Regulation SHO Rule 204, Closeouts, and Introducing Brokers

As a US registered broker-dealer, Interactive Brokers LLC (“IBKR”) is subject to Regulation SHO, a collection of US Securities & Exchange Commission rules relating to short-selling of equity securities. Rule 204 of Regulation SHO places certain requirements on clearing brokers in the event that they fail to deliver securities on settlement date in connection with a sale of those securities. This can happen for a variety of commonplace operational reasons, and does not indicate a problem at the clearing broker. In certain circumstances, Rule 204 may require a clearing broker to not permit shorting a security for a certain period of time (unless sufficient shares of that security are pre-borrowed to cover the order marked as a short sale).

Rule 204(a) requires that a clearing broker, if it fails to deliver on a sale trade on the settlement date, must closeout its fail by buying or borrowing the relevant security a specified number of trading days later (depending on whether the sale was long or short), prior to the opening of the regular trading session on that day.

Rule 204(b) provides that if the clearing broker does not closeout its fail in accordance with Rule 204(a), the broker may not accept short sale orders from its customers in the relevant stock (the stock in which the unclosed-out fail has occurred), or place such orders for its own account, unless it has first borrowed the shares of the relevant stock to cover the new short sale order. This is colloquially known in the securities industry as being in the “penalty box” for the relevant security. This restriction exists until the clearing broker has purchased shares in the amount of the unclosed-out fail, and that purchase has settled.

Any broker that executes trades through that clearing broker, and clears and settles those trades through that clearing broker, is subject to the same Rule 204(b) restriction, as is any broker that executes away from that clearing broker, but intends to clear and settle those trades through the clearing broker.

Rule 204(c) requires clearing brokers to notify brokers from whom they receive trades for clearance and settlement of when they become subject to a short-sale restriction under Rule 204(b), and when that restriction ends. This is so that the notified brokers can avoid executing trades away from the clearing broker that are not permitted under the clearing broker’s short-sale restriction. If you have received a notice from IBKR regarding Rule 204(c), it generally means that IBKR's books and records show that you are an introducing broker or dealer that clears and settles trades through IBKR, and that also has the capability (or your client has such capability) of executing trades at away brokers or dealers for settlement through IBKR. You should not execute any short-sale order at an away broker-dealer in a security which we have notified you is shortsale restricted, unless you have first arranged to pre-borrow sufficient shares of that security through IBKR. For more information on pre-borrowing, please click here or contact us.

The above is a general description of Rule 204 of Regulation SHO, to aid our broker-dealer clients in understanding IBKR's obligations and why certain stocks may become unshortable at certain times irrespective of their availability to be borrowed. It is not legal advice and should not be used as such.

 

Operational Risks of Short Selling

Rate Risk

In order to sell short, IB must expect to have shares available to lend you on settlement day, or expect to be able to borrow shares on your behalf on or prior to settlement day, in order to settle your trade. Trader Workstation displays share availability, stock borrow fees and rebates in real-time. These rates are indicative and are subject to change intra-day due to supply/demand and other market conditions. In certain cases, “General Collateral” names which have not previously accrued Hard-To-Borrow fees may become more “special,” leading to the short position holder to be charged a Hard-To-Borrow fee.
 
Trade and Settlement Date Gap
 
Before a customer’s short sale order can be executed, the Interactive Brokers Securities Lending Desk locates the shares needed to fulfill the seller’s delivery obligation to the buyer and displays an indicative rate in TWS for that day.
 
However, brokers do not generally borrow the securities until the settlement date (when delivery to the buyer should be made), which is 2 business days after trade date (T+2). There is a risk that rates increase in the 2 days between the executed short sale and settlement date. The customer will be charged the rate as it exists on the settlement date, as that is when shares are actually borrowed, thereby possibly accruing Hard-To-Borrow fees unexpectedly.
 
Corporate Action
 
Certain corporate actions including (but not limited to) mergers, tender offers, and distributions can lead to spikes in Hard-To-Borrow fees.
 
Announced dividends frequently lead to decreased supply and therefore higher borrow fees in the days leading up to record date. When a company issues a dividend distribution to its holders of record, a borrower of the shares as of that time is listed as the holder and therefore receives the dividend. The dividend is then “claimed” by the lender from the borrower, and credited to lender as a Payment-in-Lieu, or “PIL.” PIL’s are not considered by the IRS to be qualified dividends, so the lender may incur adverse tax consequences as a result of receiving a PIL versus a qualified dividend. As lenders recall their shares to avoid this possibility, the number of loanable shares across the market decreases, leading to a possible rate spike.
 
Short position holders are held liable to the long holder for distributions made by the company including (but not limited to) dividends (regular cash, special cash, shares), rights/warrants, and spin-off’s. This means that you could be liable for a substantial payment (or take on additional significant economic exposure) if you are short at the close business on the day prior to ex-dividend date.
 
Delisting and Trading Halts
 
When a company is delisted from the public markets or trading in that stock is halted by the listing exchange, traders may be unable to cover their short positions because the stock no longer trades. However, the original loan to the borrower is still on record, and can only be closed after shares are cancelled and DTC removes all positions in the shares from participants' accounts or, in the case of a trading halt, the halt is lifted. That process can take anywhere from a few days to months or even longer, particularly if the company in engaged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding.
 
In the meantime, the borrower may continue to have to pay Hard-To-Borrow fees on the collateral market value based on the closing price of the last trading day. The minimum mark is $1 per share but can be much higher, depending on how and when the delisting or trading halt occurred.
 
Close-Out and Third-Party Recall
 
In certain situations, a short position may be covered without being directed by the position holder. IB strives to avoid buy-in’s where possible, within the limits of its regulatory obligations. Please see the article “Overview of Short Stock Buy-Ins & Close-Outs” for more details.
 
Leveraged ETF and ETN
 
Leveraged Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) and Exchange Traded Notes (ETN) have characteristics which may increase the likelihood of close-out and recall events occurring. The supply of shares available to borrow is influenced by a number of factors not found with shares of common stock. An overview of these factors can be found in “Special Risks Associated with ETN & Leveraged ETF Short Sales”.
 

Special Risks Associated with ETN & Leveraged ETF Short Sales

Introduction
While account holders are always at risk of having a short security position closed out if IB is unable to borrow shares at settlement of the initial trade or bought in if the trade settles and the shares are recalled by the lender thereafter, certain securities have characteristics which may increase the likelihood of these events occurring. Two examples are leveraged Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) and Exchange Traded Notes (ETN), where the supply of shares available to borrow can be influenced by a number of factors not found with shares of common stock. An overview of these securities and these factors is provided below.


Overview
As background, an ETF is a security organized as a pooled investment vehicle that can offer diversified exposure or track a particular index by investing in stocks, bonds, commodities, currencies, options or a blend of assets. An ETF is similar to a mutual fund in that each share of an ETF represents an undivided interest in the underlying assets of the fund. However, unlike a mutual fund in which orders are only processed at a price determined at the end of the day, ETF shares are repriced and trade throughout the day on an exchange. To balance the supply and demand of shares and ensure that secondary market prices approximate the market value of the underlying assets, ETF issuers allow Authorized Participants (typically large broker-dealers) to create and redeem ETF shares in large blocks, typically 50,000 to 100,000 shares. While many ETFs invest solely in securities, others use debt or derivatives to track and/or magnify exposure to an index. The ProShares Ultra VIX Short-Term Futures ETF ( symbol: UVXY) is one example of a widely traded leveraged ETF.

ETNs are also securities that are repriced and trade throughout the day on an exchange and are designed to provide investors with a return that corresponds to an index. Unlike ETFs, however, ETNs are unsecured debt instruments and do not represent an interest in an underlying pool of assets. They do not pay interest like traditional debit instruments, but rather a promise to pay a specific return that typically corresponds to an index or benchmark. The Barclays iPath® S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures™ ETN (symbol: VXX) is one example of a widely traded ETN.

The supply of shares available to borrow in order to initiate or maintain a short sale position may be less stable for certain leveraged ETFs and ETNs, including UVXY and VXX, due to the following factors:

- Limited Authorized Participants: The number of Authorized Participants willing to issue ETFs, particularly those that invest in derivatives (e.g., futures contracts, swap agreements and forward contracts) rather than securities and seek performance equal to a multiple (i.e., 2x) or an inverse multiple (i.e., -2x) of a benchmark may be limited. Moreover, Authorized Participants have no legal obligation to create shares and may elect not to do so to minimize their exposure as a dealer. 

- No Authorized Participants: As ETN shares represent credit instruments, the supply of such shares is determined solely by the issuing financial institution and Authorized Participants are not involved with the creation or redemption of shares. The ETN issuer typically reserves the right to limit, restrict or stop selling additional shares at any time.

- Limited Holding Period: Certain leveraged ETFs and ETNs seek to match the performance of a benchmark index for a single day rather than an extended period. They are principally used by institutional investors and other traders looking to obtain short-term exposure to an asset class, hedge other investments in a portfolio or invest as a way to gain interim exposure to a particular market while gradually investing directly in that market. These factors can result in a higher rate of turnover and less stability of share inventory available to lend for short sales. 

- Margin Considerations: Shares made available for lending to short sellers often originate from brokers who maintain a lien on the shares as they’ve financed the purchase of the shares on behalf of clients via margin loans. Clients purchasing shares using borrowed funds are subject to regulatory margin requirements, compliance to which depends in part upon the value of the shares supporting the loan. As certain leveraged  ETFs/ETNs are designed to provide returns in multiples of their benchmark, the inherent volatility of these products may diminish clients’ ability to maintain the position and, in turn, the broker’s ability to lend the shares.

 

Resumen de recompra y cancelación de acciones cortas

Introducción

Los clientes que mantengan posiciones en acciones cortas corren el riesgo de que estas acciones sean recompradas y canceladas por IB, a menudo con poco o ningún aviso. Este riesgo es inherente a la venta en corto y suele estar fuera del control del cliente. También está sujeto a normas reguladoras, las cuales dictan los periodos en los que los brókeres deben actuar.

Aunque son similares en su efecto, el término recompra se refiere a una acción realizada por terceros, mientras que una cancelación es realizada por IB. Estas acciones son, típicamente, resultado de uno de estos tres casos:

1. Las participaciones requeridas que deben entregarse cuando se liquida una venta en corto no pueden tomarse prestadas;
2. Las participaciones que se tomaron prestadas y se entregaron en la liquidación se retiraron posteriormente; o
3. Se produce un fallo en la entrega con la cámara de compensación.

A continuación se proporciona un resumen de cada uno de estos tres casos y sus consideraciones.


Resumen de casos de recompra/cancelación

1. Liquidación de venta en corto – cuando las acciones se venden en corto, el bróker debe organizar las participaciones que deben tomarse prestadas en la liquidación; en el caso de valores estadounidenses es en el segundo día hábil tras la fecha de negociación (T+2). Antes de ejecutar la venta en corto, el bróker debe hacer una determinación en buena fe de que las acciones estarán disponibles para su préstamo cuando se requiera y esto se logra mediante la verificación de su disponibilidad en el momento en curso. Tenga en cuenta que sin un acuerdo de pre-préstamo no hay garantía de que las acciones disponibles para préstamo en la fecha de negociación sigan disponibles para préstamo 2 días después y, si no lo están, la venta en corto puede estar forzada a cancelación. El cronograma de procesamiento para determinar la cancelación es el siguiente:

T+2 (todo el horario en hora de Nueva York)
14:30 - Si IB no puede tomar prestadas acciones para cumplir una liquidación y anticipa una posibilidad sustancial de que no vaya a poder tomar en préstamo las participaciones, se enviará una notificación, sobre la base del mejor esfuerzo, para notificar al cliente de la cancelación potencial. Los clientes tendrán hasta el fin del horario extendido de negociación de ese día para cerrar ellos mismos sus posiciones cortas y evitar el cierre forzoso. Si en algún momento IB puede tomar acciones en préstamo, se intentará comunicar esa información al cliente.

15:15 – Se enviará un comunicado de seguimiento, sobre la base del mejor esfuerzo, en caso de que el cliente no haya cerrado sus posiciones cortas y IB no haya tomado en préstamo acciones. Los clientes seguirán teniendo hasta hasta el fin del horario extendido de negociación de ese día para cerrar sus posiciones cortas y evitar el cierre forzoso.

16:50 – Si IB no puede tomar en préstamo las participaciones para cumplir con la liquidación, se enviará al cliente, sobre la base del mejor esfuerzo, un comunicado notificándole que IB no pudo tomar acciones en préstamo al cierre del T+2 y que se realizará un último intento hasta las 09:00 del T+3.

T+3
09:00 – Si IB no puede tomar en préstamo acciones antes de las 09:00, se iniciará la cancelación a la apertura del mercado a las 09:30, hora de Nueva York. La cancelación se reflejará en la ventana de operaciones de la TWS a un precio indicativo.

09:30 – IB inicia las cancelaciones utilizando una orden de precio ponderado por volumen (VWAP), configurada para ejecutarse durante todo el día operativo. El precio indicativo reflejado en la ventana de operaciones de TWS se actualizará con el precio real una vez completada la cancelación.


2. Retirada de préstamo – Una vez que una venta en corto se ha liquidado (es decir, se han tomado prestadas las acciones y se han utilizado para entregar la venta en corto al comprador), el prestador de las acciones se reserva el derecho de solicitar su devolución en cualquier momento. En caso de que se produzca una retirada del préstamo, IB intentará sustituir las acciones prestadas con acciones de otro prestador. Si las acciones no pueden tomarse en préstamo, el prestador se reserva el derecho de emitir una retirada formal que permita que se produzca una recompra 3 días hábiles tras la emisión en caso que IB no devuelva las acciones reclamadas. Aunque la emisión de esta retirada oficial proporciona al prestador la opción de recompra, la proporción de notificación de retiradas que terminan con recompra es baja (normalmente debido a la capacidad de IB de encontrar acciones en otros puntos). Dado el volumen de retiradas formales que recibimos, pero que no son ejecutadas, IB no proporciona a los clientes avisos por adelantado de estas notificaciones de retirada.

Una vez que la contraparte emite un aviso de recompra a IB, la contraparte puede recomprar las acciones que IB está tomando prestadas en cualquier momento para esa fecha de negociación. En caso de que una retirada tenga como resultado una recompra, el prestador ejecutará la transacción de recompra y notificará a IB de los precios de ejecución. IB realiza una comprobación de los precios de recompra de la contraparte para verificar su adecuación con la actividad de negociación del día en curso.
 
IB, a su vez, asignará la recompra a los clientes con base en sus posiciones en acciones cortas liquidadas y las operaciones sin liquidar no se tendrán en cuenta al determinar el pasivo. Las recompras por retirada se pueden ver en la ventana de operaciones de la TWS una vez registradas en la cuenta, siendo enviadas las notificaciones, sobre la base del mejor esfuerzo, aproximadamente a las 17:30, hora de Nueva York.


3. Fallo de entrega – Un error de entrega se produce cuando un bróker tiene una obligación de liquidación en corto neta con la cámara de compensación y no tiene las acciones disponibles en su propio inventario o no puede tomarlas prestadas de otro bróker para cumplir con la obligación de entrega. El fallo se produce como resultado de transacciones de venta, y no se limita a las ventas en corto, sino que puede ser resultado del cierre de una posición larga mantenida en margen y elegible para ser prestada a otro cliente.

En el caso de acciones estadounidenses, los brókeres están obligados a ocuparse de la posición con fallo a más tardar al inicio de las horas regulares de negociación del siguiente día de liquidación. Esto puede llevarse a cabo mediante la compra de valores o préstamo, sin embargo, en caso de que esas transacciones sean insuficientes para satisfacer la obligación de entrega, IB cancelará los títulos de clientes en posiciones cortas utilizando una orden de precio promedio ponderado por volumen (VWAP) configurada para ejecutarse durante todo el día.

 

Notas importantes:

* Los clientes deberían tener en cuenta que en el día en que se hayan cancelado sus posiciones, deben finalizar el día como compradores netos —en agregado para todas sus cuentas con la empresa— de, al menos, la cantidad de participaciones en las que s eles canceló (en el valor en el que se realizó la cancelación). Durante el resto del día operativo, no se les permitirá (i) vender en corto las acciones que se les cancelaron, (ii) vender opciones cal en-dinero sobre la acción en la que fueron cancelado, ni (iii) ejercitar opciones put sobre las acciones de las que fueron cancelados (las "restricciones de negociación"). Si un cliente no termina el día como comprador neto del número de participaciones requeridas para las acciones de las que han sido cancelados, (por ejemplo, como resultado de asignaciones de opciones call vendidas previamente) —de forma agregada para todas las cuentas del cliente con la empresa— la empresa realizará otra cancelación en la cuenta durante el siguiente día operativo para el número de participaciones que, al añadirse a la actividad de negociación neta agregada del clientes en dichas acciones para la fecha de cierre, habrían sido requeridas para que el cliente fuer aun comprador neto del número de participaciones de dichas acciones en ese día y el cliente volverá a tener que permanecer como comprador neto en todas sus cuentas de esas participaciones y volverá a estar sujeto a las restricciones de negociación por lo que quede del día.


* los clientes deberían estar informados de que, según la forma en que IB debe ejecutar una cancelación y los terceros pueden ejecutar una recompra, pueden darse diferencias significativas entre el precio al que se ejecutó la transacción y el cierre del día previo. Estas diferencias pueden ser especialmente pronunciadas en caso de valores sin liquidez. Los clientes deberían conocer estos riesgos y gestionar sus carteras en consecuencia.
 

 

Monitoring Stock Loan Availability

Overview: 

Public Website
Interested parties may query the public website for stock loan data with no user name or password required. To start, click here and select the country in which the stock is listed. If the number of available issues exceeds that which can be reasonably presented on a single page, results will be organized by symbol in groups, with hypertext links allowing further drill-down. A quick search box allowing direct query for a given symbol is also provided. Query results include the product description, currency of denomination and a link titled “Check Availability” which displays the quantity of shares available to borrow.

 

Public FTP
The public FTP site also requires no user name or password to access and provides stock borrow data in bulk form via a pipe delimited text file. The URL necessary to request files varies by browser type as outlined below:

1. Mozilla Firefox
ftp://shortstock: @ftp3.interactivebrokers.com (Note there is a space between shortstock: and @ which represents the password).
You will get a message stating that you are about to connect to a website that does not require authentication. Select "Yes"

2. Internet Explorer
ftp://shortstock: @ftp3.interactivebrokers.com (Note there is a space between shortstock: and @ which represents the password).
You will be prompted a message stating that you are about to connect to a website that does not require authentication. Select "Yes"

3. Google Chrome
ftp://ftp3.interactivebrokers.com
Username:shortstock
Password: blank (n/a)
Within the site, individual files will be organized by country of listing with checkboxes provided to specify those desired which can then be downloaded into a single file by selecting the Submit button.
 

 

Outlined below is a snapshot of the sample file output which includes the stock symbol, currency of denomination, name, contract identifiers (IB’s and the ISIN), rebate & fee rates and shares available. This file may be also imported into applications such as Excel for sorting, filtering and analytical purposes.

 

Short Stock Availability (SLB) Tool
The SLB tool is made available to IB account holders through Account Management. Login and select the Support section followed by Short Stock (SLB) Availability. This tool allows one to query information on a single stock as well as at a bulk level. Single stock searches can be performed by symbol/exchange, ISIN or CUSIP numbers. At the single security level, query results include the quantity available, number of lenders and indicative rebate rate (which if negative, infers a borrowing cost expressed as an annual percentage rate and, if positive, the interest rebate paid on cash proceeds securing the loan in excess of the minimum threshold). Information regarding the quantity of shares available to borrow throughout the day for the most current and past half hour increments is also made available.

 

In addition, borrowers interested in the trend of rates over the prior 10 day period can view the minimum, maximum and mean rates for each day.

This tool also allows one to upload a text file (with symbol/exchange or ISIN detail) and search for availability of multiple stocks in bulk within a single query. These bulk requests will then generate a .CSV file similar to the sample file output made available through the public FTP site.

Background: 

IB provides a variety of methods to assist account holders engaged in short selling with monitoring inventory levels and borrow costs/rebates. The level of detail available, the time frame covered and the manner in which the information is accessed vary by method and a brief overview of each is provided below.

Hong Kong Short Reporting Obligations

This Article is a general summary of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission’s (“SFC”) regulatory position relating to the short selling and the carrying of large short positions in selected HK listed securities. The following information is being provided as a service convenience and IB does not guarantee the information for either accuracy or completeness. There may be subsequent changes to the regulations, and investors with large short positions should refer directly to the SFC regulations on the SFC website. 

 

Overview

  • Hong Kong regulations now require beneficial owners of shares in selected HK listed stocks to report each week short positions that exceed the threshold of HKD 30 million or 0.02% of market capitalization on the constituent stocks of the Hang Seng Index, the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index and other financial companies specified by the SFC. A list of affected of stocks can be found here:

http://www.sfc.hk/sfc/html/EN/research/short-position-reporting/specified-shares.html 

  • Investors with applicable positions should register directly with the SFC. Registration and guidance on the registration process can be found here.
  • Reporting is expected on a weekly basis, but the second business day of the following week.
  • Links for the registering and reporting can be found here:

https://portal.sfc.hk/dsp/gateway/welcome?locale=en

Guidelines, Instructions and FAQ's:

SFC announcement with links to legislation

Short position forms, guidelines, reference material and list of specified shares

Link to subscribe to SFC alert service (choose Short Position Reporting Related Matters)

Legislation and Rules

For further details, please refer to the SFC website: www.sfc.hk and/or contact them via email with specific questions at shortpositions@sfc.hk

 

 

IBKR Stock Yield Enhancement Program

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The Stock Yield Enhancement Program (SYEP) offers clients the opportunity to earn additional income on their full-paid shares by lending those shares to IBKR for on-lending to short sellers that are willing to pay to borrow them. 

Upon enrollment, Program activities are managed in their entirety by IBKR and require no actions on the part of participants.  These activities include the following:

- Identifying the shares in client accounts which borrowers are attempting to borrow;

- Establishing loans and returns;

- Paying interest (expressed as an interest accrual for activity statement reporting purposes) on cash collateral posted to a client’s account; and

- Reporting of loan activity, cash collateral transfers and income on the activity statements;

In contrast to the securities lending programs offered by others, IBKR provides complete transparency to the market rates, gross income earned from each transaction by IB and interest paid by to the client and IBKR. 

 

HOW IT WORKS

- Clients may enroll in the Program in Account Management (full details below). Activation generally takes place overnight. Eligible accounts include any IB LLC, IB Hong Kong, IB Canada, and IB-UK margin accounts, IB LLC, IB Canada, IB-UK or IB Hong Kong cash accounts with equity in excess of USD 50,000 are also eligible.

- Once activated, IBKR will review the inventory of eligible shares on a daily basis held by the client and use eligible shares to satisfy internal and external borrow demand. If the supply of eligible shares exceeds borrow demand, clients will be allocated loans on a pro rata basis (e.g. if aggregate supply is 20,000 shares and aggregate demand 10,000, each client will be eligible to have 50% of their shares loaned).

- At the end of each day that any loan is in place, IBKR will pay the client interest (presented as an interest accrual) on the cash collateral posted to the client’s account for the loan. IBKR will retain any amounts it earns from the loan in excess of the interest paid to the client. The details regarding the transaction, including the quantity of shares loaned, collateral amount, gross income earned by IBKR and interest accruing to the client are reflected on the daily activity statement. 

- Clients maintain full control of loaned shares with no impairment as to:

          * Market exposure ( i.e., will continue to recognize profit or loss consistent with stock price move);

          * The ability to sell at any time without prior notice;

          * Hedges (e.g., covered calls, protective puts);

          * The representation of holdings in statements and the trading platform; and

          * Cost basis 

 

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

- Loaned shares may not be protected by SIPC, however, the cash collateral received for the loaned securities is segregated within the 15c3-3 Reserve Account and therefore subject to the same investment restrictions;

- The interest rate that IBKR pays for any given loan is subject to supply and demand considerations that are outside the control of IBKR and which are susceptible to change from one day to another without advance notice or limit as to the magnitude of change. The interest paid to participants will reflect such changes;

- Proxy voting rights on loaned shares are forfeited (rights go to borrower);

- Loaned shares are typically used to facilitate short sales and such transactions may affect the value of shares.

 

HOW TO ENROLL IN THE STOCK YIELD ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM

For enrollment in the latest Client Portal, please click on the below buttons in the order specified.

 

For enrollment via Classic Account Management, please click on the below buttons in the order specified.

 

For additional FAQs relating to the Yield Enhancement Program, click here.

 

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 IBKR to lend out those securities to third parties. Customers who participate in the program will receive cash collateral to secure the return of the stock loan at its termination as well as interest on the cash collateral provided by the borrower for any day the loan exists.

 

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 general, IBKR pays interest to participants on their cash collateral at a rate that approximates 50% of the amounts earned by IBKR for lending the shares. . For example, assume IBKR earns 15% annualized income from lending shares with a value of $10,000 and it posts $10,000 cash collateral to a participant’s account. The normal daily interest rate IB would pay to a participant on the cash collateral would be $2.08

 

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).

 

How do long sales, transfers of securities lent via the IBKR Stock Yield Enhancement Program or un-enrollment affect interest?

Interest ceases to accrue on the next business day after the trade date (T+1). Interest also ceases to accrue on the next business day after the transfer input or un-enrollment date.

 

What are the eligibility requirements for participation in the IBKR Stock Yield Enhancement Program?
All IB LLC, IB UK, IB HK, and IB Canada margin accounts or IB LLC, IB UK (excluding SIPP accounts), IB HK and IB Canada cash accounts with equity over $50,000 at the time of application are eligible. IB Japan, IB Australia 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 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 Omnibus Brokers, the broker signs the agreement.

 

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

 

Are partitions of IRA accounts managed by Interactive Brokers Asset Management eligible to participate in the Stock Yield Enhancement Program?
No.

 

Are UK SIPP accounts eligible to participate in the Stock Yield Enhancement Program?
No.

 

How do I enroll in the IBKR Stock Yield Enhancement Program?
Clients who are eligible and who wish to enroll in the Stock Yield Enhancement Program may do so by selecting Settings followed by Account Settings. Click the gear icon next to the words Trading Permissions. Check the box at the top of the page under Trading Programs that says Stock Yield Enhancement. Click CONTINUE and fill out any required agreements/disclosures.

 

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.

 

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 logging into Account Management and selecting Settings followed by Account Settings. Click the gear icon next to the words Trading Permissions. Remove the check from the box in the Trading Programs section titled Stock Yield Enhancement Program". Click CONTINUE and fill out any required agreements/disclosures. Requests to terminate are typically processed at the end of the day.

 

If an account signs up and un-enrolls at a later time, when can it be re-enrolled into the program?
After un-enrollment, the account may not re-enroll for 90 calendar days.

 

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

 

How does IBKR determine the amount of shares which are eligible to be loaned?
The first step is to determine the value of securities, if any, which IBKR 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 IBKR 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, IBKR may not have access to a market with willing borrowers or IBKR may not want to loan your shares.

 

Are Stock Yield Enhancement Program loans made only in increments of 100?
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 IBKR clients or to other third parties?
Shares may be loaned to any counterparty and is not limited solely to other IBKR clients.

 

Can the Stock Yield Enhancement Program participant determine which shares IBKR can lend?
No. The program is entirely managed by IBKR who, after determining those securities, if any, which IBKR 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 IBKR 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?
Yes. Stock Yield Enhancement Program shares that are lent out are segregated and IBKR will pay the dividend and not payment in lieu (PIL).

 

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.

 

Do participants in the Stock Yield Enhancement Program receive rights, warrants and spin-off shares on shares loaned?

Yes. The lender of the securities will receive any rights, warrants, spin-off shares and distributions made on loaned securities.

 

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 IBKR, the number of Shares Borrowed, the number of Shares Lent and the Net Shares (=Shares at IBKR + Shares Borrowed - Shares Lent). 

 

3. IB Managed Securities Lent – lists for each stock loaned through the Stock Yield Enhancement Program the Quantity of shares loaned, the Interest Rate (%). 

 

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 Interest Rate (%); Interest Rate on Customer Collateral (%) and the Collateral Amount. 

 

5. IB Managed Securities Lent Activity Interest Details – details on an individual loan basis including the Interest Rate Earned by IBKR (%); the Income Earned by IBKR (represents the total income IBKR earns from the loan which is equal to {Collateral Amount * Interest Rate}/360); the Interest Rate on Customer Collateral (represents about half of the income IB earns on the loan) and Interest Paid to Customer (represents the interest income earned on a client’s collateral)

Note: This section will only be displayed if the interest accrual earned by the client exceeds USD 1 for the statement period.   

 

6. Interest Accruals – the interest 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 interest income will be reported on Form 1099 issued to U.S. taxpayers.

 

India Intra-Day Shorting Risk Disclosure

Interactive Brokers currently offers the ability to short sell stocks before taking delivery on an intra-day basis. In accordance with IB’s intra-day shorting rules, traders are required to deliver shares sold or close short stock positions prior to the end of the trading session. 

Should traders establish a short stock position intra-day and still hold the position ten minutes prior to the end of the trading session at 15:20 IST, Interactive Brokers may, on a best efforts basis, close the position on your behalf. If the position is not closed by the end of the day and the shares are not delivered by the customer before settlement, the loss on account of auction will be borne by the customer. Please note that prices in the auction market are highly variable and typically not favorable compared to the normal market.

It is important to note, IB will not take into consideration any closing orders for short stock positions placed by the customer which may still be working. If your account holds a short position ten minutes prior to the end of the trading session and you have placed working orders to close those positions, there is the possibility your closing order will execute and that IB will act to close out your short position.  In this situation you will be responsible for both executions and will need to manage your long position accordingly.

A fee of INR 2,000 will be charged for this manual processing in addition to any external penalties in the case of short stock positions resulting in auction trades.  As such, we strongly urge customers to monitor their positions and take appropriate action themselves in order to avoid this.

Reg. SHO Short Sale Bid Test

Effective November 10, 2010, an amendment to SEC Reg. SHO goes into effect which will place certain restrictions on short selling when a given stock is experiencing significant downward price pressure.  This amendment, referred to as the alternative uptick rule (Rule 201) introduces a circuit breaker which takes effect wherever the primary listing market declares that a stock has declined 10% or more from the prior day’s closing price. 

Once the circuit breaker has been triggered, a Price Restriction is imposed which prohibits the display or execution of a short sale transaction if the order price is at or below the current national best bid. As a result, short sellers will not be allowed to act as liquidity takers when the Price Restriction applies and can only participate as liquidity providers adding depth to the market.  Individuals owning and attempting to sell a security subject to a Price Restriction (i.e., long sellers) are afforded a priority over short sellers in that while they are similarly prohibited from displaying or executing a sale transaction at a price below the current national best bid, they may display or execute orders at the bid.  Accordingly, long sellers are allowed to act as liquidity takers. 

The Price Restriction will apply to all short sale orders in that security for the remainder of the day as well as the following trading day.  Note that while the Price Restriction can only be triggered during regular trading hours, the restriction itself extends beyond regular trading hours on both the first and second days. In addition, there is no limit on the number of consecutive days in which a primary listing market can trigger a Price Restriction. If a stock currently subject to a Price Restriction again declines 10% or more from the prior day’s closing price, the restriction will be re-triggered for the remainder of that day as well as the following trading day.  

Rule 201 applies to all National Market System (NMS) securities; that is, stocks listed on a U.S. stock exchange whether traded on an exchange or in the over-the-counter market.  It does not apply to stocks which are traded only on the OTCBB and/or PINK nor stocks of U.S. companies which are executed on a non-U.S. exchange.

 

Example: Assume hypothetical stock XYZ closed yesterday at $10.00 and today reports a trade at $8.99 (down 10.1%) with a NBBO of $8.98 x $9.00. As the stock has declined by greater than 10%, the primary listing market would trigger the circuit breaker, effectively prohibiting the display or execution of a short sale order at $8.98 or less even if the order was a market order or had a limit price below $8.98.  The short sale order may only be displayed or executed at $8.99 or higher (assuming the stock trades in one penny increments). A long sale order could only be displayed or executed at $8.98 or higher. This Price Restriction would remain in effect for the remainder of today and tomorrow (assuming no subsequent price declines of 10% or more).

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