NOTIFICATION ON THE OPT-IN/OPT-OUT OPTION FOR ACCREDITED INVESTORS

Background: 

 The regulatory requirements for the Accredited Investor (“AI”) are intended to enhance investor protection.  The current AI regime involves an opt-in/opt-out process. Do familiarise yourself with the treatment of an AI and if you are in doubt, you should consult a professional adviser if you do not understand any consequence of being as an AI.

 Accredited Investor Status

Based on the information you provided,  you have been assessed by us to be an AI (please see Schedule 1 for more information) and we intend to treat you as an AI (please see Schedule 2 for more information) provided you agree to opt-in to indicate your consent to be treated as an AI.  You will not be treated as an AI, if you choose not to opt-in.

Opting-In

If you would like us to serve you as an AI, you will be required to provide your consent to opt-in by ticking the Opt-In Confirmation box.  Your signature on the account opening documents will constitute your consent to opting in once you ticked this Opt-In Confirmation box.  Your “AI” status will apply to all your accounts with us, including joint accounts (unless any of your joint account holders choose not to opt-in in the case of your joint accounts). For corporate accounts, the corporate representative is responsible for checking the Opt-In Confirmation box if the intention is for the corporate account to be treated as an AI.

Opting-Out

After you have opted-in,  you may at any time notify us that you do not consent to being treated as an AI.  After 14 days of our receipt of your notice, we will discontinue treating you as an AI when you opt-out.

If you would like to opt-out of your “AI” status at the time of account opening, you will then need to tick the accompanying Opt-Out Confirmation box. Your signature on the account opening forms will indicate your consent to op out once you ticked this Opt-Out Confirmation box.  We will notify you once your investor status has been updated in our records.  Until such time, we will continue to treat you as an AI.  When you opt-out, you will be served as a Non-AI which means we will no longer be able to offer you certain products and services that are offered only to AI customers. You will also be required to sign certain risk disclosure statements and/or have product restrictions placed on your trading.  If you wish to subsequently opt-out after account opening, please contact our Customer Service Center.

 

Other Holders Not Opting in (Joint Account(s))

For a joint account to be opened with us with the intention of being served under the AI status, all account holders of the relevant Joint Account are required to provide their opt-in consent.

Should any one of the account holders of a Joint Account with AI status opt out, the Joint Account will be affected and we would no longer be able to offer you certain products and services that are only offered to AI customers via that Joint Account.  We can only continue to provide non-AI services for dealing through that Joint Account.  For the avoidance of doubt, this will not affect the status of accounts other than the relevant Joint Accounts(s). If you wish to subsequently opt-out after the joint account opening, please contact our Customer Service Center.

 

Corporations Not Opting in (Joint Account(s))

Should the Corporate Account not want to be treated as an AI, it can choose to opt out at the time of account opening. The corporate representative is responsible for ticking the Opt-Out Confirmation box if the intention is for the corporate account to be treated as an AI.

Should any one of the AI shareholders of a Corporate Account with AI status opt out, the Corporate Account will be affected and we would no longer be able to offer you certain products and services that are only offered to AI customers via that Corporate  Account.  We can only continue to provide non-AI services for dealing through that Corporate  Account.  For the avoidance of doubt, this will not affect the status of accounts other than the relevant Corporate Accounts(s). If you wish to subsequently opt-out after the corporate account opening, please contact our Customer Service Center.

 

SCHEDULE 1 – ACCREDITED INVESTOR AS DEFINED IN SECTION 4A(1)(a)(i) OF THE SFA

“Accredited investor” means 

An individual

(a)  those net personal assets exceed in value $2 million (or its equivalent in a foreign currency) or such other amount as the Authority may prescribe in place of the first amount;

(b)  whose financial assets (net of any related liabilities) exceed in value $1 million (or its equivalent in a foreign currency) or such other amount as the Authority may prescribe in place of the first amount, where “financial asset” means —

(i)               a deposit as defined in section 4B of the Banking Act;

(ii)             an investment product as defined in section 2(1) of the Financial Advisers Act; or

(iii)            any other asset as may be prescribed by regulations made under section 341of the SFA; or

(c)  whose income in the preceding 12 months is not less than $300,000 (or its equivalent in a foreign currency)

 

In determining the value of an individual’s net personal assets for the purposes of subsection (1)(a)(i)(A), the value of the individual’s primary residence —

 

(a)   is to be calculated by deducting any outstanding amounts in respect of any credit facility that is secured by the residence from the estimated fair market value of the residence; and

(b)   is taken to be the lower of the following:

(i)               the value calculated under paragraph (a);

(ii)             $1 million.

 

A corporation 

(a) its net assets exceed S$10,000,000 (or its equivalent in a foreign currency) as determined by

(i) its most recent audited balance-sheet or

(ii) its balance-sheet certified by the Corporation as giving a true and fair view of its state of affairs as of the date of the balance-sheet (which date is within the twelve (12) months preceding the date of submitting this form); or

(b) its entire share capital is owned by one or more persons, all of whom are accredited investors as defined in section 4A of the SFA.

 

SCHEDULE 2 – EXPLANATION OF EFFECT OF BEING TREATED AS AN ACCREDITED INVESTOR UNDER THE CONSENT PROVISIONS

 

General Warning : Accredited investors are assumed to be better informed, and better able to access resources to protect their own interests.  Because accredited investors are considered to be more financially savvy, it is inferred they therefore require less regulatory protection.  Investors who agree to be treated as accredited investors accordingly forgo the benefit of certain requlatory safeguards.  However, it has been observed that using factors of net worth and/or net income to determine who is an accredited investor, is not necessarily a reflection of how financially savvy an investor can be. Investors should consult a professional adviser is they do not understand any consequence of being treated as an accredited investor. 

The following sets out a summary of the effects under the consent provisions of you being treated by us as an accredited investor.  Where we deal with you as an accredited investor, we would be exempt from complying with requirements under the Securities and Futures Act, Chapter 289 of Singapore (the “SFA”) and certain requlations and notices issued thereunder. 

Please note that the regulatory requirements that we are exempted when dealing with you as an accredited investor are subject to regulatory changes and may be updated from time to time.  Currently, the relevant consent provisions come under the Securities and Futures (Licensing and Conduct of Business) Regulations.

Under the SFA and the regulations and notices issued thereunder:

1.    Compensation from fidelity fund under Section 186(1) the SFA.  Section 186(1) of the SFA provides for a fidelity fund to be held and applied for the purposes of compensating persons who suffer pecuniary loss because of certain defaults.  You would not be entitled to be compensated from the fidelity fund, even if you have suffered pecuniary loss in the manner contemplated under Section 186(1) of the SFA.

 

2.    Prospectus Exemptions under Section 275 and 305 of the SFA.  Sections 275 and 305 of the SFA exempt the offeror from registering a prospectus when the offer of securities and securities-based derivatives contracts, and units of collective investment schemes is made to relevant persons (including accredited investors).  In addition, secondary sales made to institutional investors and relevant persons remain exempt from the prospectus registration requirement provided that certain requirements are met. You can be offered certain products that cannot be offered to retail investors.  The issuer and/or offeror is not subject to the statutory prospectus liability under the SFA.  Subsequent sales of securities, securities-based derivative contracts and collective investment schemes first sold under inter alia Section 275 and 305 can also be made to you, as well as transfers of securities of certain corporations and interests in certain trusts.

3.    Restrictions on Advertisements under Section 251 and 300 of the SFA.  Section 251 and 300 of the SFA prohibit any advertisement or publication referring to an offer or intended offer of securities and securities-based derivatives contracts, and unit of collective investment schemes from being made.

 

4.    Part III of the Securities and Futures (Licensing and Conduct of Business) Regulations (“SFR”). Part III of the SFR stipulates the requirements imposed on us in relation to the treatment of customers’ assets.  We are exempt from treating your as a “retail investor” in relation to certain requirements pertaining to the treatment of a retail customer’s assets, as summarised below.

 

-        Customer Assets (Regulation 26(1)(a))

For retail investors, we deposit customer assets into a custody account maintained in accordance with Regulation 27 of the SFR (requires the custody account to be maintained with certain specified institutions only); or  into an account directed by the retail customer to which the retail customer has legal and beneficial title and maintained with, inter alia , licensed banks, merchant banks or finance companies or banks established and regulated as banks outside Singapore. For an accreditor investor, we deposit customer assets into a custody account maintained in accordance with Regulation 27 of the SFR (requires the custody account to be maintained with certain specified institutions only); or into an account directed by the accredited investor.

 

-        Disclosure requirement (Regulation27A)

For retail customers, we make certain disclosures (such as whether the assets will be commingled with other customers and the risks of commingling, consequences if the institution which maintains the custody account becomes insolvent) in writing prior to depositing assets in custody account. There is no such requirement for accredited investors.

 

-        Mortgage if customer’s assets – the bank may mortgage, charge, pledge or hypothecate customer’s assets for a sum not exceeding the amount owed by the customer to the bank (Regulation 34(2))

Prior to doing so, the bank must inform the retail customer of this right and explain the risks and obtain written consent of the retail customer. There is no equivalent requirement on an accredited investor.

 

-        Prohibition on transferring title of assets received from customer to the bank or any other person (Regulation34A)

The above prohibition applies to retail customers unless the assets are transferred in connection with borrowing or lending of specified products in accordance with Regulation 45 of the SFR.  There is no such requirement for accredited investors.

-        Withdrawals from custody account to transfer the asset to any other person or account in accordance with the written direction of the customer (Regulation 35(2))

For the retail customers, we are not permitted to transfer retail customer’s assets, to meet any of our obligations in relation to any transaction entered into by us  for our benefit. There is no such requirement for accredited investors.

 

5.    Regulation 47BA of the SFR.  Regulation 47BA of the SFR provides that a bank must not deal with a retail customer as an agent when dealing in certain markets products.  We ae not subject to this prohibition if you are an accredited investor and may deal with you as an agent in relation to over-the-counter derivatives contracts and/or spot foreign exchange contracts, for the purposes of leveraged foreign exchange trading.

 

6.    Regulation 47E of the SFR.  We are not under any obligation under Regulation 47E(1) and (2) of the SFR to provide for certain risk disclosure requirements for (a) trading in futures contracts, spot FX contracts for the purposes of leveraged FX trading and FX OTC derivatives (the “Products”), (b) soliciting or entering into fund management agreements to manage Products for you.

 

7.    Section 99H(1)(s) of the SFA read with Regulations 3A(5)(c), (d), (e) and (7) of the SFR. If we appoint a provisional representative or temporary representative in respect of any SFA regulated activity, we would undertake certain responsibilities in relation to the representative’s interactions with any client or member of the public.  We are not under any statutory obligation to restrict the interaction with you that may be undertaken by such representatives.

 

8.    Regulation 33 of the SFR.  We are not under any statutory obligation under Regulation 33(2)(a) of the SFR to explain the risks involved to you prior to us lending or arranging for a custodian to lend your specified products.

 

9.    Regulation 40 of the SFR.  Provided: (a) we have made available to you (on a real-time basis) with your consent monthly and quarterly statements of account containing prescribed particulars electronically or (b) you have requested in writing not to receive the statement of account, we are not under any statutory obligation under Regulation 40(1) of the SRG to furnish a monthly or quarterly statement of account to you.

 

10. Regulation 45 of the SFR.  We are not under any statutory obligation to provide collateral to you under Regulation 45 of the SFR when we borrow specified products from you.  Where we provide assets to you as collateral for the borrowing, unlike for retail investors, the agreement does not have to include the requirement to mark-to-market on every business day the specified products that are borrowed nor the minimum collateral comprising specified products nor procedures for calculating the margins.

 

11. Regulation 47DA of the SFR.  We are not required to provide certain general risk disclosures or disclose to you the capacity in which we act when opening a trading account for entering into transactions of any products that are not future contracts, spot FX contracts and FX OTC derivatives.

 

12. MAS Notice on the Sale of Investment Products [Notice No SFA 04-N12]. This MAS Notice sets out requirements which apply to a licensed person who deals in investment products to its clients. We are statutorily not required to conduct a Customer Knowledge Assessment or Customer Account Review to determine your investment experience and knowledge nor are we required to comply with certain procedures, including furnishing certain risk warnings on overseas-listed investment products.

 

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RECEIPT OF THIS NOTIFICATION ON THE OPT-IN/OPT-OUT OPTION FOR ACCREDITED INVESTORS

Your signature on the account opening forms will indicate your acknowledgement that you have read this NOTIFICATION ON THE OPT-IN/OPT-OUT OPTION FOR ACCREDITED INVESTORS and understand its contents.

 

 

SPECIFIC CLASSES OF NON-RETAIL INVESTORS UNDER THE SINGAPORE SECURITIES AND FUTURES ACT

Overview: 

Clients of IBKR Singapore have to select one of the following Investor Categories under the definition of the Singapore Securities & Futures Act during the account application:

  • Retail
  • Accredited
  • Expert
  • Institutional
Background: 

 Table of contents

  • Accredited Investors definition
  • Expert Investors definition
  • Institutional Investors definition

 Accredited Investors definition

Individuals

i. Net personal assets exceed S$2,000,000 (or its equivalent in a foreign currency) in value, of which no more than S$1,000,000 (or its equivalent in a foreign currency) in value is contributed by the net estimated fair market value of his/her primary residence.

ii. Financial assets (net of any related liabilities) exceed S$1,000,000 in value (or its equivalent in a foreign currency).

iii. Income in the preceding twelve (12) months is not less than S$300,000 (or its equivalent in a foreign currency).

Corporate

i. Net assets exceed S$10,000,000 (or its equivalent in a foreign currency) as determined by (a) its most recent audited balance-sheet or (b) where the Applicant is not required to prepare audited accounts regularly, its balance-sheet certified by the Applicant as giving a true and fair view of its state of affairs as of the date of the balance-sheet (which date is within the twelve (12) months preceding the date of account opening).

ii. Entire share capital is owned by one or more persons, all of whom are accredited investors as defined in section 4A of the Securities and Futures Act.

Please note that being treated as an accredited investor means, among other things, that the Client will be deemed to have more knowledge and the ability to understand and manage the risks of the financial products that he/she chooses to invest in. This means that Interactive Brokers Singapore is allowed to assume that the Client has a certain level of understanding of financial products, including collective investment schemes. In addition, when the Client holds certain financial instruments or participates in certain activities, it will be afforded fewer statutory protections and remedies than retail investors.

For more information on the effects on being treated as an Accredited Investors, please click here.

 

Expert Investors definition

i. a person whose business involves the acquisition and disposal, or the holding, of capital markets products, whether as principal or agent;

ii. the trustee of such trust as the MAS may prescribe, when acting in that capacity; or

iii. such other person as the MAS may prescribe.

 

Institutional Investors definition

i. the Government of Singapore;

ii. a statutory board as may be prescribed by regulations made under Section 341 of the Securities and Futures Act;

iii. an entity that is wholly and beneficially owned, whether directly or indirectly, by a central government of a country and whose principal activity is —

(A) to manage its own funds;

(B) to manage the funds of the central government of that country (which may include the reserves of that central government and any pension or provident fund of that country); or

(C) to manage the funds (which may include the reserves of that central government and any pension or provident fund of that country) of another entity that is wholly and beneficially owned, whether directly or indirectly, by the central government of that country;

iv. any entity —

(A) that is wholly and beneficially owned, whether directly or indirectly, by the central government of a country; and

(B) whose funds are managed by an entity that is wholly and beneficially owned, whether directly or indirectly, by a central government of a country and whose principal activity is —

  1. to manage its own funds;
  2. to manage the funds of the central government of that country (which may include the reserves of that central government and any pension or provident fund of that country); or
  3. to manage the funds (which may include the reserves of that central government and any pension or provident fund of that country) of another entity that is wholly and beneficially owned, whether directly or indirectly, by the central government of that country;

v. a central bank in a jurisdiction other than Singapore;

vi. a central government in a country other than Singapore;

vii. an agency (of a central government in a country other than Singapore) that is incorporated or established in a country other than Singapore;

viii. a multilateral agency, international organisation or supranational agency as may be prescribed by regulations made under Section 341;

ix. a bank that is licensed under the Banking Act (Cap. 19);

x. a merchant bank that is approved as a financial institution under Section 28 of the Monetary Authority of Singapore Act (Cap. 186);

xi. a finance company that is licensed under the Finance Companies Act (Cap. 108);

xii. a company or co-operative society that is licensed under the Insurance Act (Cap. 142) to carry on insurance business in Singapore;

xiii. a company licensed under the Trust Companies Act (Cap. 336);

xiv. a holder of a capital markets services licence;

xvi. an approved exchange;

xvii. a recognised market operator;

xviii. an approved clearing house;

xix. a recognised clearing house;

xx. a licensed trade repository;

xxi. a licensed foreign trade repository;

xxii. an approved holding company;

xxiii. a Depository as defined in Section 81SF of the Securities and Futures Act;

xxiv. an entity or a trust formed or incorporated in a jurisdiction other than Singapore, which is regulated for the carrying on of any financial activity in that jurisdiction by a public authority of that jurisdiction that exercises a function that corresponds to a regulatory function of the Monetary Authority of Singapore under this Act, the Banking Act (Cap. 19), the Finance Companies Act (Cap. 108), the Monetary Authority of Singapore Act (Cap. 186), the Insurance Act (Cap. 142), the Trust Companies Act (Cap. 336) or such other Act as may be prescribed by regulations made under Section 341 of the Securities and Futures Act;

xxv. a pension fund, or collective investment scheme, whether constituted in Singapore or elsewhere;

xxvi. a person (other than an individual) who carries on the business of dealing in bonds with accredited investors or expert investors;

xxvii. the trustee of such trust as the Monetary Authority of Singapore may prescribe, when acting in that capacity; or

xxviii. such other person as the Monetary Authority of Singapore may prescribe.

China Connect – Restriction on Mainland Investors from Northbound Trading

Overview: 

The Hong Kong Exchange (“HKEX”) issued a circular on the banning of Mainland investors from Northbound trading, effective on 25 July 2022. Clients who trade China Connect Securities through Interactive Brokers are required to comply with these requirements.

I. Which clients are classified as Mainland investors?

  (a) Individuals that possess Mainland ID documents; or
  (b) Holders of a joint account if one of the holders is considered as Mainland investor under (a); or
  (c) Corporate or unincorporated entities which are registered in the Mainland.


II. Which circumstances are exempt from the classification?

The following investors will NOT be considered as “Mainland Investors” and may continue to buy and sell China Connect Securities with Interactive Brokers.

  (a) Individual client who holds:

       i. A Hong Kong or Macao permanent ID; or
      ii. An One-way Permit for Proceeding to Hong Kong and Macao; or
     iii. An identity document as proof of permanent residence in a country or region outside Mainland China.

  (b) A branch or subsidiary which is lawfully registered in Hong Kong or overseas.


III. How are Existing Accounts with BCANs Handled?

Effective Date Notice
From 25 July 2022 to 23 July 2023 Existing accounts who are Mainland investors with registered BCANs can still buy and sell China Connect Securities.
From 24 July 2023 Existing accounts who are Mainland investors can only sell any China Connect Securities.


IV. Reference

The above information is provided for convenience.  For more detailed information, please refer to HKEX’s circular on the banning of Mainland investors from Northbound trading:  https://www.hkex.com.hk/-/media/HKEX-Market/Services/Circulars-and-Notices/Participant-and-Members-Circulars/SEHK/2022/CT08822E.pdf

 

FAQs for Ukraine/Russia Securities

Overview: 

These FAQs summarize key information related to the Ukraine/Russia securities. This page will be updated to reflect additional sanction-related restrictions or other developments. Last update: August 25, 2022.

 

A.        Customers Who Have Positions in Russian Securities

B.        Russian American Depositary Receipts (ADRs)/Global Depositary Receipts (GDRs)

C.        Customers Who Bank Through Sanctioned Banks

D.        Restrictions Affecting Russian or Belarusian Nationals, Citizens, and/or Residents

E.        Customers from the Luhansk and Donetsk Regions

 

 

 

A.  Customers Who Have Positions in Russian Securities

The U.S. and other governments have specifically sanctioned certain Russian companies that issue securities, meaning these securities cannot be traded or transferred.  In addition, the U.S. has prohibited the purchase of new and existing debt and equity securities issued by all Russian companies.  As a result, trading in all Russian securities has been either fully or partially restricted. 

1.       What Russian securities have been restricted?

Certain Russian securities have been added to OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals (“SDN”) List and are fully restricted.  You currently cannot trade or transfer your positions in any SDN Russian security unless authorized by OFAC.  These issuers are listed, or were previously listed, on the Moscow Stock Exchange, the London Stock Exchange, the Stuttgart Stock Exchange, GETTEX, and OTC Markets Pink.

In addition, the EU, U.K., and Canadian governments have imposed asset freezes on certain Russian issuers that are not SDNs.  Depending on your geographical location, citizenship, or principal place of business, you may not be able to trade or transfer your positions in these non-SDN issuers.

As of June 6, 2022, you cannot open new positions (long or short) in any Russian security. However, you may sell or hold your positions in Russian securities that have not been specifically sanctioned. 

Russian Securities That Have Been Specifically Sanctioned

1.     If I hold specifically sanctioned Russian securities, can I access my account?

Yes, you will have full access to your IBKR account.  However, you will not be able to trade or transfer any positions in any specifically sanctioned security unless authorized by the relevant  governmental agency (OFAC for the SDNs or the equivalent governmental agency for non-U.S. sanctions).

2.     Can I trade or transfer my positions in specifically sanctioned Russian securities to another broker?

No.  Positions in specifically sanctioned Russian securities are frozen unless subject to a wind-down period. You are not able to trade or transfer such positions until the sanctions are lifted or you receive a specific license from OFAC.

For IB Canada, Canadian Citizens, and Any Person Located in Canada:

3.     What additional sanctions apply to Canadians and Persons in Canada?

Canada imposed its own sanctions on certain Russian issuers, on top of those issued by the U.S., U.K., and EU.  IB Canada customers, Canadian citizens, and any person located in Canada are fully restricted from trading or transferring positions in Russian issuers sanctioned by Canada.  These are listed or were previously listed on the Moscow Stock Exchange, the Vienna Stock Exchange, the Stuttgart Stock Exchange, and the Nasdaq Stock Market.

For IBUK, Citizens of the U.K. (including U.K Territory), and Any Person Located in the U.K. or a U.K. Territory:

4.     What additional sanctions apply to U.K. Persons?

The U.K. imposed its own sanctions on certain Russian issuers, on top of those issued by the U.S., Canada, and EU.  IBUK customers, U.K. (including U.K. Territory) citizens, and any person located in the U.K. or a U.K. Territory are fully restricted from trading or transferring positions in Russian issuers sanctioned by the U.K. 

Russian Securities Not Specifically Sanctioned

1.       What are the restrictions on Russian securities that are not specifically sanctioned?

The U.S. sanctions prohibit U.S. financial institutions from facilitating the purchase of securities of any Russian company.  This means that you cannot open new positions in Russian securities, including their derivatives. 

2.       Do I have to sell my positions in Russian issuers that are not specifically sanctioned?

No.  You may hold your existing positions in Russian securities that are not specifically sanctioned, or sell your positions, as you choose. Please keep in mind that your ability to close positions may be limited by exchange or local rules. For example, current restrictions by the Central Bank of Russia prevent IBKR clients from making any trades (opening or closing) on the Moscow Stock Exchange. 

3.       Is there a deadline for selling Russian securities that are not specifically sanctioned?

No, there is no wind-down period to sell these positions. You may sell your positions in Russian securities that are not specifically sanctioned at any time so long as the markets are open for trading.

4.       Can I continue to purchase Russian securities or sovereign debt in the secondary market?

No, the prohibitions apply to any debt or equity security issued by a Russian entity, including sovereign debt.  You can sell your Russian securities or debt positions that are not specifically sanctioned, or hold them, but you cannot make new purchases. 

5.       Can I convert my ADRs and GDRs in Russian securities that are not specifically sanctioned?

At this time, IBKR is not supporting conversions of your  ADRs or GDRs into RUB-based securities that deliver to your IBKR account.  We may, on a best-efforts basis, facilitate conversions in which the underlying shares are delivered to your account at another financial institution.  We discuss ADRs and GDRs in more detail below.

6.       Can I transfer my position in Russian securities that are not specifically sanctioned?

Yes, you can transfer these positions to another brokerage account in your name, assuming the receiving broker will accept the positions.

 

B.  Russian ADRs/GDRs

A new federal law in Russia prohibits Russian issuers from having their shares traded outside Russia via American Depositary Receipts (ADR) or Global Depositary Receipts (GDR). In addition, some Russian ADRs/GDRs are subject to U.S. sanctions.

1.       Which Russian ADRs and GDRs have been specifically sanctioned by the U.S.?

Here is a list of the U.S. sanctioned Russian ADRs/GDRs on the IBKR platform:

ISIN

ISSUER_NAME

PRIMARY EXCHANGE / OTC

TYPE

US80585Y3080

Sberbank of Russia PJSC

OTC (PINK)

ADR

US80585Y3080

Sberbank of Russia PJSC

Börse Stuttgart

ADR

US80585Y3080

Sberbank of Russia PJSC

London Stock Exchange

ADR

US46630Q2021

VTB Bank PJSC

London Stock Exchange

GDR

US46630Q2021

VTB Bank PJSC

GETTEX

GDR

US5591892048

Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works PJSC

London Stock Exchange

GDR

2.       Is there a time frame to submit a request to convert/cancel my Russian ADR/GDR?

Currently, IBKR may allow the transfer of Russian ADRs/GDRs that are not specifically sanctioned to your account at another financial institution but will not accept a request to convert/cancel. 

3.  If I hold a Russian ADR/GDR, do I have to do anything?

No.  If you hold a Russian ADR/GDR there is no requirement for you to convert/cancel the impacted depositary receipts.

4.     What happens if the issuer cancels the depositary receipt?

If the issuer cancels the depositary receipt, then they are typically required to return the underlying shares to you or the cash value of the shares.  IBKR has no role in the cancellation process and therefore cannot predict the actions taken by the issuer.  

5.       Client Initiated Sponsor Conversions for Delivery to a Russian Bank

Certain Russian banks have agreed to open accounts for non-residents of the Russian Federation to receive the ordinary shares resulting from a Depositary Receipt (“DR”) conversion. This allows IBKR to initiate the conversion process and the shares will be delivered to an account you hold outside of IBKR.  These conversions are submitted to the sponsoring bank with specific instructions to deliver the ordinary shares to the client’s account at the Russian bank. IBKR will attempt to facilitate these transfers on a best-efforts basis and cannot guarantee the completion of the transaction. Please keep in mind that local sanctions and regulations may prohibit these transactions or delay processing times.  In addition, DR shares held in a European depository may need to be transferred to DTC in order to initiate the transfer to the sponsor bank.

Important note for UK and Canadian “persons”:  Due to the sanctions imposed by the U.K. and Canada, IBKR cannot process Russian DR conversion requests involving Gazprombank on behalf of IB-UK or IB-Canada clients or anyone meeting the following criteria:

·       Anyone resident or located in, or a citizen of, the U.K. (including a U.K. Territory) or Canada, wherever located; or

·       an entity incorporated in the U.K. (including a U.K. Territory) or Canada.

IBKR will charge $500 USD to facilitate the transaction and will pass through all charges from the sponsor bank and depositories. To request IBKR to initiate a sponsor conversion, clients should open a web ticket and include the following information:

·       Confirmation of a C-type account;

·       A completed and signed transmittal form, letter of instruction or any form the sponsor bank requires; and

·       Completed and signed attestation to “no change in beneficial owner” form of the holder of the DRs.

 

 C.   Customers Who Bank Through Sanctioned Banks

 The U.S., U.K., and EU sanctioned a number of leading Russian banks, generally prohibiting transactions with these banks.

1.       What are the sanctions?

Under the sanctions, customers are not allowed to deposit from, or withdraw to, a sanctioned bank.  The sanctions included wind down periods that have ended.

2.       What banks are impacted by the sanctions?

The following Russian banks and their subsidiaries have been sanctioned by the U.S., U.K., and/or the EU, disconnected from the global banking network SWIFT, or both.  IBKR is therefore unable to accommodate deposits or withdrawals through these banks.

  • Sberbank (disconnected from SWIFT)
  • Alfa Bank
  • VTB (disconnected from SWIFT)
  • Bank Rossiya (disconnected from SWIFT)
  • Otkritie (disconnected from SWIFT)
  • Novikombank (disconnected from SWIFT)
  • Promsvyazbank (disconnected from SWIFT)
  • Sovcombank (disconnected from SWIFT)
  • VEB (disconnected from SWIFT)
  • Transkapitalbank
  • Investtradebank
  • Rosselkhozbank (disconnected from SWIFT)
  • Moscow Credit Bank (disconnected from SWIFT)

 For IBUK and IBUKL Customers only:

The following banks are also subject to U.K. sanctions, which apply to all clients of Interactive Brokers (U.K.) Ltd. (IBUK):

  • GazPromBank
  • SMP Bank
  • Ural Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

IBUK customers cannot currently deposit from, or withdraw to, any of these sanctioned banks.

3.       Do I have to close my IBKR account if I bank through one of the sanctioned banks?

These sanctions on banks do not require you to close your IBKR account.  IBKR just can’t process deposits or withdrawals involving a sanctioned bank.

4.       Can I add different banking instructions?

Yes, you are welcome to add new banking instructions for an account at a non-sanctioned bank. Please note that IBKR has long maintained restrictions on certain patterns of deposit and withdrawal activity, which will remain in effect.  For more information on these restrictions, click here.

 

D.   Restrictions Affecting Russian or Belarusian Nationals, Citizens, and/or Residents

Certain sanctions only impact Russian or Belarusian nationals, citizens, and/or residents. 

MOEX

1.       I am a Russian citizen. Will I be able to trade my non-sanctioned Russian stocks on MOEX?

IBKR is a foreign broker and is restricted by the Russian government from trading on the Moscow Stock Exchange (MOEX).  Therefore, you will not be able to trade on MOEX through your IBKR account.

 EU Securities Restrictions

1.       I am a Russian (or Belarusian) national or resident. Why can’t I trade on EU exchanges?

The EU imposed sanctions prohibiting the sale or transfer of euro-denominated securities issued after April 12, 2022 (including proceeds of corporate actions) to Russian or Belarusian nationals (defined as all citizens of these countries who do not live in the EU) or people or entities located in Russia or Belarus. 

In order to comply with these sanctions, IBKR has restricted Russian and Belarusian nationals or residents, and entities located in Russia or Belarus or owned by Russian or Belarusian nationals or residents, from opening new positions (long or short) in EU securities. 

Market Data Restrictions

1.       I am a resident of Russia. Why can’t I see market data for NYSE and Nasdaq?

Due to Russia’s continued involvement in Ukraine, NYSE and Nasdaq have suspended the provision of market data services to individuals and entities located in Russia. IBKR does not know when NYSE and Nasdaq will resume these services.  

 

E.   Customers from the Luhansk and Donetsk Regions

In February 2022, the U.S., U.K., and EU issued a series of sanctions against Russia related to its actions in Ukraine. The sanctions include restrictions for persons and entities in the Luhansk and Donetsk provinces, similar to the 2014 Crimean sanctions.

Account Restrictions

1.       Why is my account restricted?

Your account lists an address that is located in the Luhansk or Donetsk region in Ukraine.  The U.S. government issued sanctions specifically focused on two regions of Ukraine, Luhansk and Donetsk.  These sanctions allowed a short wind-down period, which ended March 23, 2022.  IBKR, as a U.S. financial institution, is required to limit the transactions clients from those regions can conduct.

2.       I no longer live in the Luhansk People’s Republic (“LNR”) or Donetsk People’s Republic (“DNR”).  I live outside of those areas. Why is my account restricted?

IBKR has placed restrictions based on its account records and the information available to it.  If you currently live outside of the LNR or DNR, please update your address on file and submit a current document to verify your address (such as a utility bill).  We will review the information you provide and consider whether restrictions can be lifted.

3.       What are the restrictions?

For Individual/Joint Customers

As of March 23, 2022, clients with addresses in the LNR or DNR cannot make any trades, or transfer positions, unless the U.S. sanctions are lifted or authorization is granted by OFAC.   You cannot make deposits at this time but you may make a withdrawal to an account in your name for personal, non-commercial purposes.  We will require you to confirm this before the withdrawal.

For Org Customers

The sanctions do not allow organization or trust accounts to trade, transfer or withdraw funds now that the wind down period ended.  

4.       What do I have to do to remove the restrictions?

If you have moved from the LNR or DNR but did not update your account information, please update your address on file and provide a current proof of address document demonstrating that you do not reside in the LNR or DNR.  We will review the information and let you know whether the restrictions can be removed.

Alternatively, you can contact the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and apply for a specific license on OFAC’s website.  (OFAC License Application Page)

Hong Kong Investor Identification Regime

Background:

To enhance market surveillance capabilities and maintain market integrity, the Securities and Futures Commission (“SFC”) has introduced the Hong Kong Investor Identification Regime (“HKIDR”).

Once implemented, all securities trades placed on, or off-exchange trades obligated to be reported to, the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited ("SEHK") must be tagged with a client identifier and the corresponding identification details must be provided to the SEHK.

For further information, refer to the SFC website.

Compliance requirements:

To comply with the HKIDR obligations, all relevant SFC licensed corporations and registered institutions (“RRI”) are required to assign a Broker-Client-Assigned-Number (“BCAN”) to each client of theirs with capabilities to trade securities on the SEHK.

While a clients’ relevant trading capabilities remain in place, the RRI is required to provide the SEHK with the clients’ identification data (“CID”) and the corresponding BCAN. All SEHK securities orders will be tagged with the BCAN number to enable the SEHK & SFC to identify the end beneficiary.

What client identification data (“CID”) is provided to SEHK?

Under HKIDR, the following identification data must be provided to the SEHK for any clients with SEHK trading permissions in place.

Individual Clients & Trustees
Corporate Clients & Trustees
Full legal name as shown on the identification document
Full legal name as shown on the identification document
Identity document’s issuing country or jurisdiction
Identity document’s issuing country or jurisdiction
Identity document type (in order of priority):
1-      HKID Card (required for HK residents)
2-      National identification document (containing the clients name in English &/ Chinese)
3-      Passport
Identity document type (in order of priority):
1-      Legal Entity Identifier Registration document
2-      Certificate of Incorporation / Formation
 
Identity document number on the identity document
Identity document number on the identity document

 

How can clients opt out from their CID being provided to SEHK?

Clients can opt out of sharing their CID under the HKIDR by requesting the removal of their relevant trading permissions. Once removed, existing positions can continue to be held or closed without the clients BCAN being tagged to the orders or CID being shared with the exchange.

However, before trading permission can be removed, clients must close any short positions or stock options that could result in a short stock position as buying in the positions requires a BCAN & CID submission.

Which trading permissions are impacted?

The new regime concerns all securities listed or traded on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (“SEHK”) and affects the following trading permissions:

  • Hong Kong Stocks
  • Hong Kong Stock Short Selling
  • Hong Kong Stock Options
  • Hong Kong Bonds

How will existing Interactive Brokers Clients be impacted?

  • In preparation for HKIDR, all individuals with an Interactive Brokers Hong Kong Ltd account, and any of the above trading permissions in place, will be requested to confirm in Client Portal if they wish to retain their trading permissions under the new requirements.
  • Clients that fail to provide a confirmation, will have their impacted trading permissions removed to prevent their identification details being shared unwillingly. If trading permissions are removed, clients can request the permissions be added back at any time via the Settings > Account Settings > Trading Permissions menu item in the Client Portal.
  • Clients requesting to remove their impacted trading permissions that are holding an open short stock position, or stock option position that could lead to a short stock position, will need to close the positions by the cutoff date communicated to avoid them being closed on their behalf at the prevailing market price. Long positions can continue to be held or close without CID being shared with SEHK.
  • The HK Client Agreements and Disclosures has been updated to accommodate the HKIDR requirements:

Disclaimer:

The above information is provided for convenience. IBKR does not guarantee the information for either accuracy or completeness. There may be subsequent changes to the HKIDR and clients should refer directly to the SFC website for more information: https://www.sfc.hk/en/Rules-and-standards/Investor-Identification-and-OTC-securities-reporting
 

Overview of ASIC CFD Rules Implementation at IBKR (Australia) - Retail Investors Only

 

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

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

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) enacted new rules applicable to retail clients trading CFDs, effective 29 March 2021. Wholesale or Professional Investor 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.

All clients are initially categorised as Retail Clients. IBKR may in certain circumstances agree to reclassify a Retail Client as a Wholesale or Professional Investor Client. Refer to this link for information regarding Australian regulatory status under IBKR Australia

The following sections detail how IBKR (Australia) has implemented the ASIC Decision.

1 Leverage Limits

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

  • 3.33% for major currency pairs; Major currency pairs are any combination of AUD; 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 ASIC Margins, IBKR (Australia) 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 ASIC.

Details of applicable IB and ASIC 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 stock or 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.

1.3 Funds Available for Initial Margin

Your account must have sufficient equity to post initial margin to open a CFD position. Account equity includes cash, unsettled realized profits and unrealized profits from existing CFD and non-CFD positions.

2 Margin Close Out Rule

2.1 Maintenance Margin Calculations & Liquidations

ASIC requires IBKR to liquidate CFD positions latest when account equity falls below 50% of the initial margin posted to open the positions. IBKR may close out positions sooner if our risk view is more conservative. 

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 AUD 2000 cash in your account and no positions. 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 equity for additional positions reduces by the initial margin requirement as your trades are filled:

  Cash Equity* Position Price Value Unrealized P&L IM MM Available Equity* Excess Equity* MM Violation
Pre Trade 2000 2000             2000 2000  
Post Trade 1 2000 2000 50 100 5000 0 1000 500 1000 1500 No
Post Trade 2 2000 2000 100 100 10000 0 2000 1000 0 1000 No

*Equity equals Cash plus Unrealized P&L. Available equity is equity in excess of initial margin requirements. Excess equity is equity in excess of maintenance margin requirements.

The price increases to 110. Your equity is now 3000, and your available equity has increased correspondingly:

 

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

 

 The price then drops to 95. Your equity declines to 1500 and you can no longer open additional positions 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 Equity Excess Equity MM Violation
Change 2000 1500 100 95 9500 (500) 2000 1000 -500 500 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 Equity Excess Equity MM Violation
Change 2000 500 100 85 8500 (1500) 2000 1000 -1500 -500 Yes

 

3 Negative Equity Protection

The ASIC Decision limits your CFD-related liability to the assets in your IBKR account, meaning all assets in your IBKR account can be liquidated to satisfy a CFD margin-deficit

Therefore assets in your account, including CFD and non-CFD assets can be used to cover losses arising from CFD trading, with your CFD positions being liqudated first, followed by your non CFD positions. 

4 Incentives Offered to trade CFDs

The ASIC 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.

Related Articles

Interactive Brokers Ireland 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 Ireland Limited (IBIE) to classify each Client according to their knowledge, experience and expertise: "Retail", "Professional" or "Eligible Counterparty". 
 
In accordance with MiFID II rules, IBIE 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, IBIE 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.  
 
IBIE 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 IBIE 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. The Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman (FSPO): The services of the FSPO in Ireland may not be available to professional clients, unless they are, for example, a consumer, or a limited company, sole trader, a trust, a club, a charity or a partnership, subject to certain turnover limitations.
 
7. Compensation: IBIE is a member of the Irish Investor Compensation Scheme. You may be entitled to claim compensation from that scheme if IBIE 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
 
IBIE 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.
 
IBIE will consider re-categorising Retail Clients to Professional Clients in two instances:
 
1. Per Se Professional Clients can notify IBIE that they consider that they should have been categorised as Per Se Professionals under the MiFID II 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. IBIE may treat Clients as Elective Professional Clients if, based on an assessment of the Client’s expertise, experience, and knowledge, IBIE 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 IBIE 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 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, IBIE 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 IBIE before the relevant request is submitted.
 
Re-categorisation as Retail Client
 
Professional Clients can request IBIE 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, IBIE 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 IBIE’s APPROACH TO CLIENT CATEGORISATION AND RE-CATEGORISATION POLICY.
 

Interactive Brokers Central Europe Zrt. – 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 Central Europe Zrt. (IBCE) to classify each Client according to their knowledge, experience and expertise: "Retail", "Professional" or "Eligible Counterparty". 
 
In accordance with MiFID II rules, IBCE 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, IBCE 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.  
 
IBCE 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 IBCE 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. Compensation: IBCE is a member of the Hungarian Investor Protection Funds. Retail Clients may be entitled to claim compensation from the Fund in the event that i/ the Central Bank of Hungary initiates liquidation proceedings of IBCE or ii/ a court orders the liquidation of IBCE. The compensation provided by the Fund cover claims arising from contracts entered into within the agreement with IBCE of brokerage activity, securities custody, securities account management and client account management activities performed by IBCE. Eligibility for compensation from the Fund is determined under the rules applicable to the scheme.
 
Re-categorisation as Professional Client
 
IBCE 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.
 
IBCE will consider re-categorising Retail Clients to Professional Clients in two instances:
 
1. Per Se Professional Clients can notify IBCE that they consider that they should have been categorised as Per Se Professionals under the MiFID II 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. IBCE may treat Clients as Elective Professional Clients if, based on an assessment of the Client’s expertise, experience, and knowledge, IBCE 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 IBCE 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 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, IBCE 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 IBCE before the relevant request is submitted.
 
Re-categorisation as Retail Client
 
Professional Clients can request IBCE 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, IBCE 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 IBCE’s APPROACH TO CLIENT CATEGORISATION AND RE-CATEGORISATION POLICY.
 

FAQs - Brexit

Answers to the most commonly asked questions relating to Brexit, including the transfer of an account to one of our European brokers and account operation following the transfer can be found through this page.

To start, select the IBKR entity below that your account will be maintained with post-Brexit.

FAQS: IBCE Brexit Account Migration

Overview: 

This is an important document regarding the proposed transfer of your account from IBUK and IBLLC to IBCE that requires your attention. Please read the entirety of this document ahead of taking any action referred to in the Covering Letter sent to you via email.

 

Background: 

Please take time to read this FAQs, which summarises some of the key changes to the regulatory framework which will be brought about by the Proposed Transfer (as described below) and provides answers to some of the more general questions that you may have. The FAQs should be read in conjunction with the Covering Letter and the documents that are attached to the Covering Letter. If you require any further information, please get in touch with us using the contact details provided in the Covering Letter. This FAQs supersedes the one previously made available to you titled “FAQs: Brexit Account Migration” (“Original FAQs”) as it reflects new information, and we ask that you read it carefully. To the extent there is any inconsistency between this FAQs and the Original FAQs, please rely on the information contained in this FAQs.

 

Discussion: 

This FAQs is split into three parts. 

  • Part A sets outs key information in relation to the Proposed Transfer (as described below).
  • Part B covers key legal and regulatory topics that arise as a result of the Proposed Transfer (as described below).
  • Part C aims to answer any other questions that you may have and provides some further and more practical information in relation to what will and will not be changing following the Proposed Transfer (as described below). 

 

PART A – THE PROPOSED TRANSFER

 1. What is the situation currently and why do things have to change?

As you will be aware, at present, your relationship with Interactive Brokers is led by our entity based in the United Kingdom, specifically Interactive Brokers (U.K.) Limited (“IBUK”) and the services provided to you are provided by IBUK and, depending on the products you do business in, our US affiliate Interactive Brokers LLC (“IBLLC”).  At present IBUK utilises what is known as a financial services passport to be able to perform its part of the service provision across continental Europe. Our working assumption is that following the end of the Brexit transitional period later this year, IBUK will lose its financial services passport and that from 1 January 2021 Interactive Brokers will need to make some changes in relation to which legal entity does business with you. 

 

2. What are the “changes” envisaged above?

We have established a new Interactive Brokers legal entity in Hungary, namely, Interactive Brokers Central Europe Zrt.  (“IBCE”).  We propose to transfer the business that you currently conduct with IBUK and IBLLC to IBCE.  In other words, it is our intention that all of your accounts, investments and services currently provided to you by IBUK and IBLLC will instead be singularly provided by IBCE (for convenience we will refer to this as the “Proposed Transfer”).

 

3. When will the Proposed Transfer occur? 

We will write to you again ahead of the Proposed Transfer. 

 

4. Who is IBCE? What sort of a firm is it?

IBCE, an investment service provider, is licensed and authorized by the Central Bank of Hungary.  IBCE’s regulatory status and profile is very similar to IBUK’s.  This is because both IBCE and IBUK are authorised pursuant to the second Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Directive 2014/65/EU). This is an EU-wide piece of legislation the purpose of which is to, as much as possible, harmonise how investment firms are regulated across the EU. 

This does not mean there are not some differences between the legislation that applies to your relationship with IBUK and IBLLC at present and that which will apply once your account is transferred to IBCE.  We explain this in more detail in Part B of this FAQs. 

 

5. What are IBCE’s legal details? 

Interactive Brokers Central Europe Zrt. is registered as a private company limited by shares (registration number 01-10-141029) and is listed in the Register of Companies maintained by the  Metropolitan Court of Registration. Its registered address is Budapest, Madách Imre út 13-14, 1075.

 

6. Who will regulate IBCE and what are their contact details? 

The Central Bank of Hungary will be the competent regulator for IBCE (in the same way that the Financial Conduct Authority is the competent regulator for IBUK).  The  Central Bank of Hungary’s contact details are set out below: 

Location

Central Bank of Hungary

1054 Budapest

Szabadság tér 9.

Hungary

 

Postal Address

Magyar Nemzeti Bank

BKKP Pf. 777

 

Client Service, client complaints 

Address: 1013 Budapest, Krisztina krt. 39.

E-mail: ugyfelszolgalat@mnb.hu

Phone:  +36 80 203 776

 

 7. Where does IBCE fit with respect to the broader Interactive Brokers Group? 

IBCE is a wholly-owned subsidiary that sits within the broader Interactive Brokers Group.

 

8. What does the Proposed Transfer mean for me? Will there be any material impacts? 

The Proposed Transfer may have a material impact if you currently trade products that you will be restricted from trading following the transfer.  It is very important that you read these FAQs carefully, and in full, and make sure that you understand what the changes are for you.

 

9. What do I have to do if I want to continue doing business with Interactive Brokers? 

If you would like to continue to do business with Interactive Brokers, we require your cooperation and action. 

Specifically, we need you to consent and agree to the Proposed Transfer and the Customer Agreement and other Documents available under the Important Information section of the Proposed Transfer process and to the regulatory matters outlined in the Covering Letter, the Important Information and Consent sections of the Proposed Transfer process.  You can do this by following the instructions in the Covering Letter. 

To be clear, you do not have to consent to the Proposed Transfer if you feel that you may be adversely affected by it.  However, you should be aware that if you decide to decline, IBUK may not be able to keep servicing your account at the end of the Brexit transition period.  If that happens, your account will be restricted from opening new transactions or transferring new assets.  You always have the ability to transfer your account to another broker.  If you wish to decline, please follow the instructions in the Covering Letter. 

In either case, we ask that you read the entirety of this FAQs and the Covering Letter before deciding to consent to or decline the Proposed Transfer.

 

10. What happens next? 

If you consent to the transfer, please complete all actions detailed in the Covering Letter and we will prepare your account for the Proposed Transfer.  Following the Proposed Transfer, IBCE will write to you with further information about your new relationship with them.

 

PART B – LEGAL AND REGULATORY CHANGES THAT YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF

 

1. What terms and conditions will govern my relationship with IBCE following the Proposed Transfer? Are these different to the ones that currently apply? 

Trades that you conduct after the Proposed Transfer will be governed by the new Customer Agreement between you and IBCE.  A copy of the new Customer Agreement is available in the Important Information section of the Proposed Transfer process.  Please see the response to Question A3 above in relation to the timing for the Proposed Transfer.

 

2. What conduct of business rules (including best execution) will apply to my relationship with IBCE? Are there any material differences that will apply to my relationship with IBCE compared to those that apply to my existing relationship with IBUK? 

There are some changes to be aware of, which we explain below. 

If you do business with IBUK on a “carried” basis (in other words, you trade index options, futures and futures options and IBUK carries your account and custodies your assets) then the Financial Conduct Authority’s conduct of business rules currently apply to you.  These rules are based heavily on the recast Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, the Markets in Financial Regulation and various delegated directives and regulations (collectively, “MiFID”).  In relation to best execution, where it applies, IBUK must take all sufficient steps to achieve the best possible result for you when we execute your order. 

If you currently do business with IBUK on an “introduced” basis (in other words, you trade products outside of those mentioned in the previous paragraph and you have a relationship with both IBUK and its US affiliate, IBLLC) a mix of conduct of business rules will currently apply to you. For instance, with respect to the introduction of your business to IBLLC, the Financial Conduct Authority’s conduct of business rules will apply (see above in relation to these).  Once introduced to IBLLC, the relevant U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission rules and regulations (among others) will apply to IBLLC’s role (including its obligations in relation to best execution and custody). 

Please note that it is of course possible that your business is split across these two scenarios (in other words some of your business is conducted on a “carried” basis while some of it is conducted on an “introduced” basis). 

Going forward, the distinction between “carried” and “introduced” business will no longer apply and in each case set out above, Hungarian conduct of business rules will exclusively apply to your relationship with IBCE.  Similar to the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s rules, the Hungarian conduct of business rules are based on MiFID and IBCE’s obligations in relation to best execution will largely mirror those that currently apply to IBUK. 

In our view, while the rules that apply to our relationship will change, we do not consider such changes to be material or to result in a lesser degree of protection being afforded to you.

 

3. How will my investments that I custody with IBCE be held from a legal/regulatory perspective? Are there any material differences that will apply to my relationship with IBCE compared to those that apply to my existing relationship with IBUK? 

The rules that currently apply depends on the sort of business that you presently have with IBUK (please see the response to Question B2 above).  Where you conduct “carried” business with IBUK, the Financial Conduct Authority’s client asset (or “CASS”) rules will apply.  These rules are based heavily on MiFID.  Where you conduct “introduced” business with IBUK and IBLLC, the US custody rules will apply to your custody assets. 

Going forward, as set out above, the distinction between “carried” and “introduced” business will no longer apply and in each case set out above, Hungarian custody rules will exclusively apply to your relationship with IBCE.  Like the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s rules, the Hungarian conduct of business rules are based on MiFID. 

 

4. How am I protected against loss? Are there any material differences that will apply to my relationship with IBCE compared to those that apply to my existing relationship with IBUK? 

Currently, your eligible assets are protected from loss either under the US Securities Investor Protection Corporation at an amount of up to USD 500,000 (subject to a cash sublimit of USD 250,000) or the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme at an amount up to £50,000 (which regime applies depends on the relevant segment of your IBUK account, as explained in the response to Question B2 above).  After the Proposed Transfer, the Hungarian Investor Protection Fund according to Act CXX of 2001 on the Capital Market may protect your assets from loss, at an amount up to a maximum of EUR 100,000, should IBCE default and be unable to meet its obligations to you. 

Hungary's compensation scheme is similar to the compensation scheme you have access to in the UK,   The purpose of the Fund is to pay compensation to you in the event that:

  • the Central Bank of Hungary initiates liquidation proceedings of IBCE , or
  • a court orders the liquidation of IBCE. 

 IBCE is a member of the Fund. 

The compensation provided by the Fund covers claims arising from contracts entered into within the agreement with IBCE of brokerage activity, securities custody, securities account management and client account management activities performed by IBCE.

You can only make a claim after a firm goes out of business and its assets have been liquidated and distributed to those who are owed money. Please check the details of the schemes for any limits that apply – not all losses will be covered as there are maximum levels of compensation.   The Fund will pay you compensation for the amount you have lost up to a maximum of EUR 100,000. The amount paid by the Fund is:

  • 100% up to the limit of the EUR equivalent of one million forints (EUR 2,800 on 12th December 2020),
  • above one million forints: 1 million forints and 90% of the part above one million forints to a maximum of EUR 100,000.

 

5. How do I make a complaint to IBCE? Are there any material differences that will apply to my relationship with IBCE compared to those that apply to my existing relationship with IBUK? What if my complaint relates to something that happened while I was a customer of IBUK? 

The General Business Rules of IBCE sets out how to lodge a complaint with IBCE.  The complaints handling procedures are materially similar to those that apply to your existing relationship with IBUK.  If the substance of your complaint relates to something that happened prior to the Proposed Transfer, then you should address your complaint to IBUK.  IBUK will remain authorised as an investment firm post-Brexit.  Its current contact information will stay the same should you need to contact IBUK.

 

6. After the Proposed Transfer, will I still have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service? 

In case of complaint, investors should follow the complaints procedure as referred to in the Customer Agreement.  As explained in the Original FAQs, once the Proposed Transfer has taken place, the UK Financial Ombudsman Service will cease to have jurisdiction over any complaints that you may have in respect of IBUK.  However, please be aware that Hungary has a dispute resolution scheme operated by the Central Bank of Hungary in the form of the Financial Arbitration Board (“FAB”). The FAB is a free and independent statutory dispute resolution scheme for financial services. You may be eligible to make a complaint to the FAB if you are a retail customer.  Details of FAB can be found on https://www.mnb.hu/en/hungarian-financial-arbitration-board

 The FAB can be contacted at: 

Postal Address

Financial Arbitration Board

1525 Budapest

Pf. 172

 

Email

ugyfelszolgalat@mnb.hu

 

7. How will my personal data be processed and protected? Are there any material differences that will apply to my relationship with IBCE compared to those that apply to my existing relationship with IBUK in this context? 

Please see the Original FAQs for further information. In summary there will be no material change.

 

PART C – OTHER PRACTICAL QUESTIONS AND NEXT STEPS

 

1. Who should I contact before the Proposed Transfer takes place and after the Proposed Transfer if I have any questions in the ordinary course? 

Generally speaking, you should contact IBUK with any questions that you may have prior to the Proposed Transfer, and you should contact IBCE with any questions that you may have following the Proposed Transfer taking place.  Regardless of who you contact at Interactive Brokers, we will ensure your query is promptly dealt with and we will help you to connect with the right person or department.

 

2. Will the range of products offered be the same? 

IBCE and IBUK offer the same range of products for all categories except metals and forex. The differences in the offerings are as follows: 

  • Metals CFDs are offered by IBCE but spot and OTC metals futures are not.
  • Trading securities and derivatives in all the same markets you can now but if you trade outside of the Allowed Deposit Currencies (see #7) and the transaction results in a long cash balance we will auto-convert to your base currency.  If the transaction results in a short cash balance there will be no further action by IBCE as you can borrow in all available IBKR global currencies.
  • Foreign exchange spot trades at IBCE must be connected to an investment service transaction and its resulting cash flows.  To comply with this regulation, you will no longer be able to trade currencies on a speculative basis. 

For further information please see  “IBCE Multi-Currency Account Foreign Exchange Restrictions Disclosure”.

 

 

3. Will the range of services be the same? 

There are two changes to the services you are currently offered: 

  • IBCE offers financing for securities and commodities trades but cannot support withdrawals of borrowed funds.  You will be free to withdraw any free cash not needed to support your open positions.  If you would like to withdraw additional funds, you can sell positions and withdraw the proceeds.
  • GFIS investment research will not be available to clients of IBCE; however GFIS market data and news service offerings are unaffected.

 

4. I currently trade OTC derivatives with IBUK – what will happen to my open positions? 

Your open positions will be transferred to IBCE and you will face IBCE rather than IBUK.  You will no longer have any legal relationship with IBUK in relation to those positions.  We will separately provide you with an updated Key Investor Information Document (please follow the link to the PRIIPs KID landing page in the Covering Letter).

 

5. What happens to any security I have granted to IBUK/IBLLC as part of a margin loan? 

If you have granted security or collateral to IBUK/IBLLC, this will transfer to IBCE - upon the Proposed Transfer taking place. You will be presented with two new contracts for your existing margin loan:

  • Investment Loan contract
  • Securities Lending Framework contract

These will operate similarly to your existing margin loan account with the only difference being you will pay service fees to IBCE for entering into the stock borrow transaction on your behalf instead of paying interest.  This may have tax consequences depending on your country of residence.

 

6. Will I have access to the same trading platform or be subject to any software changes following migrations? 

The migration will have no impact upon the software you use to trade or administer your account.  The technology will remain the same as it is today.

 

7. Will all account balances be transferred at the same time and what is the timing? 

IBCE will support a limited number of deposit currencies.  The following ten cash deposit currencies, the “Allowed Deposit Currencies” are:

  • EUR, USD, GBP, CHF, DKK, NOK, SEK, HUF, CZK and PLN

You will be required to nominate a base currency from the Allowed Deposit Currencies and if you hold long cash balances in other currencies, you will be required to convert those balances to one of the Allowed Deposit Currencies before migration.

 

In accordance with the client asset protection rules in Hungary, client funds must  be protected in the same form that they were received by the broker.  This contrasts with your previous broker, IBUK and/or IBL, whose regulatory client asset rules allowed them to protect your funds in equivalent value in another currency.  

Short currency balances are unaffected.  You may borrow in any currency that the IBKR group offers.

All cash balances, with the exception of accruals (e.g., interest, dividends) will be transferred at the same time. Once accruals have been settled and posted to cash, they will automatically be swept to IBCE. Once all accruals have been swept, your current account at IBUK or IBLLC will be closed and inaccessible for trading purposes. You will still be able to access this closed account via the Client Portal for purposes of viewing and printing historical statements.

 

8. Will all security, derivative and commodity positions be transferred at the same time? 

All positions will be transferred to your new account at the same time except for OTC metals futures and spot metals.  You will be requested to trade out of those positions before conversion to an IBCE account.

 

9. What will happen to my current account following migration? 

Your current account will close once all accruals have been posted to cash and transferred to the migrated account.  Once closed, it will be inaccessible for trading purposes, however, it will remain accessible via an account selector from the Client Portal for purposes of viewing and printing historical statements.

 

10. Will IBKR’s commissions, interest and fees change when my account is migrated? 

IBKR commissions and fees on trading products do not vary by the broker your account is maintained with.

There are changes to the interest and fees on cash balances. IBCE will not pay interest on credit balances as Hungarian law that governs investment service companies prohibits the payment of interest.  IBCE will charge a currency handling fee for cash balances in currencies that have negative interest rates.

 

11. Will my trading permissions change when my account is migrated? 

No. Your trading permissions will not change when your account is migrated for products that IBCE supports. As discussed in (2) above, spot metals and OTC metal futures will not be available.

 

12. Will open orders (e.g., Good-til-Canceled) be carried over when my account is migrated? 

Open orders will not be carried over to the new account and we recommend that clients review their orders immediately following the migration to ensure that the open orders are consistent with their trading intentions.

 

13. Will I be subject to the U.S. Pattern Day Trading ("PDT") Rule once my account is migrated? 

No. You will no longer be subject to the PDT rule.

 

14. Will I receive a single, combined annual activity statement reflecting the activity in both my IBUK and IBCE accounts? 

No.  Separate daily, monthly and annual activity statements will be provided for each of your IBUK and IBCE accounts covering activity during the period each was open. Activity statements will be posted to the Client Portal under the Reports/Tax Docs menu option and you will need to toggle between the two accounts to access their respective statements.

 

15. Will the current cost basis of positions be carried over when my account is migrated? 

Yes, this migration will have no impact upon the cost basis of your positions.

 

16. Will the migrated account retain the same configuration as the current account? 

The configuration of the account following migration will match that of the current account to the extent permissible by regulation.  This includes attributes such as margin capability, market data, additional users, and alerts.  Client’s holding restricted products (with the exception of OTC metals futures and spot metals), may migrate such positions but won’t be allowed to increase the position.

OTC metals futures and spot metals must be closed in your current IBUK account.

 

17. Will my login credential change? 

No.  Your username, password, and any 2-factor authentication process in place for your existing account will remain active following migration. You will, however, be assigned a new account ID for your migrated account.

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