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 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. Although permitted by CFTC 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 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. 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:
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 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. When IB lends customers' stock, it must put additional money into the special reserve accounts set aside for the benefit of customers.