How to determine if you are borrowing funds from IB

If the aggregate cash balance in a given account is a debit, or negative, then funds are being borrowed and the loan is subject to interest charges. A loan may still exist, however, even if the aggregate cash balance is a credit, or positive, as a result of balance netting or timing differences. The most common examples of this are as follows:

 
1.       Long vs. Short Currency Balances – accounts holders may borrow cash denominated in one currency if it can be secured by a credit balance in another.  Take, for example, a USD base currency account holding a long USD settled cash balance of 10,000, a short EUR settled cash balance of 5,000, with a EUR.USD exchange rate of 1.38:1. Here, for statement reporting and interest computation purposes, the overall cash balance is a USD credit of 3,088 (10,000 – (5,000 * 1.38)). As each currency is subject to a unique funding and reinvestment arrangement, the short balance would be subject to financing costs based upon its benchmark rate and tier. This cost may be offset by any interest earned on the long balance based upon its benchmark rate and tier.
 
2.       Gross Balances by Segment – IB’s Universal Account contains multiple sub accounts or segments, each of which holds positions and collateral which, for regulatory and customer protection purposes, may not be commingled. This separation does not allow for netting of balances across segments and a credit in one segment may therefore not offset a debit in another. Take, for example, an IB LLC account holding both securities and commodities positions with the securities segment maintaining a debit cash balance of USD 3,000 and the commodities segment a credit cash balance of USD 8,000. While the account holds an overall net credit balance of USD 5,000, the short balance would be subject to an interest charge which may be partially offset by any interest earned on the long balance.
 
3.       Short Sales – a short sale is a margin transaction in which the account holder is borrowing stock rather than cash. While the proceeds from the short sale are credited to the cash balance of the account, these funds must be posted with the lender of the shares as collateral to secure their return. As a result, and in recognition of the fact that the loan transaction is subject to its own financing terms, the cash collateralizing the loan is excluded for the purpose of determining whether a margin loan exists.
 
As example, consider an account reporting net liquidating equity (all balances in USD) of  9,000 comprised of a credit cash balance of 4,000, long stock valued at 10,000 and short stock valued at 5,000. In order to determine whether funds are being borrowed to finance the long stock position, the 5,000 portion of the cash pledged as collateral to the lender of the shares is deducted from the overall 4,000 cash balance, resulting in a 1,000 debit. This debit is subject to interest charges and the cash underlying the stock borrow either an interest charge in the case of hard to borrow shares or a short stock rebate if the shares are easy to borrow and reinvestment rates sufficiently high.
 
4.       Unsettled Funds - borrowings are determined based upon settled funds and the timeframe by which payment is due or received for a given transaction is product specific (e.g., stocks generally settle in 3 business days, spot currencies 2 and derivatives 1). For statement and trading platform purposes, cash balances are reported on a trade date rather than settlement date basis, as if settlement has completed.
 
As a result, an account reporting a credit cash balance may, in fact, still be carrying a margin loan if that balance includes proceeds from the sale of stock purchased with borrowed funds awaiting settlement. Similarly, an account may report a trade date based debit balance, but not yet incurring a margin loan and interest charges, as the trade has not yet settled.
 
For additional information regarding interest calculations, please refer to How Interest is Calculated.

Overview of IB issued Share CFDs

The following article is intended to provide a general introduction to share-based Contracts for Differences (CFDs) issued by IB.

For Information on IB Index CFDs please see IB Index CFDs - Facts and Q&A.

Topics covered are as follows:

I.    CFD Definition
II.   Comparison Between CFDs and Underlying Shares
III.  Cost and Margin Considerations
IV.  Worked Example
V.   CFD Resources
VI.  Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

I.  Share  CFD Definition

IB CFDs are OTC contracts which deliver the return of the underlying stock, including dividends and corporate actions (read more about CFD corporate actions).

Said differently, it is an agreement between the buyer (you) and IB to exchange the difference in the current value of a share, and its value at a future time. If you hold a long position and the difference is positive, IB pays you. If it is negative, you pay IB. The CFD contract is marked to market daily with gains/losses settled into your account in cash in the form of variation margin.

IB Share CFDs are traded through your margin account, and you can therefore enter long as well as short leveraged positions. The price of the CFD is the price of the exchange-quoted price of the underlying share. In fact, IB CFD quotes are identical to the Smart-routed quotes for shares that you can observe in the Trader Work Station and IB offers Direct Market Access (DMA). Similar to shares, your non-marketable (i.e., limit) orders have the underlying hedge directlty represented on the deep book of those exchanges at which it trades.  This also means that you can place orders to buy the CFD at the underlying bid and sell at the offer.

To compare IB’s transparent CFD model to others available in the market please see our Overview of CFD Market Models.

IB currently offers approximately 2400 Share CFDs covering the principal markets in the US, Europe and Asia.  The constituents of the major indexes listed below are currently available as IB Share CFDs. In many countries IB also offers trading in liquid small cap shares. These are shares with free float adjusted market capitalization of at least USD 250 million and median daily trading value of at least USD 300 thousand.  Please see CFD Product Listings for more detail. More countries will be added in the near future.

United States S&P 500, DJA, Nasdaq 100, S&P 400 (Mid Cap)
United Kingdom FTSE 350 + Liquid Small Cap (incl. IOB)
Germany Dax, MDax, TecDax + Liquid Small Cap
Switzerland Swiss portion of STOXX Europe 600 (48 shares)
France CAC Large Cap, CAC Mid Cap + Liquid Small Cap
Netherlands AEX, AMS Mid Cap + Liquid Small Cap
Belgium BEL 20, BEL Mid Cap + Liquid Small Cap
Spain IBEX 35
Sweden OMX Stockholm 30
Finland OMX Helsinki 25
Denmark OMX Copenhagen 30
Japan Nikkei 225

 

II.   Comparison Between CFDs and Underlying Shares

Depending on your trading objectives and trading style, CFDs offer a number of advantages compared to stocks, but also some disadvantages:
 
BENEFITS of IB CFDs
DRAWBACKS of IB CFDs
No stamp duty or financial transaction tax (UK, France, Belgium)
No ownership rights
Generally lower commission and margin rates than shares
Complex corporate actions may not always be exactly replicable
Tax treaty rates for dividends without need for reclaim
Taxation of gains may differ from shares (please consult your tax advisor)
Exemption from day trading rules
 

III.  Cost and Margin Considerations

IB CFDs can be an even more efficient way to trade the European stock markets than IB’s highly competitive stock offering.

Firstly, IB CFDs have low commissions compared to stocks, and the same low financing spreads:

 EUROPE
 
CFD
STOCK
Commission
GBP
0.05%
GBP 6.00 + 0.05%*
EUR
0.05%
0.10%
Financing**
Benchmark +/-
1.50%
1.50%

*per order + 0.05% of excess over GBP 50,000
**CFD financing on total position value, stock financing on borrowed amount

When you trade more, CFD commissions become even lower, as low as 0.02%. Financing rates are reduced for larger positions, to as low as 0.5%.  Please see CFD Commissions and CFD Financing Rates for more details.

Secondly, CFDs have lower margin requirements than stocks. This is because for CFDs we can apply a risk based margin rather than the regulatory formulas we must apply to stocks:

 
CFD
STOCK
 
All
Standard
Portfolio Margin
Margin Requirement*
10%
25% - 50%
15%

*Typical margin for blue-chips. Standard 25% intraday maintenance margin, 50% overnight.  Portf. Margin shown is maintenance margin (incl. overnight). More volatile issues are subject to higher requirements

Please refer to CFD Margin Requirements for more detail.


IV.  Worked Example

Let’s look at an example. Unilever’s Amsterdam listing has returned 3.2% in the past month (20 trading days to May 14th, 2012) and you believe it will continue to perform well. You want to build a EUR 200,000 exposure and hold it for 5 days. You do 10 trades to build up and 10 trades to unwind. Your direct costs would be as follows:

 
CFD
STOCK
EUR 200,000 Position
 
Standard
Portfolio Margin
Margin Requirement
20,000
100,000
30,000
Commission (round trip)
200.00
400.00
400.00
Interest Expense
41.96
23.35
36.44
Total Direct Cost
241.96
423.55
436.44
Difference
 
75%
80%

Note: Interest expense for CFDs is calculated on the entire contract position, for shares interest is calculated on the borrowed amount. The applicable rates are the same for both shares and CFDs.

 

But let’s assume you only have EUR 20,000 available to fund the margin. If Royal Dutch Shell continues to perform as it has in the past month, your potential profit would compare as follows:  

OPPORTUNITY COST
CFD
STOCK
Available Margin
20,000
20,000
20,000
Total Invested
200,000
40,000
133,333
Return*
1,576.27
312.25
1,050.84
Difference
 
 -80%
 -33%

*past month's (to May 14th, 2012) average daily return over 5 days

 

Please keep in mind that leverage works both ways, and you can potentially lose more with CFDs than with higher margin stocks, including more than your initial investment.

 


V.   CFD Resources

Below are some useful links with more detailed information on IB’s CFD offering:

CFD Product Listings

CFD Commissions

CFD Financing Rates

CFD Margin Requirements

CFD Corporate Actions

CFD Trading Access

The following video tutorials are also available:

How to Place a CFD Trade on the Trader Workstation

How to Request Trading Permissions for IB CFDs


VI.  Frequently Asked Questions

What Stocks are available as CFDs?

Large and Mid-Cap stocks in the US, Western Europe, Nordic and Japan.  Liquid Small Cap stocks are also available in many markets. Please see CFD Product Listings for more detail. More countries will be added in the near future.

 

Do you have CFDs on Stock Indices and commodities?

Yes. Please see IB Index CFDs - Facts and Q&A.

 

How do you determine your Share CFD quotes?

IB CFD quotes are identical to the Smart routed quotes for the underlying share. IB does not widen the spread or hold positions against you. To learn more please go to Overview of CFD Market Models.

 

Can I see my limit orders reflected on the exchange?

Yes. IB offers Direct market Access (DMA) whereby your non-marketable (i.e., limit) orders have the underlying hedge directly represented on the deep book of those exchanges at which it trades. This also means that you can place orders to buy the CFD at the underlying bid and sell at the offer.

 

How do you determine margins for Share CFDs?

IB establishes risk-based margin requirements based on the historical volatility of each underlying share. The minimum margin is 10%. Most IB CFDs are margined at this rate, making CFDs more margin-efficient than trading the underlying share in most cases.  There are however no portfolio off-sets between individual CFD positions or between CFDs and exposures to the underlying share. Very large positions may be subject to additional margin. Please refer to CFD Margin Requirements for more detail.

 

Are short Share CFDs subject to forced buy-in?

Yes. In the event the underlying stock becomes difficult or impossible to borrow, the holder of the short CFD position will become subject to buy-in.

 

How do you handle dividends and corporate actions?

IB will generally reflect the economic effect of the corporate action for CFD holders as if they had been holding the underlying security*. Dividends are reflected as cash adjustments, while other actions may be reflected through either cash or position adjustments, or both. For example, where the corporate action results in a change of the number of shares (e.g. stock-split, reverse stock split), the number of CFDs will be adjusted accordingly. Where the action results in a new entity with listed shares, and IB decides to offer these as CFDs, then new long or short positions will be created in the appropriate amount. For an overview please CFD Corporate Actions.

*Please note that in some cases it may not be possible to accurately adjust the CFD for a complex corporate action such as some mergers. In these cases IB may terminate the CFD prior to the ex-date.

 

Can anyone trade IB CFDs?

All clients can trade IB CFDs, except residents of the USA, Canada, Hong Kong and Australia. There are no exemptions based on investor type to the residency based exclusions. More details are available in CFD Trading Access.

 

What do I need to do to start trading CFDs with IB?

You need to set up trading permission for CFDs in Account Management, and agree to the relevant trading disclosures. IB will then set up a new account segment (identified with your existing account number plus the suffix “F”). Once the set-up is confirmed you can begin to trade. You do not need to fund the F-account separately, funds will be automatically transferred to meet CFD margin requirements from your main account. For detailed instructions please see CFD Trading Access and How to Request Trading Permissions for IB CFDs (video).

 

Are there any market data requirements?

The market data for IB Share CFDs is the market data for the underlying shares. It is therefore necessary to have market data permissions for the relevant exchanges. If you already have set up market data permissions for an exchange for trading the shares, you do not need to do anything. If you want to trade CFDs on an exchange for which you do not currently have market data permissions, you can set up the permissions in the same way as you would if you planned to trade the underlying shares.

 

How are my CFD trades and positions reflected in my statements?

Your CFD positions are held in a separate account segment identified by your primary account number with the suffix “F”. You can choose to view Activity Statements for the F-segment either separately or consolidated with your main account. You can make the choice in the statement window in Account Management.

 

Can I transfer in CFD positions from another broker?

IB will be glad to facilitate the transfer of CFD positions, subject to the agreement of the other broker. As the transfer of CFD positions is more complex than is the case for share positions, we generally require the position to be at least the equivalent of USD 100,000.

 

Are charts available for Share CFDs?

Yes.

 What account protections apply when trading CFDs with IB?

CFDs are contracts with IB UK as your counterparty, and are not traded on a regulated exchange and are not cleared on a central clearinghouse. Since IB UK is the counterparty to your CFD trades, you are exposed to the financial and business risks, including credit risk, associated with dealing with IB UK. Please note however that all client funds are always fully  segregated, including for institutional clients. IB UK is a participant in the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme ("FSCS"). IB UK is not a member of the U.S. Securities Investor Protection Corporation (“SIPC”).Please refer to the IB UK CFD Risk Disclosure for further detail on risks associated with trading CFDs.

 

In what type of IB accounts can I trade CFDs e.g., Individual, Friends and Family, Institutional, etc.? 

All margin accounts are eligible for CFD trading. Cash or SIPP accounts are not.

 

What are the maximum a positions I can have in a specific CFD?

There is no pre-set limit. Bear in mind however that very large positions may be subject to increased margin requirements. Please refer to CFD Margin Requirements for more detail.

 

Can I trade CFDs over the phone?

No. In exceptional cases we may agree to process closing orders over the phone, but never opening orders.

Cash Sweeps

Background
Underlying the IB Universal account are two separate sub-accounts or segments, one for the securities positions and balances which are subject to the customer protection rules of the SEC and another for the commodities positions and balances which are subject to the customer protection rules of the CFTC. This Universal account structure is designed to minimize the administrative overhead that customers would otherwise be exposed to were they to maintain two distinct accounts (e.g., transferring of cash between accounts, login and order submission through separate accounts, multiple statements, etc.) while preserving the separation required by regulation.

These regulations further require that all securities transactions be effected and margined in the securities segment of the Universal account and commodities transactions in the commodities segment.1  While the regulations allow for the custody of fully-paid securities positions in the commodities segment as margin collateral, IB does not do so, thereby limiting their hypothecation to the more restrictive rules of the SEC. Given the regulations and policies which direct the decision to hold positions in one segment vs. the other, cash remains the only asset eligible to be transferred between the two and for which customer discretion is provided.

Outlined below is a discussion as to the cash sweep options offered, the process for selecting an option as well as selection considerations.

 
Cash Sweep Options
Customers are provided with 3 sweep options, descriptions for which are provided below:
 
 1. Do not sweep excess funds – under this election, excess cash does not move from one segment to another unless necessary to:
a. Eliminate/reduce a margin deficiency in the other segment;
 
b. Minimize a cash debit balance and therefore interest charges in a given segment.  Note that this is the default option and sole option for account holders having only one of securities or commodities trading permissions.
 
2. Sweep excess funds into my IB securities account – here, cash balances are only held in the commodities segment to the extent necessary to satisfy the current commodities margin requirement. Any cash in excess of the margin requirement, generated as a result of either an increase in cash (e.g., favorable variation and/or transaction related) or decrease in the margin requirement (e.g., changes in the SPAN risk arrays and/or transaction related) will be automatically transferred from the commodities segment to the securities segment. Note that the account holder must have permissions to trade securities in order to select this option.
 
3. Sweep excess funds into my IB commodities account – here, cash balances are only held in the securities segment to the extent that they, along with any other securities positions having loan value, are needed to satisfy the current securities margin requirement. Note that the account holder must have permissions to trade commodities in order to select this option. 
 
Other items of note:
-  As the Universal account allows for cash balances to be held in a variety of denominations, a hierarchy exists for the purpose of determining which particular currency to transfer first when long balances in multiple currencies exist. In these situations the procedure is to first transfer balances denominated in the Base Currency, then USD and then the remaining long currency balances in order of highest to lowest.
 
- To minimize the likelihood of one segment incurring a margin deficiency following the sweep of excess cash to the other, the full excess will not be transferred and a buffer equal to 5% of the maintenance margin requirement will be retained. Similarly, to minimize the operational overhead of transferring nominal balances, balances will only be transferred if, after giving effect to the 5% margin cushion, the excess, if any, is not less than 1% of account equity or $200.
 
- When performing the pre-trade credit check to determine whether an account maintains sufficient equity to support a new order, excess cash maintained in one segment will be considered for trades conducted in the other (although a sweep will not occur until the trade has executed and only if it then remains necessary for margin compliance).  Accounts which are designated as a Pattern Day Trader and which are subject pre-trade credit check that takes into account the prior as well as current day's equity should pay particular attention to the Selection Considerations section below.
 
 
Selecting a Sweep Option
If your Account Management version contains a series of menu options on the left-hand side, select the Account Administration and then Excess Funds Sweep menu options. If your version has menu options across the top, select the Manage Account/Settings and then the Configure Account/Excess Funds Sweep menu options. Regardless of your version, you will be presented with a screen which appears as follows:
 

You may then select the radio button alongside the option of your choice and select the Continue button. Your choice will take effect as of the next business day and will remain in effect until a different option has been selected. Note that subject to the trading permission settings noted above, there is no restriction upon when or how often you may change your sweep method. 

 

Selection Considerations
While the decision to elect one segment vs. the other for the purposes of maintaining excess cash may involve subjective decisions and preferences unique to each customer (e.g. customer maintains assets which are significant and concentrated in one segment vs. the other), outlined below are several factors warranting consideration:
 
1. Pattern Day Trading Equity - The securities buying power of accounts designated by regulation as Pattern Day Traders (i.e., 4 or more day trades within a 5 business day period) is limited by the lesser of the current or prior day’s closing equity in the securities segment. As such, an election to sweep excess funds to the commodities segment will prevent the inclusion of such funds in this calculation, thereby potentially limiting the capacity to enter new orders. To maximize the use of equity for purposes of entering securities orders, one would need to elect to sweep excess fund to the securities segment.  Note that an election to the securities segment will not impair the ability to enter commodities orders as the pattern day trading rules do not apply to such accounts.
 
2. Insurance – SIPC protection is afforded to assets in the securities segment and there is no commensurate insurance scheme in place for the commodities segment. That being said, balances in excess of the SIPC $250,000 cash sub-limit ($900,000 Lloyd’s cash sub-limit, where applicable) are not afforded coverage. Customers of IB Canada and IB UK are also subject coverage rules as specified by CIPF and the FSCS, respectively.
 
3. Interest Income – all other things being equal, customers are likely to receive the most optimal interest income on long cash balances that have not been partitioned between the securities and commodities segments as they are not aggregated for interest credit purposes (since they are subject to distinct segregation pools and reinvestment rules). This, along with the fact that credits require maintenance of a minimum cash balance and that higher balances are afforded preferential rates are factors to be considered when making a sweep election.2
 
Other Relevant Knowledge Base Articles:
A Comparison of U.S. Segregation Models
 
 
Footnotes:
1As OneChicago single stock futures are a hybrid product jointly regulated by the SEC and CFTC, they can be purchased and sold in either account type. IB, however, conducts such transactions in the securities segment of the Universal account as this is necessary to provide margin relief between the single stock future and any qualifying stock or option position.
 
2Consider, for example, an account which maintains a long USD balance of $9,000 in each of the securities and commodities segments. Depending upon the benchmark Fed Funds Effective rate, the account would be eligible to earn interest on $8,000 ($18,000 - $10,000) if the two balances were held in a single segment, but since balances below $10,000 in either of the two segments are not eligible for interest, could not earn anything without electing a sweep option. Similarly, one would be eligible to earn interest at a higher tier if as a result of a sweep election the account holder was then able to achieve a long USD cash balance above $100,000 in a given segment. For additional information regarding interest calculations including a link to current benchmark interest rates, refer to KB39.

 

Stock Yield Enhancement Program FAQs

What is the purpose of the Stock Yield Enhancement Program?
The Stock Yield Enhancement program provides customers with the opportunity to earn additional income on securities positions which would otherwise be segregated (i.e., fully-paid and excess margin securities) by permitting IB to lend out those securities to third parties. Customers who participate in the program will receive a portion of the fee paid by the borrower as loan compensation for any day the loan exists and will receive cash collateral to secure the return of the stock loan at its termination.

 

What are fully-paid and excess margin securities?
Fully-paid securities are securities in a customer’s account that have been completely paid for. Excess margin securities are securities that have not been completely paid for, but whose market value exceeds 140% of the customer’s margin debit balance.

 

How is the income received by a customer on any given Stock Yield Enhancement Program loan transaction determined?
The income which a customer receives in exchange for shares lent depend upon loan rates established in the over-the-counter securities lending market. These rates can vary significantly not only by the particular security loaned but also by the loan date. In addition, IB assesses a Management Fee equal to 50% of the net loan fees paid in exchange for initiating, terminating and managing transactions. In determining the customer’s portion of these fees, the Market Fee Rate % is applied to the loan collateral and this daily Gross Lending Fee is split equally between IB and the customer.  For example, assume loan collateral of $10,000 and an annualized Market Fee Rate of 15%. In this example the daily Gross Lending Fee would be $4.16 (($10,000 *.15)/360), of which $2.08 would accrue to the customer and $2.08 to IB as its Management Fee. Lending fees are calculated and accrued daily similar to interest credits.

 

How is the amount of cash collateral for a given loan determined?
The cash collateral underlying the security loan and used for determining interest payments is determined using standard industry convention whereby the closing price of the stock is multiplied by 102% and then rounded up to the nearest whole dollar. For example, a loan of 100 shares of a stock which closes at $59.24 would be equal to $6,100 ($59.24 * 1.02 = $60.4248; round to $61, multiply by 100).

 

What are the eligibility requirements for participation in the IB Stock Yield Enhancement Program?
All IB LLC and IB UK margin accounts or IB LLC and IB UK cash accounts with equity over $50,000 at the time of application are eligible. IB Canada, IB Japan and IB India customers are not eligible. Japanese and Indian clients maintaining accounts with IB LLC are eligible.


In addition, Financial Advisor client accounts, fully disclosed IBroker clients, non-disclosed IBroker clients and Omnibus Brokers who meet the above requirements can participate. In the case of Financial Advisors and fully disclosed IBrokers, the clients themselves must sign the agreements. For non-disclosed IBroker and Omnibus Brokers, the broker signs the agreement.

 

Are IRA accounts eligible to participate in the Stock Yield Enhancement Program?
Yes.

 

How do I enroll in the IB Stock Yield Enhancement Program?
Clients who are eligible and who wish to enroll in the Stock Yield Enhancement Program may do so by selecting Trading Access and then Trading Configuration from Account Management and then checking the box on the Trading Permissions matrix titled "United States (Stock Yield Enhancement Program)".

 

What happens if equity in a participating cash account falls below the $50,000 qualifying threshold?
The cash account must meet this minimum equity requirement solely at the point of signing up for the program. If the equity falls below that level thereafter there is no impact upon existing loans or the ability to initiate new loans.

 

What is the difference between AQS and the IB Stock Yield Enhancement Program?
Clients lending through AQS participants self-direct their activity based upon information provided via AQS’ automated centralized market. In contrast, loans transacted through the Stock Yield Enhancement Program are determined and managed by IB.

 

Can I participate in both AQS and the IB Stock Yield Enhancement Program?
Clients can only lend in one program at a time. If, for example, a client signs up for the Yield program and is already approved for AQS lending, we will disable their ability to lend at AQS and recall their loans. They will still, however, retain the ability to borrow through AQS and can see market data. If the client disables the Yield Enhancement Program, their AQS loan permissions will be re-enabled. In sum, the yield program always takes precedence.

 

If my account is eligible for AQS am I automatically eligible to participate in the IB Stock Yield Enhancement Program?
No.

 

If my account is eligible for the IB Stock Yield Enhancement Program am I automatically eligible to participate in AQS?
No.

 

How does one terminate Stock Yield Enhancement Program participation?
Clients who wish to terminate participation in the Stock Yield Enhancement Program may do so by selecting Trading Access and then Trading Configuration from Account Management and then removing the check from the box on the Trading Permissions matrix titled "United States (Stock Yield Enhancement Program)".
Requests to terminate are typically processed at the end of the day.

 

What types of securities positions are eligible to be lent?
Eligible securities include U.S. common stocks (exchange listed, PINK and OTCBB), ETFs, preferred stocks and corporate bonds. Municipal bonds and non-U.S. securities are not eligible.

 

Is there any restriction on lending stocks which are trading in the secondary market following an IPO?
No, as long as IB is not part of the selling group.

 

How does IB determine the amount of shares which are eligible to be loaned?
The first step is to determine the value of securities, if any, which IB maintains a margin lien upon and can lend without client participation in the Stock Yield Enhancement Program. A broker who finances client purchases of securities via margin loan is allowed by regulation to loan or pledge as collateral that client’s securities in an amount up to 140% of the cash debit balance. For example, if a client maintaining a cash balance of $50,000 buys securities having a market value of $100,000, the debit or loan balance will be $50,000 and the broker holds a lien on 140% of that balance or $70,000 of securities. Any securities held by the client in excess of that amount are referred to as excess margin securities ($30,000 in this example) and are required to be segregated unless the client provides IB the authorization to lend through the Stock Yield Enhancement Program.

The debit balance is determined by first converting all non-USD denominated cash balances to USD and then backing out any short stock sale proceeds (converted to USD as necessary). If the result is negative then we free up 140% of that negative number. In addition, cash balances maintained in the commodities segment or for spot metals and CFDs are not considered.

EXAMPLE 1: Customer is long EUR 100,000 in a USD Base Currency account with a EUR.USD rate of 1.40. Customer purchases USD denominated stock valued at $112,000 (EUR 80,000 equivalent). All securities are deemed fully-paid as cash balance as converted to USD is a credit.

Component EUR USD Base (USD)
Cash 100,000 (112,000) $28,000
Long Stock   $112,000 $112,000
NLV     $140,000

EXAMPLE 2: Customer holds long USD of 80,000, long USD denominated stock of $100,000 and short USD denominated stock of $100,000. Long securities totaling $28,000 are deemed margin securities and the remainder of $72,000 excess margin securities. This is determined by subtracting the short stock proceeds from the cash balance ($80,000 - $100,000) and multiplying the resultant debit by 140% ($20,000 * 1.4 = $28,000)

Component Base (USD)
Cash $80,000
Long Stock $100,000
Short Stock ($100,000)
NLV $80,000

 

Will IB lend out all eligible shares?
There is no guarantee that all eligible shares in a given account will be loaned through the Stock Yield Enhancement Program as there may not be a market at an advantageous rate for certain securities, IB may not have access to a market with willing borrowers or IB may not want to loan your shares.

 

Are Stock Yield Enhancement Program loans made only in increments of 100 (similar to AQS)?
No. Loans can be made in any whole share amount although externally we only lend in multiples of 100 shares. Thus the possibility exists that we would lend 75 shares from one client and 25 from another should there be external demand to borrow 100 shares.

 

How are loans allocated among clients when the supply of shares available to lend exceeds the borrow demand?
In the event that the demand for borrowing a given security is less than the supply of shares available to lend from participants in our Yield Enhancement Program, loans will be allocated on a pro rata basis (e.g. if aggregate supply is 20,000 and demand is 10,000, each client will be eligible to have 50% of his/her shares lent)

 

Are shares loaned only to other IB clients or to other third parties?
Shares may be loaned to any counterparty and is not limited solely to other IB clients.

 

Can the Stock Yield Enhancement Program participant determine which shares IB can lend?
No. The program is entirely managed by IB who, after determining those securities, if any, which IB is authorized to lend by virtue of a margin loan lien, has the discretion to determine whether any of the fully-paid or excess margin securities can be loaned out and to initiate the loans.

 

Are there any restrictions placed upon the sale of securities which have been lent through the Stock Yield Enhancement Program?
Loaned shares may be sold at any time, without restriction. The shares do not need to be returned in time to settle your sale of the share and proceeds from the sale are credited to the client’s account on the normal settlement date. In addition, the loan will be terminated on the open of the business day following the security sale date.

 

Can a client write covered calls against stock which has been loaned out through the Stock Yield Enhancement Program and receive the covered call margin treatment?
Yes. A loan of stock has no impact upon its margin requirement on an uncovered or hedged basis since the lender retains exposure to any gains or losses associated with the loaned position.

 

What happens to stock which is the subject of a loan and which is subsequently delivered against a call assignment or put exercise?
The loan will be terminated on T+1 of the action (trade, assignment, exercise) which closed or decreased the position.

 

What happens to stock which is the subject of a loan and which is subsequently halted from trading?
A halt has no direct impact upon the ability to lend the stock and as long as IB can continue to loan the stock, such loan will remain in place regardless of whether the stock is halted.

 

Can the cash collateral from a loan be swept to the commodities segment to cover margin and/or variation?
No. The cash collateral securing the loan never impacts margin or financing.

 

What happens if a program participant initiates a margin loan or increases an existing loan balance?
If a client maintains fully-paid securities which have been loaned through the Stock Yield Enhancement Program and subsequently initiates a margin loan, the loan will be terminated to the extent that the securities do not qualify as excess margin securities. Similarly, if a client maintaining excess margin securities which have been loaned through the program increases the existing margin loan, the loan may again be terminated to the extent that the securities no longer qualify as excess margin securities.

 

Under what circumstances will a given stock loan be terminated?
In the event of any of the following, a stock loan will be automatically terminated:

- If the client elects to terminate program participation
- Transfer of shares
- Borrowing of a certain amount against the shares
- Sale of shares
- Call assignment/put exercise
- Account closure

 

Do participants in the Stock Yield Enhancement Program receive dividends on shares loaned?
While the lender of the securities is entitled to receive the amount of all dividends and distributions made on loaned securities, they may receive cash payments, commonly referred to PILs, in lieu of dividends. Depending upon ones holding period for the shares loaned, the receipt of a PIL may have an adverse tax impact for certain U.S. taxpayers as such payments are taxed as ordinary income rather than at the reduced rate associated with qualified dividends.  IB will attempt to mitigate the payment of PILs by recalling shares prior to a dividend, however, IB cannot guarantee that the borrower will be able to return the shares within the necessary time frame to avoid PIL treatment.

 

Do participants in the Stock Yield Enhancement Program retain voting rights for shares loaned?

No. the borrower of the securities has the right to vote or provide any consent with respect to the securities if the Record Date or deadline for voting, providing consent or taking other action falls within the loan term.

 

How are loans reflected on the activity statement?

Loan collateral, shares outstanding, activity and income is reflected in the following 6 statement sections:


1. Cash Detail – details starting cash collateral balance, net change resulting from loan activity (positive if new loans initiated; negative if net returns) and ending cash collateral balance.
 

 

2. Net Stock Position Summary – for each stock details total Shares at IB, the number of Shares Borrowed, the number of Shares Lent (through AQS or the Stock Yield Enhancement Program) and the Net Shares (=Shares at IB + Shares Borrowed - Shares Lent).

 

3. IB Managed Securities Lent – lists for each stock loaned through AQS or the Stock Yield Enhancement Program the Quantity of shares loaned, the Net Fee Rate (%) and the Collateral Amount.

 

4. IB Managed Securities Lent Activity – details the loan activity for each security including Loan Return Allocations (i.e., terminated loans); New Loan Allocations (i.e., initiated loans); the share Quantity; the Net Fee Rate (%) and the Collateral Amount.

 

5. IB Managed Securities Lent Activity Fee Details – details on an individual loan basis the Market Fee Rate (%); the Gross Lend Fee (represents the total fee charged to the borrower which is equal to {Collateral Amount * Market Fee Rate}/360); the IB Management Charge (equals 50% of the Gross Lend Fee); the Net Lend Fee Rate (represents the half of the Market Fee Rate which the client earns) and the Net Lend Fee (represents the client’s portion of the fee income. Equals the Gross Lend Fee - IB Management Charge).
Note: This section will only be displayed if the Net Lend Fee accrual exceeds USD 1 for the statement period.  

 

6. Interest Accruals – the loan fee income is accounted for here as an interest accrual and is treated as any other interest accrual (aggregated but only displayed as an accrual when exceeding $1 and posted to cash monthly). For year-end reporting purposes, this fee income will be reported as miscellaneous income on the Form 1099 issued to U.S. taxpayers.

 

Why does the "price" on hard to borrow stocks not agree to the closing price of the stock?

In determining the cash deposit required to collateralize a stock borrow position, the general industry convention is for the lender to require a deposit equal to 102% of the prior business day's settlement price, rounded up to the nearest whole dollar and then multiplied by the number of shares borrowed.  As borrow rates are determined based upon the value of the loan collateral, this convention impacts the cost of maintaining the short position, with the impact being most significant in the case of low-priced and hard-to-borrow shares. Note, for shares not denominated in USD the calculation will differ. Find below a table summarizing the calculations per currency:

Currency Calculation Method
USD 102%; rounded up to the nearest dollar
CAD 102%; rounded up to the nearest half dollar
EUR 105%; rounded up to the nearest cent
CHF 105%; rounded up to the nearest rappen
GBP 105%; rounded up to the nearest pence

 

Account holders may view this adjusted price for a given transaction in the "Non-Direct Hard to Borrow Details"  section of the daily account statement.  Two examples of this collateral calculation and its impact upon borrow fees are provided below.

 

Example 1

Sell short 100,000 shares of ABC at a price of $1.50

Short sale proceeds received = $150,000.00

Assume the price of ABC falls to $0.25 and the stock has a borrow fee rate of 50%

 

Short stock collateral value calculation

Price = 0.25 x 102% = 0.255; round up to $1.00

Value = 100,000 shares x $1.00 = $100,000.00

Borrow fee = $100,000 x 50% / 360 days in year = $138.89 per day

Assuming the account holder's cash balance does not include proceeds from any other short sale transaction then this borrow fee will not be offset by any credit interest on the short sale proceeds as the balance does not exceed the minimum $100,000 Tier 1 threshold necessary to accrue interest.

 

Example 2 (EUR denominated stock)

Sell short 100,000 shares of ABC at a price of EUR 1.50

Assume a prior business day's close price of EUR 1.55 and a borrow fee rate of 50%

Short stock collateral value calculation

Price = EUR 1.55 x 105% = 1.6275; round up to EUR 1.63

Value = 100,000 shares x 1.63 = $163,000.00

Borrow fee = EUR 163,000 x 50% / 360 days in year = EUR 226.38 per day

 

Interest Benchmark Definitions

Fed Funds Effective (USD only) is the volume weighted average of the transactions processed through the Federal Reserve between member banks. It is intended to reflect the best estimate of interbank financing activity for Reserve Bank members and is the reference for many short term money market transactions in the broader market.

LIBOR (many currencies) stands for London Inter-Bank Offered Rate. It is a daily fixing for deposits with durations from overnight to 1 year and is determined by a group of large London banks. It is the most widely used measurement for interest rates on most currencies outside the domestic market(s).

EONIA (EUR only) is the global standard for overnight Euro deposits and is determined by a weighted average of the actual transactions between major continental European banks mediated through the European Central Bank.

HIBOR (CNY and HKD) is a daily fixing based on a group of large Hong Kong banks. The same methods and durations are set as for LIBOR currencies.

KORIBOR (KRW only) is an average of the leading interest rates for KRW as determined by a group of large Korean banks. The benchmark utilizes the KORIBOR with 1 week maturity.

STIBOR (SEK only) is a daily fixing based on a group of large Swedish banks. The same methods and durations are set as for LIBOR currencies.

TIIE (MXN only) is the interbank "equilibrium" rate based on the quotes provided by money center banks as calculated by the Mexican Central Bank. The benchmark TIIE is based on 28-day deposits so is atypical as a measure for short term funds (most currencies have an overnight or similar short term benchmark).

Overnight (O/N - CZK, HUF, ILS and SGD) rate is the most widely used short term benchmark and represents the rate for balances held from today until the next business day.

Spot-Next (S/N - DKK only) refers to the rate on balances from the next business day to the business day thereafter. Due to time zone and other criteria, Spot-Next rates are sometimes used as the short-term reference.

Day-Count conventions: it is beyond the scope of this document to describe day-count conventions and their use in interest calculations. IB conforms to the international standards for day-counting wherein deposits rates for most currencies are expressed in terms of a 360 day year, while for exceptional currencies (ex: GBP) the convention is a 365 day year.

Understanding interest charges when the net cash balance is a credit

An account will be subject to interest charges despite maintaining an overall net long or credit cash balance under the following circumstances: 

1. The account maintains a short or debit balance in a given currency.

For example, an account maintaining a net cash credit balance equivalent to USD 5,000 comprised of a long USD balance of 8,000 and a short EUR balance equivalent to USD 3,000 would be subject to an interest debit based upon the short EUR balance.  There would be no offsetting credit on the long USD balance as it is less than the USD 10,000 Tier I level above which interest is earned.  

Account holders should note that in the event they purchase a security which is denominated in a currency that they do not hold in their account, IB will create a loan in that currency in order to settle the trade with the clearinghouse. If one wishes to avoid such loans and their associated interest charges, they would need to either deposit funds denominated in that particular currency or convert existing cash balances via the Ideal Pro (for balances of USD 25,000 or above) or odd lot (for balances less than USD 25,000) venue prior to entering into your trade. 

 

2. The credit balance is comprised  principally of proceeds from the short sale of securities. 

For example, an account maintaining a net cash credit balance of USD 12,000 which is comprised of a USD debit of 6,000 in the security sub-account (less the market value of any short stock positions) and a short stock market value credit of USD 18,000 would be charged interest on the Tier 1 debit of USD 6,000 and would earn no interest on the short stock credit as it falls below the USD 100,000 Tier I level.

 

3. The credit balance includes unsettled funds.

IB determines interest debits and credits solely based upon settled funds. Just as an account holder is not assessed interest charges on funds borrowed to purchase a security until such time that purchase transaction settles, the account holder will not receive an interest credit, or offset against a debit balance, on funds originating from the sale of a security until such time the transaction has settled (and IB has been credited funds by the clearinghouse).

 

4. The account maintains a debit balance in any one segment.

The IB universal account is an aggregation of underlying sub accounts or segments in which assets and margin requirements are separated, typically for regulatory purposes. Included in these are segments for each of the commodity and security positions which are subject to separate customer protection rules, margining methodologies and, in the case of cash balances, investment guidelines. Accordingly, an account maintaining a net cash credit balance of USD 5,000 comprised of a long USD balance of 8,000 in the commodity segment and a short USD balance of 3,000 in the security segment would be subject to separate interest calculations on each of the two balances (i.e., a charge on any short balance with a potential credit on the long balance based upon a combination of the Tier it falls into and the current benchmark rate). 

For additional information regarding interest calculations, please refer to How Interest is Calculated.

Are there any particular risks that one should be aware of when using SSFs to either invest excess funds or borrow funds at available synthetic rates?

Übersicht: 

While the High and Low Synthetic strategies are both hedged positions, the futures leg is subject to a daily cash variation of the mark-to-market gain or loss whereas the stock leg is not (mark-to-market gain or loss is reflected in account equity but there is no cash impact until the position is closed).  If, for example, an account holds a High Synthetic position and the stock prices increases significantly, the resultant variation pay on the short futures leg may erode the account’s cash balance resulting in a debit balance which is subject to interest payments.  The net effect in this example would be to reduce and potentially erase the earnings on the High Synthetic position

Is there a benefit to using EFPs if one doesn’t have an existing long or short stock position to swap?

Übersicht: 

 

One can enter into an Exchange for Physical (EFP) to either invest excess funds or borrow funds at available synthetic rates. Synthetic rates are determined by taking the difference between the SSF and underlying stock and netting dividends to calculate an annualized synthetic implied interest rate over the period of the SSF.

 

High Synthetic Bid Rev Yield – represents the investment opportunity available through an EFP sale (buy stock and sell it forward at a premium higher than the interest your cash generates).

 

Low Synthetic Ask Rev Yield - represents the borrowing opportunity available through an EFP purchase (sell stock and buy it forward at a discount lower than the lending rate available).

Does a deposit subject to a "Credit Hold” accrue credit interest during the hold period?

Übersicht: 

The answer depends upon the method of deposit.  In the case of deposits made via ACH, any interest accrues from the date the deposit arrives through the four business day credit hold period after which it is credited to the account.  In the case of check deposits other than Bank Checks, no interest is accrued during the credit hold period.  Bank Checks and wire transfers are credited to the account effective upon receipt and are therefore not subject to any credit hold.

Interest paid to you varies with market conditions.  For information regarding the amount of interest currently paid on credit balances see www.interactivebrokers.com/interest

Glossary terms: 
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