Interactive Brokers


Interactive Brokers is a US-based firm with registered offices in a number of other countries, including the UK and Hong Kong, and is one of two genuinely global retail brokerages along with Saxo Bank. The firm offers extremely low-cost Direct Market Access to a number of international exchanges in Asia, Europe and North America.

The underlying service is an institutional-level trading platform – it’s used by many professional traders and small hedge funds – and Interactive Brokers mostly markets its services to very active traders. However, non-traders shouldn’t be put off by that. This is a cheap and efficient solution for many long-term investors as well, with commendably transparent pricing.

There is a minimum monthly fee of US$10 for accounts under US$100,000, offset against commissions, but the low overall charges – especially on issues such as currency conversion – mean that despite this the firm can still be a surprisingly cheap option even for relatively infrequent traders. However, it is definitely not recommended for novices as the technical support team will not walk you through everything with the same patience as a more retail-focused stock broker.

Among other products, Interactive Brokers offers extensive data feeds at pass-through prices (ie what the provider and exchange charges). These are also now available for non-clients through its Interactive Brokers Information Systems (IBIS) platform, which may be a partial solution to the problem of getting good international price and fundamental data for international stocks at reasonable fees.

Markets available
Online tradingAustralia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany - Frankfurt, Germany - Stuttgart, Hong Kong, India (for NRIs only), Italy, Japan - Tokyo, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, UK International Order Book, USA, USA OTCBB and Pink Sheets
Telephone tradingn/a
Dealing commissions and charges
Typical online$1/€4/£6
Online details
Australia 0.08% (min A$6/NZD8)
Austria 0.1% (min €4 max €120)
Belgium 0.1% (min €4 max €29)
Canada C$0.01/share (min C$1 max 0.5%)
France - EUR-denominated 0.1% (min €4 max €29)
France - USD-denominated 0.1% (min US$5 max US$42)
Germany - Frankfurt 0.1% (min €4 max €29)
Germany - Stuttgart 0.12% (min €6)
Hong Kong 0.08% (mind HK$18)
Italy 0.1% (min €4 max €29)
Japan 0.08% (min JPY80)
Mexico 0.1% (min MXN60)
Netherlands - EUR-denominated 0.1% (min €4 max €29)
Netherlands - USD-denominated 0.1% (min US$5 max US$42)
Norway 0.05% (min NOK49)
Singapore 0.08% (min S$2.5/US$2/HK$18)
Spain 0.1% (min €4)
Sweden 0.05% (min SEK49)
Switzerland - CHF-denominated 0.1% (min CH10)
Switzerland - USD-denominated 0.1% (min US$5 max US$42)
UK - SETS - trades under £50,000 £6
UK - SETS - trades over £50,000 £6+0.05% of trade value over £50,000 (max £29)
UK - EUR-denominated stocks 0.1% (min €4 max €29)
UK - USD-denominated 0.05% (min US$5)
UK - LSE International Order Book 0.05% (min US$5)
USA $0.005/share (min US$1 max 0.5%)
Typical telephonen/a
Telephone detailsn/a
Other fees and charges
Account fees and inactivity fees$10/month minimum fees if account balance is under US$100,000
Custody charges for stocksNone
Dividend chargesNone
Corporate action chargesNone
Currency conversion chargesUp to 0.002% margin on interbank rates (min US$2)
Hold cash in foreign currenciesYes
Currencies allowedAUD, CAD, CHF, EUR, GBP, HKD, INR, JPY, MXN, NOK, NZD, SEK, SGD, USD
Other details
Tax-advantaged accountsSIPP (UK residents - fees vary), IRA (US residents)
Other products and servicesBonds, CFDs, futures, FX, metals, options
Minimum account sizeUS$10,000 equivalent
Company locationUSA
Further informationVisit the Interactive Brokers website

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 Posted by at 12:07 am