Assets eligible to be transferred through ACATS

Instruments handled by the ACATS system include the following asset classes: equities, options, corporate bonds, municipal bonds, mutual funds and cash. It should be noted; however, that ACATS eligibility does not guarantee that any given security will transfer as each receiving broker maintains its own requirements as to which asset classes as well as securities within a particular asset class it will accept.

Account holders are encouraged to use the Contract Search link on IB’s homepage to assess transfer eligibility prior to initiating a full account transfer request.  In the case of mutual funds, please click here for a list of fund families and funds offered by IB.

ACATS Rejections - Most Common Causes

The rejection of an ACATS transfer request is typically initiated by action of the delivering broker once that broker has had an opportunity to review the request and confirm the details of the account to be transferred.  In the case of certain rejection notices (i.e., categories 1-5 and 10 below), the ACATS process affords the receiving broker (IB) a 24-hour window within which revised information may be transmitted and after which time the transfer request will require resubmission by the client.  During this 24-hour window, IB will attempt to contact the transferring client in an effort to reconcile any discrepancies causing the initial rejection notice. Rejections generally fall into the following categories:

Rejections by the Delivering Broker:
  1. Social Security Number/Tax ID Mismatch - the client taxpayer identification number as provided by the receiving broker does not agree with that of the delivering broker’s records. 
  1. Account Title Mismatch - the client account title as provided by the receiving broker does not agree with that of the delivering broker’s records. 
  1. Documentation Needed – the delivering broker requires additional account documentation in order to process a transfer request (e.g., death or marriage legal documents). 
  1. Account Flat – account holds no transferable assets. 
  1. Invalid Account Number – the client account number as provided by the receiving broker is not on delivering member’s books. 
  1. Duplicate – delivering broker is already in receipt of a transfer request involving the same receiving broker and client account..
  1. Account in Distribution or Transfer – another ACATS transfer or other distribution of account assets directly to client is already underway. 
  1. Client Rescinded – client has submitted written request to cancel transfer request. 
  1. Missing Authorization Signature – transfer request requires an additional client and/or custodian signature.


Rejections by the Receiving Broker: 

10. Credit Violation - the result of the transfer if effected would be to place the account in margin deficit and subject to forced liquidation.

Glossary terms: 

How to check the status of funding transactions.


IB provides account holders with a tool that provides real-time updates and current status of all deposit and withdrawal transactions relating to both cash and positions which have taken place over the prior 45 calendar day period. This tool is made available through the secure Account Management application and may be accessed via the Funds Management and then View Transaction History menu options.

Upon entering the View Transaction History screen, information is organized and made viewable via the following five tabs: 

  1. Cash Deposits – includes transaction detail (deposit type, amount and delivering institution) along with key processing dates (when notified, arrived, credited to equity and made available for withdrawal) and current status (e.g. pending, approved, canceled, completed, expired).
  2. Cash Withdrawals – includes transaction detail (withdrawal type, amount and receiving institution) along with key processing dates (when requested and sent) and current status.
  3. Position Transfers In – includes transaction detail (transfer type and delivering institution) along with key processing dates (when notified, arrived, credited to equity and made available for withdrawal) and current status.
  4. Position Transfers Out – includes transaction detail (withdrawal type and receiving institution) along with key processing dates (when notified and sent) and current status.
  5. Bank Instructions – in the event the transaction requires creation of an instruction for the purpose of providing IB with the necessary account specific information and authorization to act (i.e., if the deposit method dictates that IB pull funds directly from the client’s account or if the withdrawal method dictates that IB push funds directly to the client’s account) information regarding that instruction will be presented here.  That information includes transaction detail (date created, function, method and institution) along with current status.


NOTE: Account holders may cancel transactions which are in a pending state by clicking on the red X located in the Action column which is provided within each of the above five screens.  In addition, the amount of a wire transfer deposit notifications may be modified by first clicking on the Modify link also located in the Cash Deposits Action column.   In order to complete the modification request, the account holder will need to enter the revised amount and/or currency and add the Customer Reference or Payment ID number as provided by the sending institution.

How to deposit funds via bank wire transfer

To make a wire deposit to your account you will first need to provide a deposit notification through Account Management. Once logged into Account Management, select the Funds Management and then Funds Transfers menu options. From there you will select the Transaction Type of "Deposit" and the Method of "Wire".

You will then be prompted to input your delivering bank details including deposit amount, currency of denomination and sending institution. Once that information has been input you will be provided with all the details (e.g., ABA number, Swift BIC Code and bank account number) in a printable form which you, in turn, can provide to your bank in order for it to initiate the wire transfer. 

Please note that creation of this notification is essential as the details necessary for your bank to wire funds vary by the currency in which the wire is denominated.  In addition, this notification also serves to ensure that the funds are properly matched to your account immediately upon arrival.

Should you have further questions, please contact one of our Customer Service Centers.  Contact numbers and hours of operation may be found through the following website link:

Does IB accept physical stock certificates?


IB does not accept or hold any physical stock certificates. As a matter of operational efficiency and costs, we hold all securities in street name meaning that they are registered electronically in the name of IB on the books of the issuer. IB, in turn, holds securities for clients in what is known in the industry as 'book entry' form which simply means that we maintain a record on our books that you are the beneficial owner of the securities.

My bank debited my account for the Fedwire that I sent to IB and yet IB has not credit the funds to my account yet. Why?

IB's bank typically posts incoming wires to IB's bank account within a few minutes.  Delays to the posting may occur, however, if the volume of Fedwire activity is significant at that time.
IB retrieves incoming wires to its bank accounts every 15 minutes during business hours and, if there is match to a deposit notification then our system automatically posts the funds to the customer's account. IB posting delays to customers' IB accounts can occur because:
  • the customer didn't submit a deposit notification
  • the sending bank improperly formatted the wire (and therefore customer identifiers do not appear on IB's bank reports)
  • the sending bank misspelled the customer’s name or incorrectly input other customer identifiers so an automatic match to the deposit notification cannot occur
  • IB's bank didn’t display the customer identifiers on its bank reporting system (we then ask our bank for additional details on the incoming wire)
If IB can't identify who the customer is then our policy is to return the funds to the sending bank.

What happens if I trade a product denominated in a currency which I do not hold in my account?

The particular currency which is necessary to purchase and settle any given product is determined by the listing exchange not IB. If, for example, you enter into a transaction to purchase a security which is denominated in a currency that you do not hold and assuming that you have sufficient margin excess, IB will create a loan for those funds. Note that this is necessary as IB is obligated to settle that trade with the clearinghouse solely in the designated currency of denomination. If you do not wish to have such a loan created and incur its associated interest costs, you would need to either first deposit funds into your account in the required currency form and amount or convert existing funds in your account using either our IdealPro (for amounts in excess of USD 25,000 or equivalent) or odd lot (for amounts below USD 25,000 or equivalent) venues, both available through the TWS.

Also note that once you close out a security position which is denominated in a given currency, the proceeds will remain in that currency regardless of whether it is the Base Currency you've selected for your account. Accordingly, such proceeds will be subject to exchange rate risk relative to your Base Currency until such time you either perform a currency conversion or use those proceeds for another similarly denominated product.

Glossary terms: 

Why does the Cash Report section of my Activity Statement reflect an internal transfer between securities and commodities?

For regulatory purposes IB is required to segregate the securities assets within your account from the commodities assets.  Those commodities assets may include the market value of options on futures positions plus any cash required as margin as a result of commodities futures and options on futures positions.  Periodically, the margin requirement on your commodities positions will be recomputed and should this requirement decline, cash in excess of that required as commodities margin will be transferred from the commodities side of your account to the securities side.  Likewise, should the commodities margin requirement increase, IB will transfer any available cash from the securities side to the commodities side.  As SIPC insurance is provided to assets on the securities side of your account but not the commodities, this periodic transfer is performed to ensure that your cash balance is afford the greatest protection possible. It should be noted that these cash movements represent journal entries within your account which serve to fully offset each other and therefore have no impact upon the aggregate cash balance within your account (see the Total column within the Cash Report section of the Activity Statement).

How to Initiate ACH transfers

Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposits/withdrawals may be made to your IB account from and to your bank using one of two transfer methods. Under the first, referred to as ‘ACH Initiated By Us’, your transfer request will be automatically processed through a message sent to your bank by IB.  Prior to using this method you will need to create a standing instruction through Funds Management which authorizes IB and your bank to electronically transfer funds between the two accounts and then verify a series of test transactions issued to your bank account several days later which serve to establish the link.  Once established, this transfer method can be used for future deposit and withdrawal requests. 

Under the second, referred to as ‘ACH Initiated By Bank’, you provide IB with a notification of the amount you wish to transfer via ACH and then you contact your bank and provide them with a print out of the notification form in order to initiate the transfer.  Please note that your notification to IB under this method only serves to match your deposit to your account upon arrival and does not result in the transfer of funds.  The transfer of funds will only be initiated once you provide your bank with the IB destination account details included on the notification form.  

To use the 'ACH Initiated At IB' transfer method, you will need to first set up instructions through your IB account as follows: 

1. Log into The IB Account Management application;

2. Select the Funding and then Funds Transfers menu options;

3. From the Transaction drop-down list select Deposit or Withdraw;

4. From the Method drop-down list select ACH Initiated By Us;

5. You will be then be provided with a drop-down list titled Source from which you will see a list of any existing  instructions you've created along with an option to Add New Instruction.  Note that this screen will also provide information regarding credit holds and withdrawal restrictions relevant to this type of transfer request.

6. Once you have selected Add New Instruction you will be directed to the instruction input screen where you will be asked to provide the information about your bank account (i.e., bank account number and ABA routing number) which is necessary to establish a link.  All of this information may be obtained from viewing your check;

7. You will be asked to confirm your request via electronic signature and security token authentication which authorizes both IB and your bank to act upon any transfer requests you provide through IB;

8. Within 1-3 business days, two random credits (deposits) each less than one dollar and a  corresponding debit (withdrawal) will be issued to your bank account. 

9. You will need to monitor your bank account for these transactions as they will  be needed to confirm this funding instruction.  Note that these transactions may take place on different days.

10. Once you have these amounts, log back in Account Management and from the Pending Requests menu option select the Confirm Amount link adjacent to your instruction enter the credit amounts.

11. Once you have entered the correct amounts, you may use the ACH instruction for deposit and withdrawal transfers.

Note that IB does not charge any fee for ACH deposits and accounts are afforded one free withdrawal request per month.  Also note that ACH deposits are subject to a 4 business day credit hold after arrival prior to being credited to your account.  In addition,  if funds are withdrawn to a bank other than the originating bank, a 44-business-day withdrawal hold period will be applied.


Can I open a paper trading account for practice purposes before opening a live account?


IB does offer a paper trading account which allows one to use the full range of IB trading facilities in a simulated environment using real market conditions.  This account, however, is made available only after the regular trading account has been approved and funded. Until that time, we recommend that you try the online demos made available to prospective customers through our website to get an overview of system functionality.   A demo of both the TraderWorkstation or WebTrader trading platforms may be found by visiting our website at and selecting the Individuals page.  There you will be presented with a series of links including one titled 'Demos'.

Syndicate content