and other forms of forex trading?

IBA Forex CFDs are differentiated mainly by their their exceptionally tight spreads resulting from that IBA a) combines quotation streams from 14 of the world's largest foreign exchange dealers which constitute more than 70% of market share in the global interbank market*. This results in displayed quotes as small as 0.1 PIP, and b) IBA does not mark up the quotes, rather passes through the prices that it receives and charges a separate low commission.

*Source: Euromoney FX survey FX Poll 2016.

IBA Forex CFDs also offer a unique financing model for positions held overnight. IBA uses a pair benchmark rate which is the difference between the benchmark rates for the two underlying currencies. This is in principle similar to the TOM Next rolls used by other brokers, but offers greater stability as benchmark rates generally are less volatile than swap rates.

Please see the Carry Interest section above for a detailed example.

Are there any market data requirements?

The market data for IBA Forex CFDs is the same as for Leverage FX. It is a global permission and free of charge.

Overview of Share CFDs issued by IB Australia

Overview: 

The following article is intended to provide a general introduction to share-based Contracts for Differences (CFDs) issued by IBA.

For Information on IBA Index CFDs click here. For Forex CFDs click here.

 

Share CFD Definition

IBA CFDs are OTC contracts which deliver the return of the underlying stock, including dividends and corporate actions (read more about CFD corporate actions). You can enter long as well as short leveraged positions.

Said differently, it is an agreement between the buyer (you) and IBA to exchange the difference in the current value of a share, and its value at a future time. If you hold a long position and the difference is positive, IBA pays you. If it is negative, you pay IBA.

IBA’s CFDs work on an Open Trade Equity model. With IBA’s CFDs, the Open Trade Equity (OTE) represents the cumulative unrealised profit/loss on the CFD position relative to movements in the current price of the Reference Underlying. The profit/loss is realised when the position is closed. If the profit/loss is in a currency other than AUD or USD it is converted to the base currency of your account and credited/debited to cash.

The price of the CFD is the exchange-quoted price of the underlying share. In fact, IBA CFD quotes are identical to the Smart-routed quotes for shares that you can observe in the Trader Work Station and IBA offers Direct Market Access (DMA). Similar to shares, your nonmarketable (i.e., limit) orders have the underlying hedge directly represented on the deep book of those exchanges at which it trades. This also means that you can place orders to buy the CFD at the underlying bid and sell at the offer.

To compare IBA’s transparent CFD model to others available in the market please see our Overview of CFD Market Models.

IBA currently offers approximately 6200 Share CFDs covering the principal markets in the US, Europe and Asia. The constituents of the major indexes listed below are currently available as IBA Share CFDs. In many countries IBA also offers trading in liquid small cap shares. These are shares with free float adjusted market capitalization of at least USD 500
million and median daily trading value of at least USD 600 thousand. Please see CFD Product Listings for more detail. More countries will be added in the near future.

United States S&P 500, DJA, Nasdaq 100, S&P 400 (Mid Cap), Liquid Small Cap
United Kingdom FTSE 350 + Liquid Small Cap (incl. IOB)
Germany Dax, MDax, TecDax + Liquid Small Cap
Switzerland Swiss portion of STOXX Europe 600 (48 shares) + Liquid Small Cap
France CAC Large Cap, CAC Mid Cap + Liquid Small Cap
Netherlands AEX, AMS Mid Cap + Liquid Small Cap
Belgium BEL 20, BEL Mid Cap + Liquid Small Cap
Spain IBEX 35 + Liquid Small Cap
Portugal PSI 20
Sweden OMX Stockholm 30 + Liquid Small Cap
Finland OMX Helsinki 25 + Liquid Small Cap
Denmark OMX Copenhagen 30 + Liquid Small Cap
Norway OBX
Czech PX
Japan Nikkei 225 + Liquid Small Cap
Hong Kong HSI + Liquid Small Cap
Australia ASX 200 + Liquid Small Cap
Singapore* STI + Liquid Small Cap

*not available to Singapore residents

Comparison Between CFDs and Underlying Shares

Depending on your trading objectives and trading style, CFDs offer a number of advantages compared to stocks, but also some disadvantages:

Benefits of IB CFDs Drawbacks of IB CFDs
No stamp duty or financial transaction tax (UK, France, Belgium) No ownership rights
Generally lower commission and margin rates than shares Complex corporate actions may not always be exactly replicable
Tax treaty rates for dividends without need for reclaim Taxation of gains may differ from shares (please consult your tax advisor)
Exemption from day trading rules  

Worked Example

Opening the position:

You purchase 30,000 CFDs at $10.00 for $300,000, which you then hold for 30 days.

AUD Share CFDs- New Position
Reference Underlying Price $9.98 - $10.00
CFDs Reference Price $9.98 - $10.00
Action Buy
Quantity 30000
Trade Value $300,000
Margin (20% x 300,000)1 $60,000

 

Interest tier Charged (on $300,000 over 30 days)
Tier I $140,000 2.942% $338.53
Tier II 2 $160,000 2.942% $386.89
Total Interest Charged $725.42
Closing the position:
Exit CFD Position
  Profit Scenario Loss Scenario
Reference Underlying Price $10.48 - $10.50 $9.48 – $9.50
CFDs Reference Price $10.48 - 10.50 $9.48 – 9.50
Action Sell Sell
Quantity 30,000 30,000
Trade Value $314,400 $284,400
Trade P&L $14,400.00 ($15,600.00)
Financing ($725.42) ($725.42)
Entry Commission 0.05% ($150.00) ($150.00)
Exit Commission 0.05% ($157.20) ($142.20)


Total P&L

$13,367.38 ($16,617.62)

1) Assuming minimum margin of 20%
2) IBA spread is 1.5% for all AUD tiers. Other currencies have additional tiers of 1%
and 0.5%

CFD Resources

Below are some useful links with more detailed information on IBA’s CFD offering:
 

CFD Contract Specifications
CFD Product Listings
CFD Commissions
CFD Financing Rates
CFD Margin Requirements
CFD Corporate Actions
 

The following video tutorial is also available:
How to Place a CFD Trade on the Trader Workstation

Frequently Asked Questions

What Stocks are available as CFDs?

Large and Mid-Cap stocks in the US, Western Europe, Nordic and Japan. Liquid Small Cap stocks are also available in many markets. Please see CFD Product Listings for more detail. More countries will be added in the near future.

Do you have CFDs on Other Underlying Types?

Yes. Please see IBA Index CFDs - Facts and Q&A and Forex CFDs - Facts and Q&A.

How do you determine your Share CFD quotes?

IBA CFD quotes are identical to the Smart routed quotes for the underlying share. IBA does not widen the spread or hold positions against you. To learn more please go to Overview of CFD Market Models.

Can I see my limit orders reflected on the exchange?

Yes. IBA offers Direct market Access (DMA) whereby your non-marketable (i.e., limit) orders have the underlying hedge directly represented on the deep book of those exchanges at which it trades. This also means that you can place orders to buy the CFD at the underlying bid and sell at the offer. In addition, you may also receive price improvement if another
client’s order crosses at a better price than is available on public venues.

How do you determine margins for Share CFDs?

IBA establishes risk-based margin requirements based on the historical volatility of each underlying share. The minimum margin is 20% for long positions, 25% for short positions. In addition IB applies a concemtration charge margining the two largest positions at 30%, standard margin applied to additional positions. There are no portfolio off-sets between individual CFD positions or between CFDs and exposures to the underlying share. A large position charge applies if the CFD position exceeds 0.5% of the market capitalisation of the underlying share.  Please refer to CFD Margin Requirements for more detail.

Are short Share CFDs subject to forced buy-in?

Yes. In the event the underlying stock becomes difficult or impossible to borrow, the holder of the short CFD position will become subject to buy-in.

How do you handle dividends and corporate actions?

IBA will generally reflect the economic effect of the corporate action for CFD holders as if they had been holding the underlying security. Dividends are reflected as cash adjustments, while other actions may be reflected through either cash or position adjustments, or both. For example, where the corporate action results in a change of the number of shares (e.g. stocksplit, reverse stock split), the number of CFDs will be adjusted accordingly. Where the action results in a new entity with listed shares, and IBA decides to offer these as CFDs, then new long or short positions will be created in the appropriate amount. For an overview please CFD Corporate Actions.

Please note that in some cases it may not be possible to accurately adjust the CFD for a complex corporate action such as some mergers. In these cases IBA may terminate the CFD prior to the ex-date.

What do I need to do to start trading CFDs with IBA?

You need to set up trading permission for CFDs in Account Management, and agree to the relevant trading disclosures.

Are there any market data requirements?

The market data for IBA Share CFDs is the market data for the underlying shares. It is therefore necessary to have market data permissions for the relevant exchanges. If you already have set up market data permissions for an exchange for trading the shares, you do not need to do anything. If you want to trade CFDs on an exchange for which you do not
currently have market data permissions, you can set up the permissions in the same way as you would if you planned to trade the underlying shares.

Can I transfer in CFD positions from another broker?

IBA will be glad to facilitate the transfer of CFD positions, subject to the agreement of the other broker. As the transfer of CFD positions is more complex than is the case for share positions, we generally require the position to be at least the equivalent of USD 100,000.

Are charts available for Share CFDs?

Yes.

What account protections apply when trading CFDs with IBA?

CFDs are contracts with IBA as your counterparty, and are not traded on a regulated exchange and are not cleared on a central clearinghouse. Since IBA is the counterparty to your CFD trades, you are exposed to the financial and business risks, including credit risk, associated with dealing with IBA. IBA will handle the client money it receives in accordance
with the rules set out in Part 7.8 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Client Money Rules) and to the extent applicable the ASIC Market Integrity Rules (ASX market) 2010. Where required, IBA will pay such client money into a trust account. Please refer to the IBA CFD Product Disclosure Statement for further detail on risks associated with trading CFDs.

What are the maximum a positions I can have in a specific CFD?

There is no pre-set limit. Bear in mind however that very large positions may be subject to increased margin requirements. Please refer to CFD Margin Requirements for more detail.

Can I trade CFDs over the phone?

No. In exceptional cases we may agree to process closing orders over the phone, but never opening orders.

Overview of Index CFDs issued by IB Australia

Background: 

The following article is intended to provide a general introduction to index-based Contracts for Differences (CFDs) issued by IB Australia (IBA).

For information on IBA Share CFDs, please click here. For IBA Forex CFDs click here.

IB Index CFDs are contracts which deliver the return of a market index. Said differently, the CFD is an agreement between the buyer (you) and IB to exchange the difference between the current value of an index, and its value at a future time. If you hold a long position and the difference is positive, IB pays you. If it is negative, you pay IB.

IBA’s CFDs work on an Open Trade Equity model. With IBA’s CFDs, the Open Trade Equity (OTE) represents the cumulative unrealised profit/loss on the CFD position relative to movements in the current price of the Reference Underlying. The profit/loss is realised when the position is closed. If the profit/loss is in a currency other than AUD or USD it is converted to the base currency of your account and credited/debited to cash.

IBA Index CFDs are available on the following major indices:

IB Index CFDs   Commissions  
Contract IB Symbol Per Trade Min. Per Order Currency Multiplier*
US 500 IBUS500 0.005% 1.00 USD 1
US 30 IBUS30 0.005% 1.00 USD 1
US Tech 100 IBUST100 0.010% 1.00 USD 1
           
UK 100 IBGB100 0.005% 1.00 GBP 1
EURO 50 IBEU50 0.010% 1.00 EUR 1
GERMANY 30 IBDE30 0.005% 1.00 EUR 1
FRANCE 40 IBFR40 0.010% 1.00 EUR 1
SPAIN 35 IBES35 0.010% 1.00 EUR 1
NETHERLANDS 25 IBNL25 0.010% 1.00 EUR 1
SWITZERLAND 20 IBCH20 0.010% 1.00 CHF 1
           
JAPAN 225 IBJP225 0.010% 40.00 JPY 1
HONG KONG 50 IBHK50 0.010% 10.00 HKD 1
AUSTRALIA 200 IBAU200 0.010% 1.00 AUD 1
*times index level          

The price of the Index CFD is directly related to the price of the exchange-quoted related future. The price-movement of the Index CFD tracks the movement of the related future, although the price levels differ by an adjustment for interest and dividends (fair-value adjustment).

For example (actual quotes):

29-Jan-15 IBDE 30         DAX Mar'15    
Time Bid  Ask Spread Change   Bid  Ask Spread Change
10:10:04 10706.69 10707.19 0.5     10710.00 10710.50 0.5  
10:10:11 10704.19 10705.19 1 -2.5   10707.50 10708.50 1 -2.5
10:10:19 10709.19 10709.69 0.5 5.0   10712.50 10713.00 0.5 5.0
10:10:27 10710.19 10710.69 0.5 1   10713.50 10714.00 0.5 1
10:10:33 10709.69 10710.69 1 -0.5   10713 10714 1 -0.5

IBA Index CFD Price Determination: As discussed the IBA Index CFDs track the related future, adjusted for fair value. The resulting synthetic index level is very close to the cash index, but may differ somewhat as explained below.

In the futures market fair value is the equilibrium price for a futures contract. It is the price at which an investor effectively pays the appropriate rate of interest, and is compensated for the dividends he forgoes by holding the future rather than the underlying shares.

The fair value is determined by adjusting the cash index as follows, taking into account the time remaining to expiry:

Cash Index Value + Interest - Dividends = Future at Fair Value

To determine the value of the IB Index CFD, we reverse the process:

Actual Futures Price - Interest + Dividends = IB Index CFD Value

The result is not necessarily the same value as the cash index. This is because the starting point is the actual price of the future, and the future may trade above or below its fair value.

Having established the level for the synthetic index, the actual CFD quotes show spreads and ticks that reflect those of the underlying future.

Low Commissions and Financing Rates: Unlike other Index CFD providers IB charges a transparent commission, rather than widening the spread of the related future. Depending on the index, commission rates are only 0.005% - 0.01%. Overnight financing rates are just benchmark +/- 1.5%.

Flexible Exposure to Major Markets: IB Index CFDs are available for the main US, European and Asia Pacific indices. They can be traded in lots as small as 1X the index level, a fraction of the size of the related futures. And unlike the related futures, they do not need to be rolled over. You can trade all European and US IB Index CFDs from 09:00 - 22:00 CET.

Margin Efficiency: IB Index CFDs are margined at the same low rates as the related future, adjusted for contract size (subject to a minimum of 5%). IB also offers intraday margin rates on Index CFDs at a level consistent with that of the related futures contract. Intraday rates are generally set at 50% of the overnight rate and are offered during a time frame which begins at the start of liquid trading hours and ends 15 minutes before the liquid trading close. A list of the Index CFDs subject to this change and their liquid trading hours is provided in the table below.

IB Symbol Liquid Hours Total Hours Time Zone
IBUS500 09:30 - 16:00 03:00 - 16:00 EST
IBUS30 09:30 - 16:00 03:00 - 16:00 EST
IBUST100 09:30 - 16:00 03:00 - 16:00 EST
       
IBGB100 08:00 - 16:30 08:00 - 21:00 GMT
IBEU50 09:00 - 22:00 09:00 - 22:00 CET
IBDE30 09:00 - 22:00 09:00 - 22:00 CET
IBFR40 09:00 - 18:15 09:00 - 22:00 CET
IBES35 09:00 - 17:35 09:00 - 20:00 CET
IBNL25 09:00 - 17:30 09:00 - 22:00 CET
IBCH20 09:00 - 17:27 09:00 - 22:00 CET
       
IBJP225 09:00 - 15:00 09:00 - 15:00 JST
IBHK50 09:30 - 16:00 09:30 - 16:00 HKT
IBAU200 10:00 - 16:00 10:00 - 16:00 EDT

Trading requiring margin involves a high degree of risk and may result in a loss of funds greater than the amount you have deposited.

Dividend Adjustment: Based on ordinary dividends for the constituents of each index. Dividends are accrued on the ex-date and settled T + 2.

Corporate Action Adjustments: None for the CFD. Corporate actions are reflected in the index level

Worked Trade Example:

Opening the Position

You purchase 10 IBUS30 CFDs at $23,534.48 for USD 235,344.80, which you then hold for 5 days.

IBUS30 Index CFDs – New Position
Reference Underlying Price 23,465 - 23,466
CFDs Reference Price 23,533.48 - 23,534.48
Action Buy
Quantity 10
Trade Value USD 235,344.80
Margin (5%) AUD 15,393.00

 

Interest tier Charged (on AUD 235,344.80 over 5 days)
Flat Interest (USD Libor + 1.5%) USD 235,344.80 2.684% (USD 87.73)

Closing the Position

Exit CFD Position
  Profit Scenario Loss Scenario
Reference Underlying Price 23,627 - 23,628 23,303 - 23,304
CFDs Reference Price 23,693.34 - 23,694.34 23,369.34 - 23,370.34
Action Sell Sell
Quantity 10 10
Trade Value USD 236,933.40 USD 233,693.40
Trade P&L USD 1,588.60 (USD 1,651.40)
Financing (USD 87.73) (USD 87.73)
Entry Commission 0.005% (USD 11.77) (USD 11.77)
Exit Commission 0.005% (USD 11.85) (USD 11.68)
Total P&L USD 1,477.25 (USD 1,762.58)
Total P&L @ AUD.USD 0.76520 AUD 1,930.55 (AUD 2,303.43)

 

CFD Resources

Below are some useful links with more detailed information on IB’s CFD offering:

CFD Contract Specifications

CFD Product Listings

CFD Commissions

CFD Financing Rates

CFD Margin Requirements

CFD Corporate Actions

Frequently asked Questions

What Indices are available as CFDs?

The principal indices in the United States, Europe and Asia Pacific. Please see CFD Product Listings for more detail.

Do you have CFDs on commodities?

IB does not currently offer Commodity CFDs.

How do you determine your Index CFD quotes?

IB Index CFDs track the related future, adjusted for fair value. It is in effect a synthetic index level that is very close to the cash index, but may differ somewhat as explained below.

In the futures market fair value is the equilibrium price for a futures contract. It is the price at which an investor effectively pays the appropriate rate of interest, and is compensated for the dividends he forgoes by holding the future rather than the underlying shares.

The fair value is determined by adjusting the cash index as follows, taking into account the time remaining to expiry:

Cash Index Value + Interest - Dividends = Future at Fair Value

To determine the value of the IB Index CFD, we reverse the process:

Actual Futures Price - Interest + Dividends = IB Index CFD Value

The result is not necessarily the same value as the cash index. This is because the starting point is the actual price of the future, and the future may trade above or below its fair value.

Having established the level for the synthetic index, the actual CFD quotes show spreads and ticks that reflect those of the underlying future. IB charges a commission rather than widening the spread, enabling a transparent comparison between the returns of the Index CFD and the related future.

How do you determine margins for Index CFDs?

The margins are the same as for the related future, adjusted for size, including lower rates intraday. Please refer to CFD Margin Requirements for more detail.

Are short Index CFDs subject to forced buy-in?

No. As the reference instrument is a future, the index CFD is not affected by stock loan availability.

How do you handle dividends and corporate actions?

The index level itself is adjusted for corporate actions, and no direct adjustments to the CFD are necessary. Index CFDs are however adjusted for dividends as the underlying future is typically based on a price index. The only exception among the currently available IB Index CFDs is Germany 30 (IBDE30), which is based on a total return index.
For an overview please see CFD Corporate Actions.

What do I need to do to start trading CFDs with IB?

You need to set up trading permission for CFDs in Account Management, and agree to the relevant trading disclosures. The trading permission covers both Index and Share CFDs.

Are there any market data requirements?

The market data for IB Index CFDs is free, but you need to subscribe to it for system reasons. It is a global permission (like FX), so you only need to subscribe once. To do this, log into account management, and click through the following tabs: Trade/Configuration/Market Data Subscriptions. Alternatively you can set up an Index CFD in your TWS quote monitor and click the “Market Data Subscription Manager” button that appears on the quote line.

Can I transfer in CFD positions from another broker?

IB does not currently have a facility for transferring Index CFD positions. IB will be glad to facilitate the transfer of Share CFD positions. As the transfer of CFD positions is more complex than is the case for share positions, we generally require the position to be at least the equivalent of USD 100,000.

What account protections apply when trading CFDs with IBA?

CFDs are contracts with IBA as your counterparty, and are not traded on a regulated exchange and are not cleared on a central clearinghouse. Since IBA is the counterparty to your CFD trades, you are exposed to the financial and business risks, including credit risk, associated with dealing with IBA. IBA will handle the client money it receives in accordance
with the rules set out in Part 7.8 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Client Money Rules) and to the extent applicable the ASIC Market Integrity Rules (ASX market) 2010. Where required, IBA will pay such client money into a trust account. Please refer to the IBA CFD Product Disclosure Statement for further detail on risks associated with trading CFDs.

What are the maximum positions I can have in a specific Index CFD?

There is no pre-set limit for position size, but please be aware that trade-size restrictions apply to Index CFDs. Please see the table at the beginning of this document for more detail.

Can I trade CFDs over the phone?

No. In exceptional cases we may agree to process closing orders over the phone, but never opening orders.

 

Summary of Risks relating to Forex CFDs issued by Interactive Brokers Securities Japan, Inc.

Overview: 

This summary highlights the principal risks associated with trading Forex CFDs issued by IBSJ (“IB FXCFDs"). It is not a risk disclosure for regulatory purposes.

  • Trading of IB FXCFDs is not suitable for all investors, and you should not trade them unless you are an experienced investor with a high risk tolerance and the capability to sustain losses if they occur
  • The volatility of foreign exchange rates and interest rates may quickly cause significant losses. Forex CFDs employ leverage that further amplifies the volatility relative to your investment and you may lose more than you have invested. In addition, IB FXCFD roll over interest may turn from a credit to a debit due to changes in interest rates
  • You are required to maintain sufficient equity in your account at all times to cover IBSJs maintenance margin requirement. There are no grace-periods and IBSJ does not issue margin calls. Your equity is calculated in real time and should it become insufficient, IBSJ will immediately and automatically liquidate positions to bring your account into margin compliance. Real time liquidations aim to minimize the risk that your account equity becomes negative, but they cannot eliminate that risk. Should your equity become negative you are required to deposit additional funds to cover the deficit
  • The price IBSJ displays to you for IB FXCFDs is based on the prevailing foreign exchange market. However there is no guarantee for executions at that price. Slippage may occur for large trades or in fast moving markets and during heavily traded hours
  • Moreover, your ability to establish or close positions on a timely basis is not guaranteed. It may become difficult to display quotes during major holidays or during hours when foreign exchange trading is not active. IBSJ may display prices that deviate from a fair market due to system-malfunctions or failures, or erroneous quotes that IBSJ may receive from market participants or for other reasons (off-market prices). IBSJ will adjust or cancel trades executed with off-market prices
  • IB FXCFDs are over-the-counter trades between you and IBSJ. They are not traded on any exchange or cleared by any central counterparty. You are therefore exposed to counterparty risk and should IBSJ become insolvent you may not be able to fully recoup your investment, or at all

Please contact IBSJs Client Service Department should you have questions about the content of this summary and read the full risk disclosure carefully before commencing trading. The risk disclosure is available in Account Management when you request IB FXCFD trading permissions, and on IBSJs web site.

IB Forex CFDs - Facts and Q&A

Overview: 
The following article is intended to provide a general introduction to forex-based Contracts for Differences (CFDs) issued by IB UK.
IB Forex CFDs are available for the same 85 tradable currency pairs IB offers as Spot FX, with identical low commissions and margin rates. By contrast, Forex CFDs feature a contract-style highly competitive financing model detailed below.
 
For information on IB Share CFDs click here. For Index CFDs click here.

Risk Warning
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.

65% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with IBKR (UK).

You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

ESMA Rules for CFDs (Retail Clients only)

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has enacted new CFD rules effective 1st August 2018.

The rules include: 1) leverage limits on the opening of a CFD position; 2) a margin close out rule on a per account basis; and 3) negative balance protection on a per account basis.The ESMA Decision is only applicable to retail clients.

Professional clients are unaffected.

Please refer to ESMA CFD Rules Implementation at IBKR for more detail.

 

IBKR Forex CFD Features

Transparent DMA Quotes: IB ensures tight spreads and substantial liquidity as a result of combining quotation streams from 14 of the world's largest foreign exchange dealers which constitute more than 70% of market share in the global interbank market*. This results in displayed quotes as small as 0.1 PIP. IB does not mark up the quotes, rather passes through the prices that it receives and charges a separate low commission.

*Source: Euromoney FX survey FX Poll 2016.

Carry Interest: Forex CFDs are rolled over reflecting the benchmark interest rate differential of the relevant currency pair. This is in principle similar to the TOM Next rolls used by other brokers, but offers greater stability as benchmark rates generally are less volatile than swap rates. In addition IB applies a low financing spread that for major pairs starts at just 1.0% and can be as low as 0.5% for large balances. More volatile pairs have higher financing spreads.
 
The carry interest for IB Forex CFDs is based on a currency-pair specific benchmark and a spread. The benchmark is the difference between the IB benchmark rates for the two currencies. It is calculated as + BM Base currency – BM Quote currency.

For example, April 21, 2016 the GBP benchmark rate was 0.483%, the USD rate was 0.37%. The applicable benchmark rate is:

GBP.USD BM +0.48% - 0.37% = +0.113%

The applicable customer rate is Pair BM – IB spread for long positions, BM + spread for short positions:

GBP.USD Long Rate +0.113% - 1.00% = -0.887%

GBP.USD Short Rate +0.113% + 1.00% = +1.113%

It is important to note that the long rate is applied as a credit, the short rate as a debit. Consequently for a long position a positive rate means a credit, a negative rate a charge. However for short positions a positive rate means a charge, a negative rate a credit.

Interest is calculated on the contract value expressed in the quote currency, and credited or debited in that currency. For example:

For example:

Daily Interest
  Position GBP.USD Close USD Value Rate USD
GBP.USD -20,000 1.43232 -28,646.40 1.113% -0.89

Interest on Forex CFD balances is calculated on a stand-alone contract basis, and not combined or netted with other currency exposures, including Spot FX. Although IB does not directly reference swap rates, IB reserves the right to apply higher spreads in exceptional market conditions, such as during spikes in swap rates that can occur around fiscal year-ends.

Detailed interest schedules can be viewed here.
 
Trading: IB Forex CFDs are traded exactly like Spot FX, with the same over 20 available order types and algos. IB Forex CFDs can be traded either in classical TWS or in the IB FX Trader. To find the contract you want to trade in classical TWS or FX Trader, enter the currency pair (i.e. EUR.USD) and choose Sec Tyoe CFD in the Contract Selection pop-up.
 
Margin: IB Forex CFD margins are determined for each currency pair on a per contract basis without
regard to other Forex balances held in the account, including Spot FX. Margins start as low as 2.5% of contract value for major currency pairs. Details for all currency pairs can be found here. Retail clients are subject to minimum regulatory initial margins of 3.33% or 5% depending on the currency pair. Please see ESMA CFD Rules Implementation at IBKR for additional detail.
 
Commissions: IB passes through the prices that it receives and charges a separate low commission.
We do this in the interest of providing a transparent pricing structure instead of marking up our quotes and charging nothing in commissions as is the practice with many forex brokers. Commissions are tiered based on monthly traded value, and range from 0.20 basis points to 0.08 basis points. Both Forex CFD and spot FX volumes count toward the tiers.
Details are found here.
 
Trading Permissions: In order to trade Forex CFDs, you must set up the trading permission for Forex CFDs in Account Management. The suitability criteria are the same as those for Leverage FX.  Note that Forex CFDs, like other CFDs, are carried by IB UK, and therefore if you have an IB LLC account you will be prompted to open an IB UK segment. The IB UK segment will have your current account number followed by the suffix F. 
 

Trading Example (Professional Clients)

Opening the position

You purchase 10 lots (200000) EUR.CHF CFDs at $1.16195 for CHF 232,390, which you then hold for 5 days.

EUR.CHF Forex CFDs – New Position
Reference Underlying Price 1.16188 - 1.16195
CFDs Reference Price 1.16188 - 1.16195
Action Buy
Quantity 200,000
Trade Value CHF 232,390.00
Margin (3% x 232,390) AUD 9,100

 

Interest Charged (on CHF 232,390 over 5 days)
Tier I (Pair BM 0.42% - IB Spread 1%) CHF 232,390.00 -0.58% (CHF 18.72)

Closing the position

Exit CFD Position
  Profit Scenario Loss Scenario
Reference Underlying Price 1.16840 - 1.16848 1.15539 - 1.15546
CFDs Reference Price 1.16840 - 1.16848 1.15539 - 1.15546
Action Sell Sell
Quantity 200,000 200,000
Trade Value CHF 233,680.00 CHF 231,078.00
Trade P&L CHF 1,290.00 (CHF 1,312.00)
Financing (CHF 18.72) (CHF 18.72)
Entry Commission 0.002% (CHF 4.65) (CHF 4.65)
Entry Commission 0.002% (CHF 4.67) (CHF 4.62)
Total P&L CHF 1,261.96 (CHF 1,339.99)

CFD Resources

Below are some useful links with more detailed information on IB’s CFD offering:

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can anyone trade IB Forex CFDs?

All clients can trade IB CFDs, except residents of the USA, Canada, and Hong Kong. There are no exemptions based on investor type to the residency-based exclusions.

 

What is the difference between IB Forex CFDs and IB Cash Forex?

IB Cash Forex is a leveraged cash trade where you take delivery of the two currencies making up the pair. Your Forex-trading related balances are combined with your other balances arising out of your other trading activity, and you pay or receive interest on these consolidated balances based on the benchmark rate for each currency.

By contrast IB Forex CFDs are a contract which provides exposure but does not deliver the underlying currencies, and you pay or receive interest on the notional value of the contract. The benchmark rate for the contract is the difference between the benchmark rates for the two underlying currencies. This is in principle similar to the TOM Next rolls used by other brokers, but offers greater stability as benchmark rates generally are less volatile than swap rates.

Please see the Carry Interest section above for a detailed example.

 

Are there any market data requirements?

The market data for IB Forex CFDs is the same as for Leverage FX. It is a global permission and free of charge.

 

How are my CFD trades and positions reflected in my statements?

If you hold an account carried by IB LLC your CFD positions are held in a separate account segment identified by your primary account number with the suffix “F”. You can choose to view Activity Statements for the F-segment either separately or consolidated with your main account. You can make the choice in the statement window in Account Management.

 

Can I trade Forex CFDs with the same order types and algos as Spot FX, and can I trade them in the FX Trader?

Yes, the trading experience is identical.

 

Notice to Financial and Non-Financial Counterparties trading OTC products (e.g. CFDs) not cleared by Central Counterparties

European regulators, as part of EMIR, issued technical rules concerning Risk Mitigation Techniques for derivatives not cleared by a Central Counterparty (“CCP”), which detail how the regulators expect these products to be margined from 1st March 2017. In general customers trading products subject to these rules are required to exchange variation margin.

Interactive Brokers (U.K.) Ltd. (“IBUK”) provides Contracts for Difference (‘CFDs’) that fall under these rules, and is your counter party to these trades. IBUK wishes to inform you how IBUK provides information regarding variation margin and reconciliation arrangements. This does not represent a material change from our current practice.

Variation Margin – Applicable where you are classified as FC or NFC+

All financial counterparties (‘FC’) and larger non financial counterparties (‘NFC+’) are subject to the EMIR variation margin rules for OTC derivatives. Whether larger non financial counterparties are subject to the rules is determined by reference to whether their 30-day rolling average of the gross notional OTC derivative positions entered into for non-hedging purposes are above specified clearing thresholds (eg EUR1bn for equity derivatives). IBUK ensures variation margin is exchanged with its counterparties with respect to OTC derivative transactions not centrally cleared by CCP.

IBUK provides customers with timely confirmations of trades each day via two secure platforms: by displaying them on our Trader Work Station (“TWS”) and via the Trade Confirmations and Daily Activity Statements in Account Management. The marked-to-market value of your OTC derivative contracts are shown in your Daily Activity statement.

The variation margin rule requires that variation margin is calculated on a daily basis based on the values of all the outstanding derivatives contracts under the IBUK Client Agreement for Products Carried by IBUK (the “Agreement”) on the previous business day.

Where this marked-to-market value of your transactions reflects a credit exposure for IBUK, IBUK collects variation margin equal to the positive mark-to-market value of its OTC derivatives. The variation margin collection is achieved through reduction in the net equity value available, an offset and/or liquidation of positions in the posting account. You may refer to the supplemental information about margin and the Agreement on the IB UK website for further details. Where the marked-to-market value reflects a credit to you, IBUK will reflect this via an increase in your net
equity.

Whilst the variation margin rule requires that variation margin is calculated on a daily basis, IBUK further expects that clients monitor their accounts continuously, including intraday, so that at all times the account contains sufficient equity to meet margin requirement as calculated by IBUK.

Reconciliation

Activity Statements are provided on a daily, monthly and annual basis. Customers can download this information using a "flex query" tool (which is available in our "account management system) in CSV type format.

You may reconcile the OTC positions detailed on these Trade Confirmations and Activity Statements account against your own records. The regulations state that you should reconcile your positions, contract information, valuation(s) and profits and losses and any related information.

If you note any discrepancies, you can contact IBUK customer service. Contact information for Interactive Brokers customer service is available on the IB website at:
https://www.interactivebrokers.com/en/?f=customerService.

The process for resolving any dispute is discussed in your client agreement with us.

Please note that the rules also require customers of firms that carry portfolios on a gross basis to carry out portfolio compression with the firm but this is not relevant as IBUK maintains your OTC positions on a net basis.

The rules also detail how often particular types of customers need to conduct these
reconciliations:

If you are an FC or a an NFC+ the rules require you to conduct portfolio reconciliations at the following frequencies:
• Daily, whenever you have 500 or more open OTC contracts;
• Weekly, if you have between 51 and 499 OTC contracts open at any time during the week;
• Quarterly, if you have 50 or fewer contracts open at any time during the quarter.
 

If you are a non-financial counter party not meeting the criteria to be an NFC+ (ie “NFC-“) you are required under the rules to carry out portfolio reconciliations at least:
• Quarterly, if you have more than 100 open OTC contracts open at any time in the quarter;
• Annually, if you have 100 or fewer open contracts at any time in the year.

Please note that this communication is not intended to serve as legal advice.

Interactive Brokers (U.K.) Limited

 

Syndicate content