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.
Important Strength and Security Facts about Interactive Brokers Group
- On a consolidated basis, Interactive Brokers Group (IBG LLC) exceeds $4.8 billion in equity capital.
- IBG LLC's owners are our public company, Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. (11.9%) and the firm's employees and their affiliates (88.1%). Unlike at most other firms, where management owns a relatively small share, we participate substantially in the downside just as much as in the upside. Because of this vested interest, we run our business conservatively.
- We manage our brokerage and market making businesses in separate companies, which are registered with local securities and/or commodities regulators. We maintain strict systematic and procedural separation between the two business lines and we do not commingle or utilize customer segregated assets for proprietary operations. Although certain affiliates of IB trade for their own account, our customer-facing businesses do not conduct proprietary trading.
- We hold no material positions in over-the-counter securities or derivatives. We hold no CDOs, MBS or CDS. The gross amount of our portfolio of debt securities, with the exception of U.S. government securities, is less than 10% of our equity capital.
- Our positions are marked to market daily and the resulting payables/receivables are reconciled to outside sources automatically.
- Our real-time margining system marks all customer positions to market continuously. All orders are credit vetted before being executed and positions in accounts with inadequate margin deposits are liquidated automatically.
- We have reported solidly positive earnings for the past 18 consecutive years.
- Interactive Brokers LLC is rated 'A-/A-2'; Outlook Stable by Standard & Poor's.
- Important Information: The risk of loss in online foreign exchange trading can be substantial. Your capital is at risk and your losses may exceed the value of your original investment. In addition, there is substantial risk of loss in foreign exchange trading when settlement is delayed due to time zone differences and bank holidays. When trading across foreign exchange markets, this may necessitate borrowing funds to settle foreign exchange trades. The interest rate on borrowed funds must be considered when computing the cost of trades across multiple markets.
|S&P Credit Ratings Comparison1|
|JPMorgan Chase & Co.||A||Stable|
|Bank of America Corporation||A-||Negative|
|Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.||A-||Negative|
How We Handle Customer Assets
Customer money is segregated in special bank or custody accounts, which are designated for the exclusive benefit of customers of IB. 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 and FDIC-backed bonds. Although permitted by regulations, given the credit concerns over foreign sovereign debt IB does not currently invest any customer money in money market funds.
As a practice, IB 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 accounts with no borrowing of cash or securities
Securities customer money is protected as follows:
- A majority is invested in U.S. Treasury securities, including direct investments in short-term Treasury bills and reverse repurchase agreements, where the collateral received is in the form of U.S. Treasury securities. These transactions are conducted with third parties and guaranteed through a central counterparty clearing house (Fixed Income Clearing Corp., or "FICC"). The collateral remains in the possession of IB and held at a custody bank in a segregated Reserve Safekeeping Account for the exclusive benefit of customers. U.S. Treasury securities may also be pledged to a clearing house to support customer margin requirements on securities options positions.
- Customer cash is maintained on a net basis in the reserve accounts, which reflects the long balances of some customers and loans to others. To the extent any one customer maintains a margin loan with IB, that loan will be fully secured by stock valued at up to 140% of the loan. The security of the loan is enhanced by IB's conservative margin policies, which do not allow the borrower to correct a margin deficiency within days, as permitted by regulation. Instead, IB monitors and acts on a real-time basis to automatically liquidate positions and repay the loan. This brings the borrower back into margin compliance without putting IB and other customers at risk.
- 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.
- A portion is deposited at 13 large U.S. banks in special reserve accounts for the exclusive benefit of IB's customers. These deposits are distributed across a number of banks with investment-grade ratings so that we can avoid a concentration risk with any single institution. No single bank holds more than 5% of total customer funds held by IB. As of December 31, 2012, the following banks held deposits from IB (this list is subject to change over time at IB's discretion). Certain banks, which are affiliates or branches of foreign financial institutions, are subject to regulatory oversight by the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
- Branch Banking and Trust Company
- Bank of America, N.A.
- Bank of the West
- Citibank, N.A.
- Fifth Third Bank
- HSBC Bank USA, N.A.
- JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.
- KeyBank National Association
- Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company (M&T Bank)
- Royal Bank of Canada
- SunTrust Bank
- The Bank of Nova Scotia
- US Bank, N.A.
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. IB 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. IB 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:
- A majority is invested in short-term U.S. Treasury securities, which are held at a custody bank in a safekeeping account segregated for the exclusive benefit of customers.
- A portion is invested in short-term U.S. Treasury securities and pledged to futures clearing houses to support customer margin requirements on futures and options on futures positions.
- A portion is held at commodities clearing banks/brokers in accounts identified as segregated for the benefit of IB's customers to support customer margin requirements.
- As prescribed by commodities regulations, customer funds are subject to real-time protection. IB performs a detailed reconciliation of customer equity on a daily basis to ensure that customer monies are properly segregated. This computation is submitted to the regulators daily.
Securities accounts with margin loans
For customers who borrow money from IB to purchase securities, IB is permitted by securities regulations to utilize for financing purposes up to 140% of the loan value of the stock these customers hold with IB. In simple terms, IB 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, IB lends out a small portion of the total stock it is permitted to lend out.
- As an example, at December 31, 2012, IB lent $1.3 billion of customers' stock out of the $13.6 billion made available to it by margin customers.
- When IB lends customers' stock, it must put additional money into the special reserve accounts set aside for the benefit of customers. In the example above, the full value of $1.3 billion of customer stock that was lent was segregated in the special reserve accounts.
*Interactive Brokers & sister affiliates.
 Ratings were obtained on April 1, 2013 from each firm's website. Supporting documentation for any claims and statistical information will be provided upon request.
Any trading symbols displayed are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to portray a recommendation.
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 excess SIPC policy with certain underwriters at Lloyd's of London 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
Lloyd's of London is a world leader in the insurance industry.
Secure Login System
While it may be a minor inconvenience to use a security device along with your username and password when you log in, this simple practice goes a very long way toward protecting your account and consequently your assets. For little or no charge, IB customers can elect to receive a security device which generates a unique, random series that must be entered (along with your IB username/password combination) each time you log in. Using this device adds a second important layer of security to your account. Consider this: If an Internet hacker or identity thief should somehow manage to obtain your IB username and password, they WILL NOT be able to access your account without physical possession of the security device.
Although participation in the Secure Login System is optional, we STRONGLY urge our customers to participate. Please weigh the benefits of the program against the small annoyance of using the device:
- The device provides a virtually impenetrable layer of physical security to your IB account.
- Participation in the Secure Login System results in higher daily and weekly withdrawal limits.
- If you have multiple accounts, you don't need multiple devices. You can share a security device among multiple usernames registered to the same individual.
- Customers who choose not to participate must understand and acknowledge that IB will not compensate them or credit their account in the event that it is compromised by hackers or identity thieves.
Request a Security Device
- New Customers - New customers have the option to register for a security device during the application process. You will receive the appropriate device based on the amount with which you fund your account.
- Existing Customers - Non-participating customers can request a device from within Account Management. From the User Management menu select Secure Login System. Indicate that you would like to participate in the program and follow the directions to complete your registration.
About the Security Devices
Click one of the following links to learn more about our using your IB security device:
- Security Code Cards - Recommended for accounts with a balance less than 100,000 USD. This is a credit card-like device with 224 alpha-numeric codes.
- Digital Security Card - Recommended for accounts with a balance between 100,000 and 500,000 USD. A credit card like device with an LCD.
- Alpine Devices - Recommended for accounts with a balance between 100,000 and 500,000 USD. This is a small blue oval device with an LCD and keychain clip.
- Gold/Platinum Devices - Recommended for accounts with a balance greater than 500,000 USD. This is a black rectangular device which has a numeric keypad and an LCD and resembles a small calculator.
When Will I Receive My Device?
The delivery schedule depends on the type of security device you will be receiving.
- Security Code Cards are shipped several times per week via regular mail.
- Alpine Devices are shipped several times per week via Express mail.
- Digital Security Cards are shipped several times per week via regular mail.
- Gold/Platinum Devices are shipped every day via Express mail for requests that have been completed prior to 13:00 ET on a US business day.
Depending upon your location and the capabilities of the shipper, a delivery tracking number will be made available after 18:00 ET on the shipping date. You can view this tracking number by clicking the Activate IB Security Device link available in the User Management menu in Account Management after that time or by calling technical assistance at 1-877-442-2757, Option 2, then 6.
Once you have received your security device, log into Account Management and select the activation link ( Activate IB Security Device or Security Code Card Activation) from the User Management menu. What you see depends on the type of device you have received. Follow the instructions to supply information you received upon subscription, or from the device itself.
Once your device has been activated, each time you log in to Account Management, TWS, WebTrader or mobileTWS, you will be required to the two authentication factors – your user name 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 cash and positions from unauthorized access.
Accounts that do not participate in the Secure Login System are limited in the amount of money that can be withdrawn or transferred in one day and in any five day period. Our top level Gold and Platinum systems are available to clients with substantial balances over 500,000 USD, providing state-of-the-art protection and allowing unlimited funds withdrawals.
|Withdrawal Limits for IB Customers|
|Security Device||Maximum Withdrawal per Day||Maximum Withdrawal in 5 Business Days|
|None||50K USD||100K USD|
|Security Code Card||200K USD||600K USD|
|Digital Security Card||1M USD||1.5M USD|
|Alpine Device||500K USD||1.5M USD|
How We Protect Your Account
From the moment you log in, our account protection features are there to ensure that your account remains secure.
Two Factor Authentication
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.
Secure Socket Layer
IB deploys 128-bit SSL encryption to establish a secure connection and ensure the confidentiality and integrity of information passed between your computer and IB. Activate by checking the "Use SSL" box on the TWS login box. Using SSL may impact the performance of your PC depending on its capabilities.
Limit Login via IP Restrictions
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.
Failed Login Attempts
IB 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 IB immediately via our toll free number 1–(877)-442-2757.
Know the Threats
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 IB 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 IB 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.
Viruses, Worms & Trojan Horses
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
Security Focus - Securing Privacy Part Three: Email Issues
Security Focus - Securing Privacy Part Four: Internet Issues
Customer Best Practices
IB goes to great lengths to keep our customer's accounts secure. Following these Customer Best Practices can provide another layer of safety from online security threats.
Employ Safe Computing Practices
- Lock your computer if you're leaving it for a period of time by setting up a password protected screensaver. Always turn off your computer when you have finished using it.
- Avoid accessing your account from public computers which may have been targeted by hackers and keystroke-capture software. If you must use a public computer, remember the following:
- Use the virtual keyboard on the login window to avoid having your keystrokes captured.
- Log out after accessing your account.
- Never leave the computer unattended while logged in.
- Clear the browser cache after logoff so that no sensitive information remains stored on the computer.
- Do not share files unless it's absolutely necessary. It's a smart idea to disable the Windows file and printer sharing features, but if you decide to use these, make sure that you configure the access permissions with strong passwords, and only share for specific users.
- Pop-ups: We recommend that you turn on your pop-up blocker and set the filter to the highest possible level. Then either add the IB web site to your list of "trusted" sites, or disable your pop-up blocker while using this site.
- Regularly check for security updates and patches for your operating system and use the most current version of your browser.
- Use email safely, and delete messages that don't originate from a trusted source as they may contain harmful attachments or may be an attempt to fraudulently obtain sensitive information. Turn off the "preview pane" in your email system as this function can allow some viruses to be executed even if you never open the email.
Create a Strong Password
- Use the maximum characters available and avoid simple or duplicate alphabetic and numeric sequences or passwords containing personal information.
- Do not share your password with anyone.
- Change your password frequently and do not use the same password for multiple systems.
- Do not leave notes on your monitor, keyboard or desk to help you remember your passwords.
- Do not enable any application features that would automatically log you in or pre-fill the username or password fields.
Install Security Software
Use/install security tools as noted below:
- You should install both a hardware and software Internet firewall on your computer to control the flow of traffic to your computer. This is especially important if you are operating with a broadband connection and therefore maintaining continuous Internet access.
- Use antivirus software to identify and eliminate viruses you may have downloaded to your computer accidentally. As new viruses are constantly being created, you need to update your antivirus software regularly.
- Use anti-spyware software to detect and remove spyware programs which can collect various types of personal information, monitor your browsing activity and interfere with the control of your computer.
Maintain Accurate Account Information
- In the event that we detect unusual or suspicious activity relating to your account, being able to contact you is essential. Accordingly, you should always ensure that the contact information you have provided (e.g., telephone numbers, email address) remains accurate. To update any personal information, please log into Account Management and select the User Management and then User Information menu options.
Monitor Your Account
- Regularly check your account balances and positions through TWS and the daily statements available in Account Management. Immediately report anything suspicious toll free in the US at (877) 442-2757 or direct at (312) 542-6901.
Interactive Brokers Group Privacy Statement
The Interactive Brokers Group does not sell or license information about Interactive Brokers customers to third parties, nor do we sell customer lists or customer e-mail addresses to third-party marketers.
In order to provide brokerage services and in compliance with regulatory requirements, IB collects certain personal, non-public information from you. This includes information that you provide during the IB account application process (e.g., your name, e-mail address, telephone number, birth date, social security number, investment objectives, etc.), and acquired as a result of the transactions you conduct through the IB system. We safeguard the confidentiality of your information in a number of ways. For example:
- We do not sell or license lists of our customers or the personal, non-public information that you provide to us.
- We restrict access to the personal, non-public information that you have shared with us to those IB employees, agents, and affiliates who need to know such information in connection with the services that IB provides to you.
- We maintain strict employment policies that prohibit employees who have access to your personal, non-public information from using or disclosing such information except for business purposes.
- We take substantial precautions to safeguard your personal, nonpublic information. For example, the IB system can be accessed only by authorized IB personnel via valid user names and passwords. In addition, our Internet-based systems include security measures such as encryption and firewalls.
We do not disclose personal, nonpublic information to individuals or entities that are not affiliated with IB, except as provided by law. For example, among other reasons we may disclose or report such information: where necessary to authorize, effect, administer, or enforce transactions that you request or authorize; to maintain and administer your account; to provide you with account confirmations, statements and records; to maintain appropriate archival records; where we believe that disclosure is required by applicable law, rules or regulations; to cooperate with law enforcement or regulatory or self-regulatory organizations; to enforce our customer and other agreements; to meet our obligations, or to protect our rights and property.
Finally, if you choose to subscribe to any of the Trader's Toolbox suite of third-party services that are provided through the IB website, we may disclose such information to the service providers as necessary for them to provide the services that you have requested. IB requires these service providers to enter into confidentiality agreements with IB that limit their use of the information that they receive. Such agreements prohibit the service provider from using IB customer information that they receive other than to carry out the purposes for which the information was disclosed. If you have any questions about these policies, please contact IB Customer Service through the IB website at the Customer Service Contact Page.