IBKR Australia Account Types and Products Offerings

Interactive Brokers Australia Pty Ltd (“IBKR Australia”), which holds an Australian Financial Services License (“AFSL” No. 453554), has been established. IBKR Australia is headquartered in Sydney and has been set up to provide services to our Australian clients. IBKR Australia clients, products and services have some unique characteristics when compared to the Interactive Brokers (“IBKR”) global account and product suite. The purpose of this document is to outline these characteristics of the IBKR Australia offering.

Account Types

IBKR Australia offers both cash accounts and margin accounts to all types of clients, including Individual / Joint account holders as well as trust account holders and corporate clients.

For Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (“SMSF”) account holders, IBKR Australia only offers cash accounts.

Natural Person v Non-Natural Person

Under IBKR Australia clients will be categorised as either natural persons or non-natural persons.

A natural person client would include individuals / joint account holders, as well as trusts with at least one natural person trustee. A non-natural person client would include corporate entities as well as trusts with only non-natural person trustees.

Australian Regulatory Status

Under IBKR Australia clients will be classified as either a retail, wholesale or professional investor. All new clients of IBKR Australia default to being classified as a retail investor unless they produce the required documentary evidence to enable IBKR Australia to treat them as a wholesale or professional investor.

Refer to this link for information regarding Australian regulatory status under IBKR Australia.

Please click [Here] to download the wholesale investor booklet, and click [Here] to download the professional investor booklet.

Cash Accounts

IBKR Australia offer three different types of cash accounts:

  • Investment account
  • Trading account
  • SMSF account (only available to Self-Managed Superannuation Fund)

Investment Account: Similar to the IBLLC Cash account model, the IBKR Australia Investment account does not allow you to short securities or to borrow funds, i.e. your account cannot have a debit balance. Moreover, only a limited number of options strategies will be available. This account is not eligible for reduced intraday Futures margin.

This account is available for all clients except SMSF clients.

Trading Account: While this is also a cash account that does not permit you to have a debit balance, you will be permitted to short stock and trade any of the available option strategies in the Trading Account, provided that you have the requisite trading experience and expertise, which is outlined [Here]. Further, Trading Accounts enable you to trade with unsettled funds.

If you currently have an Investment Account, you can submit a change of account type to change to a Trading Account by logging into the Client Portal > Settings > Account Settings > under Configuration, click the Configure tool next to Account Type. This may take 2-3 business days to review.

This account is available for all clients except SMSF clients.

SMSF: This is only available to SMSF clients. This is a cash account that does not permit you to short securities or to borrow funds, i.e. your account cannot have a debit balance. Moreover, only a limited number of options strategies will be available. This account is not eligible for reduced intraday Futures margin.

The options strategies that are available in the Investment Account and the SMSF account are as follows:

  • Long Call or Put
  • Covered Calls
  • Short Put
  • Call Spread; exdate(long) >= exdate(short)
  • Put Spread; exdate(long) >= exdate(short)
  • Long / Short Butterfly
  • Iron Condor

Margin Accounts

IBKR Australia offers two types of margin accounts that will provide all clients excluding SMSF clients with the ability to create portfolios to the maximum degree of risk taking/leverage allowed by IBKR Australia. The two account types are:

  • Leveraged Trading account
    • Available for both natural persons and non-natural persons, regardless oftheir regulatory status. However, there are some important differences between the margin accounts available for retail clients and wholesale clients, as outlined below.
  • Professional account
    • Available primarily for non-natural persons that are confirmed as a professional investor.

Important characteristics of IBKR Australia margin accounts are as follows:

  • All eligible margin accounts employ a risk-based model to calculate margin requirements. Please click [here] for more details.
  • Interest rates on financing may vary depending on the type of client obtaining margin. Please click [here] for more details.
  • For all natural person clients (e.g. individuals), only cash or marketable securities may serve as collateral for the margin lending facility, and the collateral deposited must be unborrowed & otherwise free of any mortgage or lien or other encumbrance. 
  • For all natural person clients, you may only withdraw funds from the margin facility for the limited purpose of repaying another margin lending facility which was used to acquire financial products.
    • However, if you are classified as retail you will be not permitted to withdraw from the margin facility if you are already borrowing funds via that facility, i.e. if you are already negative cash, or otherwise if the withdrawal would place your account into cash deficit. 
  • All retail natural person clients must meet specific financial thresholds in order to be granted a margin account, specifically income must be greater than AUD $40,000 or Liquid net worth must be greater than AUD $100,000. In addition, IBKR Australia is obliged to collect and verify certain details regarding the client’s personal financial position before providing the client with a margin lending facility. However, if the client has a valid and recent Statement of Advice (“SOA”) from their registered financial advisor or financial planner which recommends that the client can be issued a margin lending facility, and that SOA is made available to IBKR Australia, this additional verification of the client’s personal financial position will not be required. 
  • In addition retail natural person clients will not be granted a margin account if their occupation is either retired or unemployed or student.
  • For all retail clients (both natural person and non-natural person clients), margin loans will be capped at a specific amount (subject to change in IBKR Australia’s sole discretion). Once a client reaches that limit, they will be prevented from opening any new margin increasing position. Closing or margin-reducing trades will be allowed. Please click [here] for more details. 
  • For the non-natural person clients that are NOT categorized as retail clients, IBKR Australia is permitted to utilize for financing purposes a portion of the loan value of the stock these customers hold with IBKR Australia. In simple terms, IBKR Australia borrows money from a third party (such as a bank or broker-dealer), using the customer's margin stock as collateral, and it lends those funds to the customer to finance the customer's margin purchases.
  • Please take particular note of how we determine natural person v non-natural person for IBKR Australia trust accounts, as detailed above. It is imperative that if you hold a trust account with IBKR Australia and there exists individuals (natural persons) that are labelled as trustees in your account, then even if you have a corporate trustee, that trust would be considered a natural person trust. The difference between a natural person and non-natural person margin account can be significant as shown above. As a result, please contact customer service if you need to modify trustees.

CFD Product Offering

As a client of IBKR Australia, provided that you have the requisite trading experience and expertise, which is outlined [Here], you will be able to trade all of exchange traded products available (including local and global stocks, options, futures, bonds, ETFs etc.) through IBKR’s award winning trading platform and software. In addition, you may also trade our Stock, Index and FX CFDs and Spot FX over the counter all within the one IBKR Australia account.

In addition, IBKR Australia issue Contracts for Difference (“CFDs”) over global shares, indices and FX. These are only available to IBKR Australia clients. For further information on IBKR Australia's products and services, please see our website.

Refer to this link for information on IBAU’s share CFDs.
Refer to this link for information on IBAU’s index CFDs.
Refer to this link for information on IBAU’s FX CFDs.

FX Offering

IBKR Australia can only support currencies in AUD, USD, EUR and GBP and you can convert between these currencies. If you have cash balances in currencies other than IBA supported currencies (AUD, USD, GBP or EUR) these will to be converted into your nominated base currency.

IBAU clients, when permissioned, can trade in any market available across the IBKR network, even those outside the 4 supported currencies above. However, upon your instruction for any market outside the 4 supported currencies, IBKR Australia will automatically execute Forex conversions to ensure non-supported cash balances be cleared.

For example, if an IBKR Australia client using a Cash account wishes to buy HKD denominated securities, as long
as the client has sufficient available funds, the trade is permitted. To settle the trade, IBKR Australia will convert the existing cash balances into HKD. Similarly at a later date, if the same client wishes to sell their HKD denominated securities, IBKR Australia would automatically convert the HKD proceeds to the base currency by day end, once again leaving no residual HKD cash balances.

If an IBKR Australia client using a margin account has any positive or negative cash balances outside of the 4 supported currencies, it will be automatically converted to base currency by day end.

ASX24

In order to ensure continued compliance with our regulatory obligations, IBKR Australia will NOT accept any other form of collateral except cash for the purposes of determining whether you can trade or hold ASX24 products. If the margin requirements of ASX24 products cannot be met using cash, your account will be subject to automated liquidation.