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.
Please take time to read these FAQs, which summarizes some of the key changes to the regulatory framework which will be brought about by the Proposed Transfer (as described below) and provide answers to some of the more general questions that you may have. The FAQs should be read in conjunction with the Covering Letter. If you require any further information, please get in touch with us using the contact details provided in the Covering Letter.
The FAQs are split into three parts.
Part A sets out 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).
What is the situation currently?
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”).
What is Interactive Brokers requesting?
We are inviting all clients domiciled in the European Economic Area (“EEA”) to transfer their accounts to one of our brokers based in Europe.
We propose to transfer the relationship that you currently have with IBUK and IBLLC to Interactive Brokers Ireland Limited (“IBIE”), an Interactive Brokers investment firm located in Ireland. 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”).
Who is IBIE? What sort of a firm is it?
IBIE is an investment firm regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and authorised pursuant to the second Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Directive 2014/65/EU). IBIE is an affiliate of IBUK and IBLLC.
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. IBIE can be contracted by telephone at 00800-42-276537 or electronically through the IBIE website at www.interactivebrokers.ie.
Who regulates IBIE and what are their contact details?
As set out above the Central Bank of Ireland is the competent regulator for IBIE (in the same way that the Financial Conduct Authority is the competent regulator for IBUK). IBIE is included in the Central Bank of Ireland’s register of authorised firms under number 423427. The Central Bank of Ireland’s contact details are set out below:
The Central Bank of Ireland
New Wapping Street
North Wall Quay
Phone: +353 (0)1 224 6000
Fax: +353 (0)1 224 5550
Central Bank of Ireland
P.O. Box 559
Lo-Call: 1890 777 777
Phone: +353 (0)1 224 5800
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.
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 these FAQs carefully and in full and make sure that you understand what the changes are for you.
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. You have the option of transferring your positions to another broker or closing your positions and transferring any cash balance to another account.
If you do not take action by December 7, 2022, your account will be restricted from opening new transactions or transferring in 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.
What happens next?
If you consent to the transfer, please complete all actions detailed in the Covering Letter and we will prepare your account to be transferred to IBIE. Once your account is transferred, IBIE will write to you with further information about your new relationship with them.
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 IBIE Customer Agreement is available in the Important Information section of the Proposed Transfer process.
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.
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 provided in the Important Information section in relation to the Irish custody regime.
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 GBP 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
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.
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. Its current contact information will stay the same and can be found at interactivebrokers.co.uk should you need to contact IBUK.
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. Once your account is transferred to IBIE, 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:
Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman
+353 (0)1 567 7000
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?
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.
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. However, the same currency pairs can be traded as 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.
In limited instances where clients hold restricted products, clients may transfer and maintain or close such positions but won’t be allowed to increase the position.
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).
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 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.
Will I have access to the same trading platform or be subject to any software changes following the transfer of my account?
The transfer of your account 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.
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 transferred account.
What will happen to my current account following the transfer of my account?
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.
Will IBKR’s commissions and fees change when my account is transferred?
IBKR commissions and fees do not vary by the broker your account is maintained with.
Will my trading permissions change when my account is transferred?
No. Your trading permissions will not change when your account is transferred.
Will open orders (e.g., Good-til-Canceled) be carried over when my account is transferred?
Open orders will not be carried over to the new account, and we recommend that clients review their orders immediately following the transfer of their account to ensure that the open orders are consistent with their trading intentions.
Will I be subject to the U.S. Pattern Day Trading Rule if my account is transferred?
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 transferred to IBIE will not be introduced to IBLLC, they will not be subject to the PDT rule.
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 1 January 2022 through the date your account was transferred and a second annual statement for your new account which will cover the period starting from the transfer date through the end of the year.
Will the current cost basis of positions be carried over when my account is transferred?
Yes, the transfer of your account will have no impact upon the cost basis of your positions.
Will the transferred account retain the same configuration as the current account?
The configuration of the account following transfer 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.
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 transfer. You will, however, be assigned a new account ID for your transferred account.