Funding IB Account $ or £


Hi All,

I am preparing for exclusively trading US based equities and I have an issue so would like some views from anyone willing to contribute.

OK to become a "Pattern Day Trader" really requires $25K minimum and my intention is to fund to $30K

With IB you can have an account in the base currency of your choice and mine is currently in GBP (£) But with the fluctuations in the £ / $ exchange rate, the difference for funding can be substantial.

For example; the current rate is $1.61 to £1 so to fund an account to $30K = approx £18.6K

But it was only last month that the rate was $1.54 to £1 so the funding would have been £19.5K a difference of some £900

I have spoken to IB and they have told me that I would need to open a separate account in USD ($) and that, because IB is a US based company, accounts held in currencies other than USD ($) are subject to daily account balance changes based on the exchange rate but this does seem incorrect to me.

So what are the views of others on here ? If I fund my account in USD ($) at least I will be in a position to Pattren Day Trade without worry of exchange rate changes that could affect the account requirements of having $25K minimum but there would be the issue of withdrawing funds etc

Thanks in Advance

I would say the only issue is how profitable you are! What I mean by that is, how many times are you going to be taking out money from your account? If you are taking it out weekly then I would say £, then it is easier and costs nothing to just electronically transfer it from your UK-based £ account and takes 3 days to clear.

If however, you are planning to build up your trading account, without making many withdrawals, and then perhaps dividing it into two acccounts for different trading styles, then I would say to go the $ route. Of course, if you are withdrawing funds then you have the wire costs by your bank and the exchange rate fluctuations to worry about.

Mr. Charts

Legendary member
I fund mine in GBP.
I don't think £ or $ makes much difference as rates vary constantly as you say. It only really matters if you take a view where the rate is going and over how long a term.
I suggest you just fund the acct with £18.6k. I doubt that your $25k minimum will be breached since you are starting with $30k
and to lose $5k or 16.7% is extremely unlikely if you trade cautiously with low size until you work up to your normal anticipated trade size.
I take out some of the profits every month in sterling and leave some in to roll up. I think that's easier than drawing profits in $ and the bank converting them into £.


Senior member
Hi Paul,

I too opted for the £ account, but as yet haven't had the luxury of taking out any profits.



Thanks to all who have replied,

I will probably stick with the £ account but I think I will push IB a bit more with regard to how the exchange rates affect the Universal account.




Junior member

The GBP account appears to pay a higher rate of interest on any cash balances. That may be a factor in your decision.

On the other hand, if you are trading a market denominated in dollars and you are subject to a PDT requirement to maintain a balance over $25,000 to permit you to trade, perhaps a $ account is neater in that currency fluctuations will not cause you a further, avoidable, stress.

china white

Established member

I am actually on the process of opening a UK account at IB with the greenback as base. It is very easy if u have a USD account at any British bank. I,e.g., have got a USD account with NatWest and all the funding - withdrawing USD hassle is a doddle really.

China White


Experienced member
china white much interest is Nat west UK paying you for $ account?....I am getting almost zero interest however due to other reasons I have to keep an $ account going here.....

and how do you use Nat west $ account to trade in US markets?...can you transfer between UK and US accounts without charges..???
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