Interactive Brokers Australia Pty Ltd (“IBKR Australia”), which holds an Australian Financial Services License (“AFSL” No. 453554), has been established. IBKR Australia is headquartered in Sydney and has been set up to provide services to our Australian clients. IBKR Australia clients, products and services have some unique characteristics when compared to the Interactive Brokers (“IBKR”) global account and product suite. The purpose of this document is to outline these characteristics of the IBKR Australia offering.
IBKR Australia offers both cash accounts and margin accounts to all types of clients, including Individual / Joint account holders as well as trust account holders and corporate clients.
For Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (“SMSF”) account holders, IBKR Australia only offers cash accounts.
Natural Person v Non-Natural Person
Under IBKR Australia clients will be categorised as either natural persons or non-natural persons.
A natural person client would include individuals / joint account holders, as well as trusts with at least one natural person trustee. A non-natural person client would include corporate entities as well as trusts with only non-natural person trustees.
Australian Regulatory Status
Under IBKR Australia clients will be classified as either a retail, wholesale or professional investor. All new clients of IBKR Australia default to being classified as a retail investor unless they produce the required documentary evidence to enable IBKR Australia to treat them as a wholesale or professional investor.
Refer to this link for information regarding Australian regulatory status under IBKR Australia.
IBKR Australia offer three different types of cash accounts:
SMSF account (only available to Self-Managed Superannuation Fund)
Investment Account: Similar to the IBLLC Cash account model, the IBKR Australia Investment account does not allow you to short securities or to borrow funds, i.e. your account cannot have a debit balance. Moreover, only a limited number of options strategies will be available. This account is not eligible for reduced intraday Futures margin.
This account is available for all clients except SMSF clients.
Trading Account: While this is also a cash account that does not permit you to have a debit balance, you will be permitted to short stock and trade any of the available option strategies in the Trading Account, provided that you have the requisite trading experience and expertise, which is outlined here. Further, Trading Accounts enable you to trade with unsettled funds.
If you currently have an Investment Account, you can submit a change of account type to change to a Trading Account by logging into the Client Portal and clicking the User menu (head and shoulders icon in the top right corner) followed by Manage Account. Under Configuration, click the Configure tool next to Account Type. This may take 2-3 business days to review.
This account is available for all clients except SMSF clients.
SMSF: This is only available to SMSF clients. This is a cash account that does not permit you to short securities or to borrow funds, i.e. your account cannot have a debit balance. Moreover, only a limited number of options strategies will be available. This account is not eligible for reduced intraday Futures margin.
The options strategies that are available in the Investment Account and the SMSF account are as follows:
Long Call or Put
Call Spread; exdate(long) >= exdate(short)
Put Spread; exdate(long) >= exdate(short)
Long / Short Butterfly
IBKR Australia offers margin accounts that will provide all clients excluding SMSF clients with the ability to create portfolios to the maximum degree of risk taking/leverage allowed by IBKR Australia. Please note that margin accounts offered by IBKR Australia may be different from client to client depending on various factors. Please refer to this link for more information regarding margin accounts offered by IBKR Australia.
CFD Product Offering
As a client of IBKR Australia, provided that you have the requisite trading experience and expertise, which is outlined here, you will be able to trade all of exchange traded products available (including local and global stocks, options, futures, bonds, ETFs etc.) through our award winning trading platform and software.
In addition, IBKR Australia issue Contracts for Difference (“CFDs”) over global shares, indices, metals and FX. These are only available to IBKR Australia clients. For further information on IBKR Australia's products and services, please see our website.
Refer to this link for information on IBAU’s share CFDs.
Refer to this link for information on IBAU’s index CFDs.
Refer to this link for information on IBAU's metal CFDs.
Refer to this link for information on IBAU’s FX CFDs.
Please note that 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. Refer to this link for more information.
IBKR Australia can only support currencies in AUD, USD, HKD, EUR and GBP and you can convert between these currencies. If you have cash balances in currencies other than IBA supported currencies (AUD, USD, HKD, EUR or GBP) these will to be converted into your nominated base currency.
IBAU clients, when permissioned, can trade in any market available across our network, even those outside the 5 supported currencies above. However, upon your instruction for any market outside the 5 supported currencies, IBKR Australia will automatically execute Forex conversions to ensure non-supported cash balances be cleared.
For example, if an IBKR Australia client using a Cash account wishes to buy JPY denominated securities, as long as the client has sufficient available funds (for a cash account) or sufficient equity (for a margin account), the trade is permitted. To settle the trade, IBKR Australia will convert the existing cash balances into JPY. Similarly at a later date, if the same client wishes to sell their JPY denominated securities, IBKR Australia would automatically convert the JPY proceeds to the base currency by day end, once again leaving no residual JPY cash balances.
If an IBKR Australia client using a margin account has any positive or negative cash balances (if permitted) outside of the 5 supported currencies, it will be automatically converted to base currency by day end.
In order to ensure continued compliance with our regulatory obligations, IBKR Australia will NOT accept any other form of collateral except cash for the purposes of determining whether you can trade or hold ASX24 products. If the margin requirements of ASX24 products cannot be met using cash, your account will be subject to automated liquidation.