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

Overview: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE

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

Why has my order to initiate a position in Berkshire Hathaway B Shares (BRK B) not been filled?

Overview: 

Traders should familiarize themselves with the unit of trade convention for BRK B along with IB’s policies with respect to odd lot orders.  Due to the relatively low trading volume in BRK B, NYSE Arca (the primary listing exchange for this security) has designated it as a 10-share unit issue.  A round lot in this security is therefore set at 10 shares as opposed to the standard round lot unit of 100 shares. If your opening buy or sell order is for an amount less than 10 shares, it is considered an odd-lot.  As a matter of policy, odd-lot orders are prohibited from being routed to NYSE Arca.  In addition, only those odd-lot orders which serve to open a position and which are part of a basket order or market-on-close (MOC) order may be sent to NYSE or AMEX.   Opening orders which do not meet that criteria are typically routed to a regional exchange or an ECN where they will remain until a matching order is found.  Odd-lot orders which serve to close a position may be routed to any market center to which IB routes orders, and can be directed either by the customer or via IB SmartRouting.

What are the key dates relating to stock Dividends?

Overview: 

Key dates relating to stock dividends are as follows:

1. Declaration Date - date at which company's board of directors approves dividend payment and designates the Payment Date and Record Date.

2. Record Date - the date which determines which stockholders are entitled to receive the dividend payment. You need to own the shares as of the close of the Record Date in order to receive the dividend.

3. Ex-Dividend Date - the date on or after which the stock will be traded without the right to receive the dividend. Because most stock trades in the US settle regular way; that is, two business days after the trade, an individual must purchase the stock two business days before the Record Date to qualify for the dividend. The Ex-Dividend Date is therefore one business day before the Record Date.

4. Payment Date - the date on which the declared dividend is paid to all stockholders owning shares on the record date.

 

* Please note these key dates may be different for special dividends. Please reference KB 3043 for information regarding special dividends.

My account was debited for a dividend payment (Payment in Lieu) for a short stock position which I don’t recognize. How did this occur?

Overview: 

 

A short stock position may originate from an option position which you held in your account.  For example, if you hold a long put position in your account, that position may be subject to automatic exercise by the clearinghouse if it is in-the-money by a defined threshold at expiration.  This put exercise will generate a short stock position in your account (assuming you do not have an offsetting long position), and you are obligated to pay any dividends should you maintain a short stock position on the ex-dividend date. 

 

Similarly, a short call position in your account is subject to assignment should a call purchaser elect to exercise their right to purchase the stock and your account be allocated through the random clearinghouse and broker assignment process.  This call assignment will generate a short stock position in your account (assuming you do not have an offsetting long position), and you are obligated to pay any dividends should you maintain a short stock position on the ex-dividend date. 

 

These payments will be reflected on your Activity Statement as a 'Payment In Lieu Of Dividend'.

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