When placing your money with a broker, you need to make sure your broker is secure and can endure through good and bad times. The financial statements of Interactive Brokers LLC are available on our website for your review.
Note that Interactive Brokers LLC and its affiliates are owned by IBG LLC.
Customer money is segregated in special bank or custody accounts, which are designated for the exclusive benefit of customers of IBKR. This protection (the SEC term is "reserve" and the CFTC term is "segregation") is a core principle of securities and commodities brokerage. By properly segregating the customer's assets, if no money or stock is borrowed and no futures positions are held by the customer, then the customer's assets are available to be returned to the customer in the event of a default by or bankruptcy of the broker.
A portion of customer funds are typically invested in U.S. Treasury securities. Although permitted by CFTC regulations, given the credit concerns over foreign sovereign debt IBKR does not currently invest any customer money in money market funds.
As a practice, IBKR holds an excess amount of its own money in these reserve and segregated accounts to ensure that there is more than enough cash to protect all customers.
Securities customer money is protected as follows:
Current SEC regulations require broker-dealers to perform a detailed reconciliation of customer money and securities (known as the "reserve computation") at least weekly to ensure that customer monies are properly segregated from the broker-dealer's own funds. In order to further enhance our protection of our customers' assets, Interactive Brokers sought and received approval from FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), to perform and report the reserve computation on a daily basis, instead of once per week. IBKR initiated daily computations in December 2011 along with daily adjustments of the money set aside in safekeeping for our customers. Reconciling our accounts and customer reserves daily instead of weekly is just another way that Interactive Brokers seeks to provide state-of-the-art protection for our customers.
Customer-owned, fully-paid securities are protected in accounts at depositories and custodians that are specifically identified for the exclusive benefit of customers. IBKR reconciles positions in securities owned by customers daily to ensure that these securities have been received at the depositories and custodians.
Commodities customer money is protected as follows:
Click below for the Interactive Brokers Firm Specific Disclosure Document required by CFTC Rule 1.55(k).
Interactive Brokers LLC Firm Specific Disclosure Document pursuant to CFTC Rule 1.55(k) and NFA Rule 2-36(n)
For customers who borrow money from IBKR to purchase securities, IBKR is permitted by securities regulations to utilize for financing purposes up to 140% of the loan value of the stock these customers hold with IBKR. In simple terms, IBKR borrows money from a third party (such as a bank or broker-dealer), using the customer's margin stock as collateral, and it lends those funds to the customer to finance the customer's margin purchases. Typically, IBKR lends out a small portion of the total stock it is permitted to lend out. When IBKR lends customers' stock, it must put additional money into the special reserve accounts set aside for the benefit of customers.
Under the Insured Bank Deposit Sweep Program, eligible IBKR clients can obtain up to $2,500,000 of FDIC insurance in addition to the existing $250,000 SIPC coverage for total coverage of $2,750,000. IBKR sweeps each participating client's free credit balances daily to one or more banks, up to $246,500 per bank, allowing for the accrual of interest and keeping within the FDIC protected threshold. Cash balances above $2,750,000 remain subject to safeguarding under the SEC's Customer Protection Rule 15c3-3, backed by the firm's equity capital, which exceeds $7 billion.
Click below for more information about the Insured Bank Deposit Sweep Program and its benefits. https://www.interactivebrokers.com/en/index.php?f=27462
Interactive Brokers LLC (IBKR) takes a proactive approach to customer protection. IBKR determines the amount of cash and securities owed to customers daily and segregates funds for the exclusive benefit of customers, along with a large buffer. IBKR was the first broker-dealer approved by FINRA to calculate its customer reserve obligation (under Rule 15c3-3) on a daily basis, while the industry standard is to perform this calculation on a weekly or monthly basis.
IBKR's enhanced customer protection reduces the risk of customers not receiving a full refund in the event of the firm’s liquidation. At nearly all other broker-dealers, the amount owed to customers is determined weekly or monthly. This poses a risk to clients' funds deposited in the interim, since those firms generally will only protect what was on deposit as of the last time a computation was performed. IBKR determines what is owed to customers and sets aside funds to cover our obligations every business day. In the highly unlikely event of our dissolution, trustees would more easily be able to determine what is owed to each customer. At other broker-dealers, trustees would have to re-create the past week of activity which, as evidenced by the Lehman bankruptcy, would substantially delay the remittance of assets.
IBKR applies real-time risk margin requirements to customer accounts, whereas most the rest of the industry applies end-of-day risk margin. If a customer is deemed to have insufficient assets to cover the risk of their open positions, IBKR typically will perform real-time liquidations of their positions to return the account to margin compliance. Other broker-dealers often permit customers to carry this risk over multiple days.
IBKR's real-time risk margin requirement and protective liquidations greatly minimize our customers’ exposure to losses attributable to other customers’ trading, and the risk that customer losses pose to IBKR. The practice of other broker-dealers to calculate risk of the end of the day increases the likelihood that volatile market conditions could expose their customers to risk compared to IBKR customers in similar market conditions. Firms that do not impose real-time liquidations, and allow customers to promise to bring in funds at a future date to cover the risk, expose clients to the credit risk of other customers.
Another major benefit of doing business with IBKR is that it does not carry any proprietary inventory. IBKR solely acts as a facilitator for customer trading and does not make any directional bets. Two of the most significant broker-dealer bankruptcies of the past decade (Lehman Brothers and MF Global) were caused by the risk generated from proprietary holdings.
Since IBKR does not make proprietary bets, the risk of IBKR going bankrupt and customer funds being tied up in a liquidation is significantly less than other broker-dealers that which take proprietary positions. Additionally, IBKR’s customers do not have to worry about their broker making proprietary bets against them.
All broker-dealers are permitted to loan customer securities (called "rehypothecation") if a customer borrows on margin. When IBKR engages in rehypothecation of customer securities, it sets aside 103% of the market value of customer securities rehypothecated, on daily basis. Most other broker dealers set aside this money only once a week.
By setting aside customer funds daily, IBKR ensures that there is segregated cash in excess of the market value of securities rehypothecated to make customers whole. For other broker-dealers that only perform this calculation weekly, customer funds and assets are subjected to an increased risk that the firm has not protected its customers for the intraweek use of customer assets, which could result in losses to customers.
Similarly, unlike other broker-dealers, IBKR segregates cash daily to cover securities owed to customers that temporarily are not in a good control location 1. This is a common occurrence in the industry, known as a "segregation deficit". Other broker-dealers may allow these deficits to persist for several days before taking required action.
IBKR reduces customers’ risk by ensuring that the market value of all securities not designated in a good control location are properly segregated in cash on a daily basis. This allows IBKR customers to retain a high level of confidence that it will properly segregate all of their assets. Many other broker dealers will carry the deficit for several days without taking any additional steps to protect customers.
Finally, IBKR is not affiliated with a bank, which is unlike most comparably capitalized broker-dealers. Not being affiliated with a bank provides IBKR , with a more stable platform for our customers should a marketwide crisis arise.
Broker-dealers affiliated with banks are subject to further supervision by banking regulators, which results in additional uncertainty as to who has rights to the assets in the event of a bankruptcy. Since IBKR is not a bank, we believe customers' assets would be returned in a more timely fashion than for bank- owned broker-dealers. Moreover, in a financial crises scenario, IBKR’s financial resources would be dedicated solely to ensuring the continued smooth operations of the broker-dealer. Bank-affiliated broker-dealers, on the other hand, are capitalized by their bank affiliate, and are generally set-up as a subsidiary of a bank holding company affiliate. Unlike IBKR these bank-affiliated broker-dealers are not independent, self-capitalized entities adding a layer of additional risk for their customers. In a financial crisis those broker-dealers are competing with their banking affiliates for capital and liquidity. This could result in the capital being pulled out of the broker-dealer and funds being deployed at the affiliated banking entity to the detriment of brokerage customers. Lehman Brothers, and Bear Stearns are historical examples of entities that raided their broker-dealer affiliates for capital to try to save the banks, which were the root cause of their financial troubles. Both entities filed for bankruptcy. As a result, their customers experienced significant delays in accessing their assets and transferring them to an operational broker-dealer.
Indeed, during the height of the financial crisis, while customers were removing funds and equity from these bank- affiliated broker-dealers, those customers were depositing their assets with IBKR as a safe haven. As a result of IBKR's strong financial position, customer equity and customer cash increased by 77% and 65% respectively from November 2008-November 2009.
Customer securities accounts at Interactive Brokers LLC are protected by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation ("SIPC") for a maximum coverage of $500,000 (with a cash sublimit of $250,000) and under Interactive Brokers LLC's excess SIPC policy with certain underwriters at Lloyd's of London 1 for up to an additional $30 million (with a cash sublimit of $900,000) subject to an aggregate limit of $150 million. Futures and options on futures are not covered. As with all securities firms, this coverage provides protection against failure of a broker-dealer, not against loss of market value of securities.
For the purpose of determining an Interactive Brokers LLC customer account, accounts with like names and titles (e.g. John and Jane Smith and Jane and John Smith) are combined, but accounts with different titles are not (e.g. Individual/John Smith and IRA/John Smith).
SIPC is a non-profit, membership corporation funded by broker-dealers that are members of SIPC. For more information about SIPC and answers to frequently asked questions (such as how SIPC works, what is protected, how to file a claim, etc.), please refer to the following websites:
or contact SIPC at:
Securities Investor Protection Corporation
805 15th Street, N.W. - Suite 800
Washington, D.C. 20005-2215
Telephone: (202) 371-8300
Facsimile: (202) 371-6728
Interactive Brokers is committed to protecting your account and your account assets from fraudulent practices. The Secure Login System provides an extra layer of security to your account at no charge1 through the use of a free physical security device or IBKR Mobile Authentication, our digital security application designed for smartphones. Although it requires an extra step when logging into your account, the simple practice of entering a randomly generated security code along with your username and password goes a long way toward protecting your account.
Consider this: if an Internet hacker or identity thief should somehow manage to obtain your IBKR username and password, they WILL NOT be able to access your account without physical possession of your Secure Login System security device or full access to your smartphone. Benefits of the Secure Login System include:
During the account application process, you will be asked to confirm a mobile phone number to continue. This will enable two-factor security through SMS mobile phone messaging. IBKR will send you a one-time passcode when you try to login.
The mobile two-factor authentication is temporary and will be removed once you activate one of the digital or physical security devices listed below.
Click the link below to learn more about the IBKR physical security device:
IBKR Mobile Authentication provides two-factor authentication for your IBKR account via our IBKR Mobile app downloaded to your Android or iOS mobile device. IBKR Mobile Authentication requires a PIN code or fingerprint to operate. You use your IBKR Mobile Authentication alone or as an alternative to your existing physical security device.
We ship physical security devices every day. Projected delivery times range from several business days to several weeks, depending on your shipping address and local delivery options. IBKR Mobile Authentication is downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.
Once you have received your physical security device, log into Account Management and follow the instructions here to activate your device.
IBKR Mobile Authentication users must first install the application from the respective mobile application store. For detailed instructions, see IBKR Knowledge Base article KB2260.
Once your security device or digital security app is activated, each time you log in to Account Management, TWS, WebTrader or IBKR Mobile, you will be required to enter two authentication factors – your username and password combination and the security code generated by your device. When you successfully log in, your account will be secured with full perimeter coverage, protecting both your cash and positions from unauthorized access.
In the event that your physical security device has been lost, stolen or is inoperable, follow the instructions in IBKR Knowledge Base article KB1943.
Clients who participate in the Secure Login System enjoy enhanced withdrawal capabilities, while clients who do not participate are subject to daily and weekly withdrawal restrictions. The amount that a participating client may withdraw or transfer over a given one- or five-day period increases commensurate with the protective value of the device and is outlined in the table below.
|Security Device||Maximum Withdrawal per Day||Maximum Withdrawal in 5 Business Days|
|None||50K USD||100K USD|
|SMS||200K USD||600K USD|
|IBKR Mobile Authentication||200K USD||600K USD|
|Security Code Card*||200K USD||600K USD|
|Digital Security Card*||1M USD||1.5M USD|
|Digital Security Card+||Unlimited||Unlimited|
* Represents a legacy device no longer being issued and in the process of being replaced with a version of the Digital Security Card. See IBKR Knowledge Base article KB975 for details.
 Please note that while IB imposes no fee to use a device, a replacement fee is associated with certain devices if lost, damaged or otherwise not returned should the account be closed.
From the moment you log in, our account protection features are there to ensure that your account remains secure.
Factor One: Each account requires a unique username/password combination for access.
Factor Two: Secure Login System. Participants receive a personal security device which provides a randomly-generated security code. This code is used in conjunction with the username and password to access secure areas. Click here for additional details on the Secure Login System.
EV (Extended Validation) technology verifies that you are on a protected website.
Restrict access to TWS to a specific list of IP addresses. In cases where multiple traders have access to an account, these restrictions can be set at the individual trader level.
IBKR restricts account access following a specified number of failed login attempts.
We have built in an auto-logoff feature that logs you out of the application after a specified period of inactivity.
All statements are accessed through secure login to Account Management.
We employ state-of-the-art transaction monitoring systems and maintain a dedicated security team that is responsible for detecting suspicious activity. If an unusual or suspicious transaction is noted, a member of this team may contact you to confirm the validity of the transaction. If contacted, you will never be asked to provide your password and we encourage that you call back and request to speak to the security team employee via our toll free number 1–877-442-2757 in order to first confirm their identity. If you believe that your account has been compromised, you should notify IBKR immediately via our toll free number 1–(877)-442-2757.
This refers to software inadvertently downloaded from the Internet when you visit certain websites. Spyware covertly gathers information from your computer without your knowledge. Once installed, spyware monitors user activity on the Internet and transmits that information (including usernames and passwords) to an unauthorized recipient. You should install anti-spyware software on your computer to detect and remove spyware.
Thieves use phishing to obtain sensitive information by masquerading as a trustworthy institution. Phishing is typically carried out via an email that contains a link to what appears to be an authentic website. These counterfeit sites prompt you to enter your personal information, which the thieves then use to access your accounts. Note that IBKR will never send an email requesting sensitive information such as your password or social security number. If you receive a suspicious email which identifies itself as originating from IBKR do not respond, and immediately notify our security team by calling toll-free in the US at (877) 442-2757 or direct at (312) 542-6901.
These malicious programs can cause severe and irreparable damage to your hardware, software or files, and in some cases can open your system to unauthorized access and possibly allow confidential information to be compromised. These programs, which differ on how they spread and replicate, are best controlled by first ensuring that your operating system is up-to-date and then installing anti-virus software, making sure that you frequently download updates to obtain the latest fixes.
For further information about securing your home computer and protecting your privacy see:
CERT® Coordination Center Home Network Security
Security Focus - Securing Privacy, Part One: Hardware Issues
Security Focus - Securing Privacy, Part Two: Software Issues
IBKR goes to great lengths to keep our clients' accounts secure. Following these Recommended Cyber Security Practices can provide another layer of safety from online security threats.
Use/install security tools as noted below:
This Policy is based on the privacy and data protection principles common to the countries in which we operate. This Policy is intended to summarize IBKR's data protection practices generally and to advise our customers, prospective customers, job applicants, website visitors and other third parties about IBKR's privacy policies that may be applicable to them.
This Policy is specifically addressed to those who provide Personal Information to IBKR or who visit or use IBKR's websites, trading platforms, software application and social media sites.
Who is responsible for your Personal Information?
IBKR is responsible for the Personal Information that we may collect in the manner discussed below. IBKR includes: Interactive Brokers LLC, One Pickwick Plaza, Greenwich, CT 06830 United States; Interactive Brokers (U.K.) Limited, (03958476) a Private Limited Company with registered office address, Level 20 Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY; and their respective affiliates (the "IBKR Entities"). Specifically, your Personal Information will be controlled by the IBKR Entity that is providing services or communication to you. In some instances your Personal Information will be controlled by more than one IBKR Entity.
How do we collect your Personal Information and what Personal Information do we collect?
IBKR collects and processes Personal Information from you. This may include, among other things, information:
Are you required to provide Personal Information?
In order for you to utilize our services, you will provide us with your Personal Information entirely voluntarily. In most circumstances IBKR cannot take action without utilizing certain of your Personal Information, for example, because this Personal Information is required to process your instructions or orders or provide you with access to our services or marketing materials. In most cases, it will be impossible for us to provide the services to you without the relevant Personal Information.
For what purposes will we use your Personal Information?
We may use your Personal Information for the following purposes ("Permitted Purposes"):
We may process your Personal Information for the following purposes after obtaining your express consent where legally required:
Where legally required, with regard to marketing-related communication, we will only provide you with such information after you have opted in and we will also provide you with the opportunity to opt out at any time if you do not wish to receive further marketing-related communication from us. We like to keep our customers, personnel and other interested parties informed of company developments, including news relating to IBKR that we believe is of interest to them. If you do not wish to receive publications or details of events or seminars that we consider may be of interest to you, please let us know by following this link: https://www.interactivebrokers.com/en/index.php?f=464. Where legally required, we will not use your Personal Information for taking any automated decisions affecting you or creating profiles other than described above.
Depending on which of the above Permitted Purposes we use your Personal Information for, we may process your Personal Information on one or more of the following legal grounds:
In addition, the processing may be based on your consent where you have expressly given that to us.
Who we share your Personal Information with, and in what circumstances
We may share your Personal Information in the following circumstances:
Otherwise, we will only disclose your Personal Information when you direct us or give us permission to do so, when we are allowed or required by applicable law or regulations or judicial or official request to do so, or as required to investigate actual or suspected fraudulent or criminal activities.
Personal Information about other people that you provide to us
Keeping Personal Information about you secure
To the extent required by law, we will take appropriate technical and organizational measures to keep your Personal Information confidential and secure in accordance with our internal procedures covering the storage, disclosure of and access to Personal Information. Personal Information may be kept on our Information Technology systems, those of our contractors or in paper files.
Transferring your Personal Information outside the European Economic Area ("EEA") (if GDPR applies)
For Personal Information subject to the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 ("GDPR") we may transfer your Personal Information outside the EEA for the Permitted Purposes as described above. This may include countries that do not provide the same level of protection as the laws of your home country (for example, the laws within the EEA or the United States). We will ensure that any such international transfers are made subject to appropriate or suitable safeguards if required by the GDPR or other relevant laws. You may contact us at any time using the contact details below if you would like further information on such safeguards.
With respect to persons covered by GDPR, in case Personal Information is transferred to countries or territories outside of the EEA that are not recognized by the European Commission as offering an adequate level of data protection, we have put in place appropriate data transfer mechanisms to ensure Personal Information is protected.
Updating your Personal Information
If any of the Personal Information that you have provided to us changes, for example if you change your email address or if you wish to cancel any request that you have made of us, please let us know by contacting IBKR Customer Service through the IBKR website at interactivebrokers.com/help. We will not be responsible for any losses arising from any inaccurate, inauthentic, deficient or incomplete Personal Information that you provide to us.
How long do we retain your Personal Information?
We retain your Personal Information in an identifiable form in accordance with our internal policies which establish general standards and procedures regarding the retention, handling and disposition of your Personal Information. Personal Information is retained for as long as necessary to meet legal, regulatory and business requirements. Retention periods may be extended if we are required to preserve your Personal Information in connection with litigation, investigations and proceedings.
Further rights for persons or information covered by GDPR
With respect to EEA residents and where your Personal Information is processed by an IBKR Entity established in the EEA ("Covered Individuals"), you have a number of legal rights under GDPR in relation to the Personal Information that we hold about you. These rights include:
We have designated a Data Protection Officer ("DPO") to enhance and promote compliance with and understanding of privacy and data protection principles. If you wish to do any of the above please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We may request that you prove your identity by providing us with a copy of a valid means of identification in order for us to comply with our security obligations and to prevent unauthorized disclosure of data. We reserve the right to charge you a reasonable administrative fee for any manifestly unfounded or excessive requests concerning your access to your data and for any additional copies of the Personal Information you request from us.
We will consider any requests or complaints that we receive and provide you with a response in a timely manner. If you are not satisfied with our response, you may take your complaint to the relevant privacy regulator. We will provide you with details of your relevant regulator upon request.
How to contact us