SEC Tick Size Pilot Program

Background

Effective October 3, 2016, securities exchanges registered with the SEC will operate a Tick Size Pilot Program ("Pilot") intended to determine what impact, if any, widening of the minimum price change (i.e., tick size) will have on the trading, liquidity, and market quality of small cap stocks.  The Pilot will last for 2 years and it will include approximately 1,200 securities having a market capitalization of $3 billion or less, average daily trading volume of 1 million shares or less, and a volume weighted average price of at least $2.00.

For purposes of the Pilot, these securities will be organized into groups that will determine a minimum tick size for both quote display and trading purposes. For example, Test Group 1 will consist of securities to be quoted in $0.05 increments and traded in $0.01 increments and Test Group 2 will include securities both quoted and traded in $0.05 increments.  Test Group 3 will include also include securities both quoted and traded in $0.05 increments, but subject to Trade-at rules (more fully explained in the Rule). In addition, there will be a Control Group of securities that will continue to be quoted and traded in increments of $0.01. Details as to the Pilot and securities groupings are available on the FINRA website.

 

Impact to IB Account Holders 

In order to comply with the SEC Rules associated with this Pilot, IB will change the way that it accepts orders in stocks included in the Pilot.  Specifically, starting October 3, 2016 and in accordance with the phase-in schedule, IB will reject the following orders associated with Pilot Securities assigned to Test Groups:

  • Limit orders having an explicit limit that is not entered in an increment of $0.05;
  • Stop or Stop Limit orders having an explicit limit that is not entered in an increment of $0.05; and
     
  • Orders having a price offset that is not entered in an increment of $0.05.  Note that this does not apply to offsets which are percentage based and which therefore allow IB to calculate the permissible nickel increment

 Clients submitting orders via the trading platform that are subject to rejection will receive the following pop-up message:

 

 The following order types will continue to be accepted for Pilot Program Securities:

  • Market orders;
  • Benchmark orders having no impermissible offsets (e.g., VWAP, TVWAP);
  • Pegged orders having no impermissible offsets ;
  • Retail Price Improvement Orders routed to the NASDAQ-BX and NYSE as follows:
    - Test Group 1 in .001

      - Test Group 2 and 3 in .005

     
 

Other Items of Note

  • GTC orders entered prior to the start of the Pilot that would be rejected if entered afterwards will be cancelled upon start of the Pilot.
  • Clients generating orders via third-party software (e.g., signal provider), order management system, computer to computer interfaces (CTCI) or through the API, should contact their vendor or review their systems to ensure that all systems recognize the Pilot restrictions.
  • Incoming orders to IB that are marked with TSP exception codes from other Broker Dealers will not be acted upon by IB. For example, IB will not accept incoming orders marked with the Retail Investor Order or Trade-At ISO exception codes.
  • The SEC order associated with this Pilot is available via the following link: https://www.sec.gov/rules/sro/nms/2015/34-74892-exa.pdf
  • For a list of Pilot Program related FAQs, please see KB2750

 

Please note that the contents of this article are subject to revision as further regulatory guidance or changes to the Pilot Program are issued.

 

 

SEC Tick Size Pilot Program FAQs

Tick Size Pilot ("TSP" or "Pilot") Program:

Under the TSP Program,  if IB receives any order in a Pilot Security that does not conform to the designated pricing increment (e.g., a limit price in a $0.01 increment for a security designated as trading $0.05 increments), IB will REJECT that order, subject to limited exceptions. IB strongly encourages a thorough review of your software or your vendor’s software to understand the criteria for what causes an order in a Pilot Security to be rejected to permit you or your vendor to make changes to correctly handle orders in Test Group Pilot Securities.
 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Q: What is the Tick Size Pilot?
A: On May 6, 2015 the SEC approved an amended TSP NMS Plan. The Pilot will be two years in length. Data collection for the Pilot began on April 4, 2016, 6 months prior to the implementation of the trading and quoting rules for the Pilot. Implementation of the trading and quoting rules for the Pilot will begin on October 3, 2016.

The Pilot will be conducted using a Control Group and three Test Groups where variations in quoting and trading rules exist between each group. Please see the TSP NMS Plan for additional information.

 

Q: Will the Pilot quoting and trading rules apply during regular market hours, pre-market hours and post market hours?
A: The Pilot rules apply during all operational hours (pre-market, regular hours, and post market hours trading).

 

Q: Will the Pilot quoting and trading rules apply to odd-lot and mixed-lot sizes?
A: Yes, the Pilot rules to all order sizes.

 

Q: Will orders in Control Group Securities be accepted in price increments of less than $0.05?
A: Yes, orders submitted in price increments of less than $0.05 will continue to be accepted in Control Group securities.

 

Q: Will orders in a Test Group 1, 2 or 3 Pilot Securities be accepted in price increments of less than $0.05?
A: No, unless covered by an exception, orders submitted in price increments of less than $0.05 will be rejected.

 

Q: Which Pilot Security Orders in Test Groups will Interactive Brokers accept at other than $0.05 increments?
        Midpoint orders with no explicitly stated limit price or impermissible offsets will be accepted
        VWAP orders which do not have an explicitly stated limit price or impermissible offsets will be accepted.
        Interactive Brokers will accept Exchange operated Retail Price Improvement orders as follows:
                  Test Group 1 in $0.001 price increments
                  Test Groups 2 and 3 in $0.005 price increments.

 

Q: Will there be any changes to the Opening / Closing processes on Exchanges?
A: Please refer to each of the exchange rules for details but in general there will be no changes to the Opening / Closing process. All orders entered and eligible to participate in Exchange Opening / Closing Cross will be accepted in increments of $0.05. The Exchanges will begin publishing all quotes in increments of $0.05; however, Net Order Imbalance Indicator prices may be published in increments of $0.025.

 

Q: What will happen to my GTC order that was placed prior to October 3rd in a Pilot Stock that was priced in impermissible tick increments?
A: Interactive Brokers will cancel all outstanding GTC orders in Pilot stocks in Test Groups that are not in permissible tick increments with respect to limit, stop and offset prices.

 

Q: What will happen to my GTC order placed after October 3rd that was placed and accepted in a nickel tick increment but the Pilot Stock moves from a Test Group to the Control Group which permits non-nickel increments?
A: The GTC order will automatically be able to be revised by the user in non-nickel increments on the date the Pilot stock moves from the Test Group to the Control Group. Similarly, if a stock gets added to Test Group due to a corporate action, IB will cancel the GTC order if it is priced in impermissible increments.

 

Q: Where can I find out more information?

A: See KB2752 or the FINRA website for additional details regarding the Pilot Program: http://www.finra.org/industry/tick-size-pilot-program

Information regarding restrictions on Swiss Warrants

Interactive Brokers supports cash settled standard warrants listed for trading on the SWX Swiss exchange.  This includes  a number of share warrants and all index, commodity and currency warrants.

Share Warrants with physical delivery are not supported at this time.

TWS Messages - Your account is restricted from placing orders at this time

Account holders receiving the following message 'Your account is restricted from placing orders at this time' are not allowed to place any opening or closing orders without prior assistance from the IB Trade Desk.  Questions regarding this restriction should be addressed to the Trade Desk via Customer Service (see contact information link below).

TWS Messages - Your account has been restricted to closing orders only

Account holders receiving the following message 'Your account has been restricted to placing closing orders only' are limited to placing orders which serve to close or reduce existing positions (i.e., sell orders which close out or reduce existing long positions or buy orders which which close out or reduce existing short positions).  The basis for this restriction varies and often involves pending documentation, compliance and/or risk issues. Regardless of its basis, the restriction affords account holders the ability to manage and reduce the market exposure of their positions while in effect.  Questions regarding this restriction should be addressed to Customer Service (see contact information link below).

TWS Messages - Order quantity must be fully displayed for this instrument

Order types which provide privacy by either hiding the entire order quantity (i.e., Hidden Orders) or allowing the display of only a specified portion of the submitted order quantity (i.e., Iceberg/Reserves) are not supported for all product types and venues.

Examples of venues for which Hidden and Iceberg/Reserve stock orders are not supported are Pink Sheet and OTCBB.  Hidden or Iceberg/Reserve orders submitted to these venues will be rejected and will generate the following message: "Order quantity must be fully displayed for this instrument". Orders receiving this rejection message will require the removal of any hidden or display size attribute prior to resubmission.

Additional information regarding product types and venues for which these order types are supported is available through the links below:

Iceberg/Reserve:

http://individuals.interactivebrokers.com/en/trading/orders/iceberg.php?ib_entity=llc

Hidden :

http://individuals.interactivebrokers.com/en/trading/orders/hidden.php?ib_entity=llc

 

Why am I subject to a commodity account trading limit of 1 contract?

Clients who are unable to trade more than one futures contract per order should first check their order presets to ensure that they have not established an order size limit in the precautionary settings.  If this is not the case,  then the restriction has likely been imposed by IB due to the client's failure to accept the Arbitration Agreement which automatically imposes a trading limit of one contract per order.  Clients decline to accept the agreement when presented through the application process but who subsequently wish to accept need to contact Customer Service to obtain and execute a physical copy of the agreement.

I receive a rejection on my futures option orders for DAX which says "No Trading Regulation", why?

U.S. residents are unable to trade options on futures for most foreign indicies, such as the DAX. 

I'm receiving error messages regarding Active Order Limits, what does that mean?

Übersicht: 

IB imposes certain limits on the number of active orders an account is able to have outstanding at any one time. 

Background: 

If the total number of active orders in any one account exceeds 10,000, any new orders submitted in excess of 10,000 will be rejected.  

In addition to the limit on total orders in an account, there is also a limitation on stacked orders for any one contract, on the same side of the market (either buy or sell).  If the total number of stacked orders exceeds 15, new orders are rejected.  For example, if you had placed 15 separate buy orders for IBM, your attempt to place a 16th buy order for IBM would be rejected. 

Why can't I use the same email address on my client account that is on my advisor account?

Übersicht: 

When attempting to create sub accounts for themselves, many advisors cannot complete the process due to the client email address matching that of the advisor.

Information:

As a measure of client protection, IB will not allow the e-mail address of a client to match that of the Advisor.

What you can do, is create a new e-mail address for yourself, using a free service such as Yahoo!.

This will allow you to create the new sub account.

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