Your account

Multi-currency account

ProRealTime Trading accounts are multi-currency accounts.

What is a multi-currency account

In addition to the base currency that you choose for your account, your portfolio can also hold other currencies.

This lets you trade on the markets of your choice with the possibility to limit fees related to interest and currency conversions. You can also deposit and withdraw funds from your account in the currency of your choice.

A multi-currency account has:

  • a balance in the account's base currency
  • a balance in each currency you trade with

The balance of each currency may be positive or negative - Here is an example.

Check and convert secondary currency balances

To open the currency conversion window:

  • Open the ProRealTime Trading platform.
  • Choose "Trading" and "Portfolio" in the maintool bar to open the window "Portfolios".
  • Click on the button next to "Cash to be converted" in the window "Portfolios".

This window will display:

  • the base currency of your portfolio,
  • the total value of your portfolio, converted into your base currency (at the current exchange rates),
  • all your non-zero currency balances.

From this window you may convert any of your currency balance to your base currency or any other currency of your choice.

To convert a currency balance in base currency:

  • In the "Operations" menu, select "Conversion in portfolio currency".
  • Click on the conversion button next to the currency balance you wish to convert.

To make a conversion in another currency:

  • In the "Operations" menu, select "Conversion" in another currency.
  • Select the "Currency to convert" and the "Currency to obtain" in the drop-down menus.
  • Enter the "Amount to convert" (or select "Convertible cash" to convert all the convertible cash available in the currency to convert).
  • Click on "Convert".

  • In the "Conversion in portfolio currency" view, you must have closed all your positions in a secondary currency before converting the corresponding balance to your base currency. You may however perform such a conversion without closing your positions in the "Conversion in another currency" view.
  • The currency conversion is subject to the same pricing as the execution of a Forex order.
  • A residual balance of 1 $ (or equivalent in another currency) may appear after conversion due to market differences when the conversion is made. You can ignore any residual balance less than 5 $ (or equivalent) which will be automatically converted without fees to your base currency whithin 24 to 48 hours.

Changing the base currency of your account

Even when your account is open you can change the base currency at any time.

The different account segments

To allow you to trade on different types of financial instruments, which are subject to different regulations, your interactive brokers account is sub-divided into several segments.

Some transactions will make funds be automatically transferred from the main account segment to a specific account segment (for example: to cover the margin requirement to trade Futures).

Note that this information about segments and the account are provided by Interactive Brokers at the time of publication of this page (1st semester 2017).

These elements may be changed by Interactive Brokers, or for regulatory reasons.

Details of different account segments

By connecting to the account management interface, the main page will display several segments of your account and their balances

"Securities" segment (main segment)

The "Securities" segment is the main segment. It is from this segment that your funds can be deposited and withdrawn.

It also contains your positions subject to SEC protection rules, including:

  • European stocks
  • US stocks
  • Currencies (Forex)

"Commodities" segment (can also be called "Futures" in the account management interface)

The "Commodities" segment contains your positions subject to CFTC protection rules, or:

  • US Futures

"UK Regulated" segment (may also be called "Regulated" or "F" in the account management interface)

It contains your positions subject to FCA protection rules, or:

  • European Futures
  • Spot Metals

Move your funds to the main "Securities" segment (Excess funds sweep)

After making trades, your funds may be shared between different segments.

An option in your account management interface lets you request automatic transfer of your funds to the main account segment.

To do this:

  • Log in to the account management interface with your second account and second password (and security card if applicable)
  • Go to the menu "Settings" then "Account Settings"
  • Click on the settings icon located next to "Excess funds sweep".
  • At the bottom of the page, select the option "Sweep to Securities Account"
  • Then click "Save"

Pattern Day Trader

Trading on stocks (and derivatives of stocks) with Interactive Brokers is subject to "Pattern Day Trader" regulations, which require that any account which does more than 3 round turn trades within a period of 5 working days be funded with a minimum of 25,000 $ (or equivalent in another currency).

This is a FINRA regulation (US Financial regulatory authority).

Interactive Brokers UK is subject to this regulation due to being a subsidiary of Interactive Brokers LLC (US).

To learn more, consult the FINRA website:

Please note:

  • If your account balance is above 25 000 USD minimum (or equivalent in another currency), you are not concerned by the "Pattern Day Trader" limitation.
  • If your account balance is below this minimum, you will not be able to place additional orders once the limit is reached. The following page explains what to do if you already reached the limit and your orders are rejected.