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 Sanctions

Overview: 

 These FAQs summarize key information related to the Ukraine/Russia sanctions. This page will be updated to reflect additional sanction-related restrictions or other developments. Last update: July 26, 2022.

 

A.    Customers from the Luhansk and Donetsk Regions

·         Account Restrictions

B.    Customers Who Bank Through Sanctioned Banks

C.    Customers Who Have Positions in Russian Securities

·         Sanctioned Russian Securities

·         Non-Sanctioned Russian Securities

D.    Russian ADRs/GDRs

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

·         MOEX

·         EU Securities Restrictions

F.     Cashiering Restrictions – Rubles

 

 

A.   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.

  1. I don’t 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.

  1. What are the restrictions?

For Individual/Joint Customers

As of March 23, 2022, clients from 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 withdraw funds 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 after March 23, 2022.  

  1. 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)

 

B.   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.

  1. Can I add different banking instructions?

Yes, you are welcome to add new banking instructions. 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.

 

C.  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 subject to specific sanctions were fully restricted on May 25, 2022.  You currently cannot trade or transfer your positions in any sanctioned Russian security.  These are listed or were previously listed on the Moscow Stock Exchange, the London Stock Exchange, the Stuttgart Stock Exchange, GETTEX, and OTC Markets Pink.

As of June 6, 2022, you cannot open new positions (long or short) in non-sanctioned Russian securities. However, you may sell or hold your positions in non-sanctioned Russian securities. 

Sanctioned Russian Securities

  1. If I hold sanctioned Russian securities, can I access my account after May 25, 2022?

Yes, you will have full access to your IBKR account.  However, you will not be able to trade or transfer any positions in any sanctioned Russian security.

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

No.  All positions in sanctioned Russian securities have been frozen as of May 25, 2022. You are not able to trade or transfer these positions until the sanctions are lifted or you receive a specific license from OFAC.

For IB Canada Customers Only:

1.       What additional sanctions apply to Canadians?

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 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.

Non-Sanctioned Russian Securities

 1.       What are the restrictions on non-sanctioned Russian securities?

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 non-sanctioned Russian issuers?

No.  You may hold your existing positions in non-sanctioned Russian securities 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 non-sanctioned Russian securities?

No, there is no wind-down period to divest. You may sell your positions in non-sanctioned Russian securities 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 or hold them, but you cannot make new purchases. 

 5.       Can I convert my ADRs and GDRs in non-sanctioned Russian securities?

No, IBKR will no longer support conversions of your ADRs and GDRs into RUB-based securities.

 6.       Can I transfer my position in non-sanctioned Russian securities?

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

 
D.  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 sanctioned?

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

ISIN

CONID

ISSUER_NAME

PRIMARY EXCHANGE / OTC

TYPE

US80585Y3080

89561276

Sberbank of Russia PJSC

OTC (PINK)

ADR

US80585Y3080

90274039

Sberbank of Russia PJSC

Börse Stuttgart

ADR

US80585Y3080

90581067

Sberbank of Russia PJSC

London Stock Exchange

ADR

US46630Q2021

59015085

VTB Bank PJSC

London Stock Exchange

GDR

US46630Q2021

122139369

VTB Bank PJSC

GETTEX

GDR

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

The deadline to convert VTB DRs to ordinary shares was extended to August 26, 2022.  However, intermediaries are not currently processing these cancellation requests so we are not accepting VTB DR cancellation requests at this time.  We are continuing to monitor developments. 

The time to convert ADRs/GDRs on other sanctioned securities has passed.

Currently, IBKR will allow the transfer of non-sanctioned Russian ADR/GDR to your account at another financial institution but will not accept a request to cancel. 

 3.       For which Russian ADRs/GDRs does IBKR not support the underlying?

Impacted Russian ADRs/GDRs with IBKR unsupported underlying shares:

CONID

SYMBOL

TYPE

DESCRIPTION

80626700

AFID

GDR

AFI Development PLC

166085502

OFCB.NEW

GDR

Bank Otkritie Financial Corp PJSC

524706462

CIAN

ADR

Cian PLC

295296446

ENPL

GDR

EN+ GROUP INTERNATIONAL PJSC

87252226

ETLN

GDR

Etalon Group PLC

417114892

ETLN

GDR

Etalon Group PLC

476824398

FIXP

GDR

Fix Price Group Ltd

476026071

81CM

GDR

Fix Price Group Ltd

486030310

FIXP

GDR

Fix Price Group Ltd

80626686

GLTR

GDR

Globaltrans Investment PLC

453585434

 G23A

GDR

Globaltrans Investment PLC

374970578

GLTVF

GDR

Globaltrans Investment PLC

468050165

GLTR

GDR

Globaltrans Investment PLC

365334065

HHR

ADR

HeadHunter Group PLC

219899462

HMSG

GDR

HMS Group Plc

117839302

IGSS

GDR

IG Seismic Services PLC

132194382

INTE.NEW

GDR

Integra Group Holdings

27346590

IRK

ADR

Irkutskenergo PJSC

145648213

LNTA

GDR

Lenta International Co PJSC

430743776

17LA

GDR

Lenta International Co PJSC

80626731

MMK

GDR

Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works PJSC

115644298

MDMG

GDR

MD Medical Group Investments PLC

538053495

MDMG

GDR

MD Medical Group Investments PLC

264323804

NVTK.NEW

GDR

Novatek PJSC

264324361

N1O.NEW

GDR

Novatek PJSC

80845568

OKEY

GDR

O'Key Group SA

457094770

OZON

ADR

Ozon Holdings PLC

471559700

1OZ

ADR

Ozon Holdings PLC

127080464

QIWI

ADR

QIWI plc

402496945

QIW

ADR

QIWI plc

470429605

QIWI

ADR

QIWI plc

87252231

AGRO

GDR

Ros Agro PLC

402077866

1RA1

GDR

Ros Agro PLC

425010492

AGRO

GDR

Ros Agro PLC

145399002

TCS

GDR

TCS Group Holding PLC

141221973

13T1

GDR

TCS Group Holding PLC

539103224

TCSG

GDR

TCS Group Holding PLC

47046909

N9E1

GDR

TMK PJSC

71568066

TMKXY

ADR

TMK PJSC

80626789

TMKS

GDR

TMK PJSC

510880570

GEMC

GDR

United Medical Group CY PLC

431404332

VKCO

GDR

VK Co Ltd [Entity

80845573

VKCO

GDR

VK Co Ltd [Entity

287347543

RL9A

GDR

VK Co Ltd [Entity

73793153

PJP

GDR

X5 Retail Group NV

80626656

FIVE

GDR

X5 Retail Group NV

360308839

FIVE

GDR

X5 Retail Group NV

 4.       How do I cancel my Russian ADRs/GDRs if the underlying shares are not supported by IBKR?

To cancel an unsupported Russian ADR/GDR, you will need to:

(i) have an account with a broker/dealer that can accept the underlying shares;

(ii) submit an ADR/GDR cancellation request directly to the issuing bank; and

(iii) instruct IBKR to deliver the impacted ADR/GDR free of payment (“FOP”) to the issuing bank. 

 5.       What are the Russian ADRs/GDRs for which IBKR supports the underlying?

Impacted Russian ADRs/GDRs with IBKR supported underlying shares:

CONID

SYMBOL

TYPE

DESCRIPTION

80626632

AKRN

GDR

Acron PJSC

210529843

AERZY

ADR

Aeroflot PJSC

210623850

AETG

GDR

Aeroflot PJSC

196473623

CHE.OLD

GDR

Cherkizovo Group PJSC

86252834

FEES

GDR

Federal Grid Co Unified Energy System PJSC

39514209

GAZ

ADR

Gazprom Neft PJSC

46065665

GZPFY

ADR

Gazprom Neft PJSC

39514212

SCF

ADR

Gazprom Neft PJSC

27021698

OGZD

ADR

Gazprom PJSC

27346599

OGZD

ADR

Gazprom PJSC

398849394

OGZD

ADR

Gazprom PJSC

39846663

OGZPY

ADR

Gazprom PJSC

98338077

IRAO

GDR

Inter RAO UES PJSC

435899591

3LSA

GDR

LSR Group PJSC

80626717

LSRG

GDR

LSR Group PJSC

210455521

LKOD

ADR

LUKOIL PJSC

210455007

LUK

ADR

LUKOIL PJSC

210455044

LUKOY

ADR

LUKOIL PJSC

75885725

5M71

GDR

Magnit PJSC

75837790

MGNT

GDR

Magnit PJSC

217681135

MHSG

ADR

Mechel PJSC

217681130

MTL

ADR

Mechel PJSC

75103361

MTL PR

ADR

Mechel PJSC

207574010

MNOD

ADR

MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC

206895915

NILSY

ADR

MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC

206884058

NNIC

ADR

MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC

9541728

MBT

ADR

Mobile TeleSystems PJSC

33203280

MKY

ADR

Mobile TeleSystems PJSC

42344155

AOMOY

ADR

Mosenergo PJSC

27346605

MRO

ADR

Mosenergo PJSC

36533363

N1O

GDR

Novatek PJSC

558444228

NOVKY

GDR

Novatek PJSC

36360114

NVTK

GDR

Novatek PJSC

43249776

N7MG

GDR

Novolipetsk Steel PJSC

41230814

NLMK

GDR

Novolipetsk Steel PJSC

80626724

NCSP

GDR

Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port PJSC

402077856

P6SG

GDR

PhosAgro PJSC

91463511

PHOR

GDR

PhosAgro PJSC

80626734

 PIK.OLD

GDR

PIK Group PJSC

185829327

AUCOY

ADR

Polymetal International PLC

225109537

 PCZL.MRG

ADR

Polyus PJSC

224023154

OPYGY

ADR

Polyus PJSC

400852499

P6J1

GDR

Polyus PJSC

281407155

PLZL

GDR

Polyus PJSC

39981229

ROSN

GDR

Rosneft Oil Co PJSC

80626697

ROSN

GDR

Rosneft Oil Co PJSC

206728080

RSTI

GDR

ROSSETI PJSC

38313856

RKMD

ADR

Rostelecom PJSC

6478035

ROSYY

ADR

Rostelecom PJSC

13870467

RTL

ADR

Rostelecom PJSC

206381041

HYDR

ADR

RusHydro PJSC

206381051

RG2A

ADR

RusHydro PJSC

206381044

RSHYY

ADR

RusHydro PJSC

90581067

SBER

ADR

Sberbank of Russia PJSC

90274039

SBNC

ADR

Sberbank of Russia PJSC

89561276

SBRCY

ADR

Sberbank of Russia PJSC

43194702

RTS2

GDR

Severstal PJSC

43194704

SVST

GDR

Severstal PJSC

37108681

KO71

GDR

Sistema PJSFC

36771425

SSA

GDR

Sistema PJSFC

28519015

SGGD

ADR

Surgutneftegas PJSC

27346611

SGN

ADR

Surgutneftegas PJSC

34808933

SGNV

ADR

Surgutneftegas PJSC

26976225

SGTPY

ADR

Surgutneftegas PJSC

42344162

SGTZY

ADR

Surgutneftegas PJSC

214702415

ATAD

ADR

Tatneft PJSC

214664229

OAOFY

ADR

Tatneft PJSC

214702410

TTFB

ADR

Tatneft PJSC

122139369

KYM1

GDR

VTB Bank PJSC

59015085

VTBR

GDR

VTB Bank PJSC

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

If you hold a Russian ADR/GDR there is no requirement for you to cancel the impacted depositary receipts but IBKR will no longer support conversions of ADR/GDR into RUB-based securities.

 7.       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.  

 

E.   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. If you are a Russian resident, you will need to transfer your shares to a local Russian Broker.

 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. 

 

F.   Cashiering Restrictions – Rubles

In line with many financial institutions, IBKR is reducing exposure to the Russian Ruble (“RUB”). 

 1.       What are the restrictions on cashiering in Rubles?

Deposits in RUB
Beginning June 24, 2022 and ending at 23:59 ET on July 27, 2022, each IBKR account will be allowed a single deposit in RUB.  Additional RUB deposits will be rejected.  In addition, any deposit in RUB made after July 27 will also be rejected.

 All RUB deposits will be subject to a currency conversion to USD or EUR.  Please visit the IBKR Knowledge Base for the specifics regarding the currency conversion.

 Withdrawals in RUB
IBKR will be able to accommodate withdrawals in RUB until 23:59 ET on July 27, 2022. After that date, you will not be able to withdraw in RUB.

 2.       Do I have to withdraw my RUB Cash currently in my account?

Clients may withdraw their RUB any time prior to 23:59 ET July 27, 2022.

Clients may also elect to maintain RUB in their accounts at their own risk. Unless you notify us otherwise, your RUB balances will be automatically converted. Your notice must be received in writing by IBKR no later than 23:59 ET on July 22, 2022. For instructions on sending a notice visit the IBKR Knowledge Base.

On July 28, 2022, IBKR will begin converting the RUB balance in any account that has not instructed otherwise or withdrawn the RUB.

Please visit the IBKR Knowledge Base for the specifics regarding the currency conversion.

 3.       What happens to my Short RUB Cash Positions?

IBKR will liquidate short RUB positions on July 28, 2022.

Clients will not be able to retain their short positions.  All of these positions will be closed without exception.

 4.       What if the Base Currency of my account is RUB?

IBKR does not currently allow clients to maintain RUB as their base currency.  If you previously used RUB as your base currency, we converted it to USD or EUR depending on which IBKR entity carries your account. (This information can be found in the IBKR Knowledge Base.)

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.

FAQS: IBIE Brexit Account Migration

Overview: 

This is an important document regarding the proposed transfer of your account from IBUK and IBLLC to IBIE 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 Ireland, namely, Interactive Brokers Ireland Limited (“IBIE”). We propose to transfer the business that you currently conduct with IBUK and IBLLC to IBIE. 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 IBIE (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 IBIE? What sort of a firm is it?

Effective 22 December 2020, IBIE became authorised as an investment firm by the Central Bank of Ireland. Its regulatory status and profile will be very similar to IBUK’s. This is because both IBIE and IBUK will be 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 IBIE. We explain this in more detail in Part B of this FAQs.

5. What are IBIE’s legal details?

Interactive Brokers Ireland Limited is registered as a private company limited by shares (registration number 657406) and is listed in the Register of Companies maintained by the Irish Companies Registration Office. Its registered address is 10 Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2, D02 T380, Ireland. We are still finalising IBIE’s day-to-day contact details and we will be in touch with these details in due course.

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

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

Location

The Central Bank of Ireland

New Wapping Street

North Wall Quay

Dublin 1

D01 F7X3

Contact Numbers

Phone: +353 (0)1 224 6000

Fax: +353 (0)1 224 5550

Postal Address

Central Bank of Ireland

P.O. Box 559

Dublin 1

Public Helpline

E-mail: enquiries@centralbank.ie

Lo-Call: 1890 777 777

Phone: +353 (0)1 224 5800

 

7. Where does IBIE fit with respect to the broader Interactive Brokers group?

IBIE 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?

We do not anticipate any material impacts for you as a result of the Proposed Transfer. Nonetheless, it is very important that you read this 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 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, IBIE 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 IBIE 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 IBIE. 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 IBIE? Are there any material differences that will apply to my relationship with IBIE 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, Irish conduct of business rules will exclusively apply to your relationship with IBIE. Similar to the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s rules, the Irish conduct of business rules are based on MiFID and IBIE’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 IBIE be held from a legal/regulatory perspective? Are there any material differences that will apply to my relationship with IBIE 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, Irish custody rules will exclusively apply to your relationship with IBIE. Like the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s rules, the Irish conduct of business rules are based on MiFID. Please consult the Client Assets Key Information Document attached in the Important Information section in relation to the Irish custody regime.

4. How am I protected against loss? Are there any material differences that will apply to my relationship with IBIE 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 Irish Investor Compensation Scheme, which is administered by The Investor Compensation Company DAC, may protect your assets from loss should IBIE default and be unable to meet its obligations to you.

Ireland’s compensation scheme is similar to the compensation scheme you have access to in the UK, albeit with a lower limit. The purpose of the Irish Investor Compensation Scheme is to pay compensation to you (subject to certain limits) if you have invested money or investment instruments in either of the following cases:

  • A firm goes out of business and cannot return your investments or money; and
  • A Central Bank of Ireland determination or a court ruling has been made under the Investor Compensation Act 1998;

The Investor Compensation Company DAC (ICCL) administers the scheme. IBIE will be a member of the scheme.

The scheme covers investment products including:

  • Public and private company shares
  • Units in collective investment schemes
  • Life insurance policies (including unit-linked funds)
  • Non-life insurance policies
  • Tracker bonds
  • Futures and options

Usually, 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 ICCL will pay you compensation for 90% of the amount you have lost, up to a maximum of €20,000.

5. How do I make a complaint to IBIE? Are there any material differences that will apply to my relationship with IBIE 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 new Customer Agreement sets out how to lodge a complaint with IBIE. 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 Ireland has a dispute resolution scheme in the form of the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman (“FSPO”) The FSPO is a free and independent statutory dispute resolution scheme for financial services. You may be eligible to make a complaint to the FSPO if you are an “eligible complainant”. Details of who are “eligible complainants” can be found on www.fspo.ie. The FSPO can be contacted at:

Postal Address

Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman

Lincoln House,

Lincoln Place

Dublin 2

D02 VH29

Telephone

+353 (0)1 567 7000

Email

Info@fspo.ie

7. How will my personal data be processed and protected? Are there any material differences that will apply to my relationship with IBIE 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 IBIE 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?

Our current expectation is that the same range of products will be offered by IBIE as are offered by IBUK.

There might be a restriction on Foreign Exchange transactions that would create a negative balance or would increase a preexisting negative balance in either component currency (i.e., "Leveraged Forex"). However, the same currency pairs can be traded as a Forex CFD. Contracts For Difference are complex instruments, and we invite you to carefully review the CFD risk warnings before trading these instruments following the transfer of your account.

Please note that IBIE 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.

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

Your open positions will be transferred to IBIE and you will face IBIE 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).

4. 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 the new Irish entity – IBIE - upon the Proposed Transfer taking place.

We do not anticipate you needing to take any steps to reflect the change in beneficiary, although we may need to take some administrative steps of our own to update security registers with the change in details. This should, however, not affect our priority or otherwise affect the date from which the security is valid.

5. 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.

6. Will all account balances be transferred at the same time?

All balances, with the exception of accruals (e.g., interest, dividends) will be transferred at the same time. Once accruals have been posted to cash, they will automatically be swept to the migrated account. 

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

Once all accruals have been  swept, your current account 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 archived activity and tax statements.

8. Will IBKR’s commissions and fees change when my account is migrated?

No. IBKR commissions and fees do not vary by the broker your account is maintained with.

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

Subject to the Leveraged Forex limitation discussed in (2) above, we do not expect any changes to your trading permissions when your account is migrated.

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

Open orders will be not 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.

11. Will I be subject to the U.S. Pattern Day Trading Rule once my account is migrated?

Accounts maintained with IBUK are subject to the U.S. Pattern Day Trading (PDT) rule as the accounts are introduced to and carried by IBLLC, a U.S. broker. The PDT rules restricts accounts with equity below USD 25,000 to no more than 3 Day Trades within any 5-business day period.

As accounts migrated to IBIE will not be introduced to IBLLC, they will not be subject to the PDT rule.

12. Will I receive a single, combined annual activity statement at year end?

No. You will receive an annual statement of your existing account which will cover the period starting January 1, 2020 through the date of migration and a second annual statement for your new account which will cover the period starting from the migration date through the end of the year.

13. 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.

14. 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. In limited instances, an account will be migrated to a jurisdiction where the full scope of product eligibility cannot be offered. Client’s holding restricted products may migrate and maintain or close such positions but won’t be allowed to increase the position.

15. Will my login credentials 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.

 

FAQS: IBLUX Brexit Account Migration

Overview: 

This is an important document regarding the proposed transfer of your account from IBUK and IBLLC to IBLUX 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 article, which summarises some of the key changes to the regulatory framework brought about by the Proposed Transfer (as described below) and provides answers to some more general questions you may have. It should be read in conjunction with the Covering Letter sent to you via email and to which it was linked. If you require any further information, please get in touch with us using the contact details provided in that Covering Letter. This article 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 article and the Original FAQs, please rely on the information contained in this article.

Discussion:

This Information Leaflet is split into three parts.

  • Part A sets outs key information in relation to our proposal to transfer your business.
  • Part B covers key legal and regulatory topics that arise as a result of the arrangements covered in Part A.
  • Part C aims to answer any other questions you may have and provide some further and more practical information in relation to what will and will not be changing following the Proposed Transfer.

 PART A – THE PROPOSED TRANSFER

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

As you would 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 the ability to do so 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 Luxembourg, specifically, Interactive Brokers Luxembourg SARL (“IBLUX”). The proposal is to transfer the business that you currently conduct with IBUK and IBLLC to IBLUX. In other words, it is our intention that all of your accounts, investments and services currently provided by IBUK and IBLLC will instead be singularly provided by IBLUX (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 IBLUX? What sort of a firm is it?

IBLUX was granted authorisation by the Luxembourg Financial Sector Supervisory Commission (Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier, CSSF) to operate as an investment firm in November 2019. IBLUX’s regulatory status and profile is very similar to IBUK’s. This is because both IBLUX and IBUK are authorised pursuant to the second Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. This is an EU-wide piece of legislation whose purpose is to, as much as possible, harmonise how investment firms are regulated. 

This does not mean there are not some differences between the regulations that apply to your relationship at present and those that will apply once your account is transferred. We explain these in more detail in Part B of this article. 

5. What are IBLUX’s legal details?

Interactive Brokers Luxembourg SARL is registered as a private company limited by shares (société à responsabilité limitée)  (registration number B229091) in the register of companies for Luxembourg. Its registered address is 4, rue Robert Stümper, L - 2557 Luxembourg. We are still finalising IBLUX’s day-to-day contact details and will be in touch with these in due course.   

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

The Luxembourg Financial Sector Supervisory Commission (CSSF) is the competent regulator for IBLUX (in the same way that the Financial Conduct Authority is the competent regulator for IBUK). The Luxembourg Financial Sector Supervisory Commission’s (CSSF) contact details are set out below:

Location

Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier

283, route d’ArlonL-1150

Luxembourg 

Postal Address

Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier

L-2991 Luxembourg

 

7. Where does IBLUX fit with respect to the broader Interactive Brokers group?

IBLUX 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?

We do not anticipate any material impacts. Nonetheless, it is very important you read this article and make sure you understand what the changes are.

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 Customer Agreement and other Documents attached to the Covering Letter and to the regulatory matters outlined in the Covering Letter. 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 you may be adversely affected by it. However, you should be aware that if you decide to decline, IBUK will likely not be able to keep servicing your account at the end of the Brexit transition period. If that happens, your account will be put in liquidation and we will ask you to transfer your assets 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 Information Leaflet and the Covering Letter before deciding to consent to or decline to 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, IBLUX 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 your relationship 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 IBLUX. A copy of the new Customer Agreement will be presented to you online when you are provided with an opportunity to consent. Please see 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 IBLUX? Are there any material differences that apply to my relationship with IBLUX when compared to my existing relationship led by IBUK in this context?

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 regulation (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 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 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) apply to IBLLC’s role (including its obligations in relation to best execution and custody).

Note more generally 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, Luxembourg conduct of business rules will exclusively apply to your relationship with IBLUX. Like the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s rules, these are based heavily on MiFID and IBLUX’s obligations in relation to best execution 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 IBLUX be held from a legal/regulatory perspective? Are there any material differences that apply to my relationship with IBLUX when compared to my existing relationship led by IBUK in this context?

The rules that currently apply depends on the sort of business you presently have with IBUK (see B2 above). Where you conduct “carried” business with IBUK the, Financial Conduct Authority’s client asset (or “CASS”) rules will apply. These 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, Luxembourg custody rules will exclusively apply to your relationship with IBLUX. Like the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s rules, these are based heavily on MiFID.

4. How am I protected against loss? Are there any material differences that apply to my relationship with IBLUX when compared to my existing relationship led by IBUK in this context?

Currently your eligible assets are protected from loss either under the US Securities Investor Protection Corporation or the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme (which regime applies depends on the relevant segment of your IBUK account, as explained above in B2). After the Proposed Transfer, the Luxembourg Investor Compensation Scheme (Système d’indemnisation des investisseurs, SIIL) will protect your assets from loss should IBLUX default and be unable to meet its obligations to you.

Luxembourg’s compensation scheme is similar to the compensation scheme you have access to in the UK, albeit with a lower limit. The purpose of the Luxembourg Investor Compensation Scheme (Système d’indemnisation des investisseurs, SIIL) is to pay compensation to you (subject to certain limits) if you have invested money or investment instruments in either of the following cases:

  • An authorised firm that the CSSF has decided is not in a position to repay investors/meet its obligations, or
  • A court ruling prevents the firm from returning your investment.

The scheme is operated by the Luxembourg financial markets authority (Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier, CSSF) and managed by the Council of protection of depositors and investors (Conseil de protection des déposants et des investisseurs, CPDI). If a member firm of the scheme goes out of business and cannot return your money or investment instruments, you may be able to claim compensation from the scheme.

IBLUX is a member of the scheme.

The scheme covers investment products including:

  • Public and private company shares
  • Units in collective investment schemes
  • Tracker bonds
  • Futures and options

Usually 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. 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 Luxembourg Investor Compensation Scheme (Système d’indemnisation des investisseurs, SIIL) will pay you compensation for the amount you have lost, up to a maximum of €20,000.

5. How do I make a complaint to IBLUX? Are there any material differences that apply to my relationship with IBLUX when compared to my existing relationship led by IBUK in this context? What if my complaint relates to something that happened while I was a customer of IBUK?

The new Customer Agreement sets out how to lodge a complaint with IBLUX. The 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 complain 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. Will I still have access to the Financial Ombudsman?

In case of a complaint, investors should follow the complaints procedure as referred to in the Customer Agreement. Once the Proposed Transfer has taken place, the UK Financial Ombudsman Service will cease to have jurisdiction over any complaints.

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

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 prior to the Proposed Transfer and you should contact IBLUX with any questions following the Proposed Transfer. Regardless of who you contact at Interactive Brokers, we will ensure your query is promptly dealt with and will help you to connect to the right person or department.

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

Our current expectation is that the majority of products that can be traded in the IBUK account will be offered by IBLUX. However, there are some limitations.  However, IBLUX will not offer the ability to transact leveraged foreign exchange or to adhere to the Stock Yield Enhancement Programme that is currently available to you. Clients that are residents of Luxembourg will also be restricted from trading Bonds.

Please note that IBLUX 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

To the extent you are impacted by this, we will separately get in touch with you.

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

Your open positions will be transferred to IBLUX and your position will face IBLUX rather than IBUK. You will no longer have any legal relationship with IBUK in relation to those positions.

We will separately provide to you an updated  Key Information Document (please follow the link to the PRIIPs KID landing page in the Covering Letter).

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

If you have granted security or collateral to IBUK/IBLLC, it will transfer to IBLUX upon the Proposed Transfer. We do not anticipate you needing to take any steps to reflect the change in beneficiary, although we may need to take some administrative steps of our own to update security registers with the change in details. This should, however, not affect our priority or otherwise affect the date from which the security is valid.

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

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.

6. Will all account balances be transferred at the same time? What will happen to my current account following migration?

All balances, with the exception of accruals (e.g., interest, dividends) will be transferred at the same time. Once accruals have been posted to cash, they will automatically be swept to the migrated account

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

Once all accruals have been  swept, your current account 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 archived activity and tax statements.

8. Will IBKR’s commissions and fees change when my account is migrated?

No. IBKR commissions and fees do not vary by the broker your account is maintained with.

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

Following migration, you will be restricted from engaging in leveraged forex transactions.

10. 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.

11. Will I be subject to the U.S. Pattern Day Trading Rule once my account is migrated?

Accounts maintained with IBUK are subject to the U.S. Pattern Day Trading (PDT) rule as the accounts are introduced to and carried by IBLLC, a U.S. broker. The PDT rule restricts accounts with equity below USD 25,000 to no more than 3 Day Trades within any 5-business day period.
 
As accounts migrated to IBLUX will not be introduced to IBLLC, they will not be subject to the PDT rule.

12. Will I receive a single, combined annual activity statement at year end?

No. You will receive an annual statement for your existing account which will cover the period starting January 1, 2020 through the date of migration and a second annual statement for your new account which will cover the period starting from the migration date through December 31, 2020.

13. 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.

14. 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.  In limited instances, an account will be migrated to a jurisdiction where the full scope of product eligibility cannot be offered. Client’s holding restricted products may migrate and maintain or close such positions but won’t be allowed to increase the position. 

15. Will my login credentials change? 
A: No. Your user name, 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.