How long to open an a/c with IB?


Active member
Hi all

Am in the middle of the account opening process and am already cheesed off with them. The '' email address that they give on the web site doesn't seem to work, so I eventually faxed my personal id stuff to them (which goes to Switzerland I think) Still haven't heard from them for a few days so sent an email to them via their contact IB page - no reply so far. I know they are cheap but I am really worried about what happens if I open an acount and then have a problem and cant communicate with them? :(

So now I dont know whether I'm just being impatient or they haven't received my fax or something else is wrong. How long did it take you guys to get an account up and running with them?
It took about 2 weeks for me before I was able to trade. I only trade US stocks and have tested the speed at which I would be able to close a trade if I was unable to do so online and needed to call their trading desk and it was less than 60 seconds from identifying a problem to talking to ther trading desk which is not bad in my view.

Opening the account is a pain but worth it in the long run.


Have to say mine was really really quick. Sent the details off ( all by email ), had a reply back the next day confirming account open. Wired the money, was up and running with 7 working days.
Took me even less time than rossored. Everything was extremely efficient and done either by e-mail or on the site. Much quicker and easier than sending off forms by post. The account was funded by wire from the natwest and up and running without difficulty or delay.

Seems to me the main problem is many applicants for accounts either don't read the instructions or, if they do, don't follow them!
Rossored & Oldun - do you remember what the email address was that you used?

Also on one of their website pages there is a Q&A which says that stops on the Nasdaq are activated when either the bid or offer price is reached, rather than the last traded price - anyone notice this happening on any other exchanges or does this only apply to the Nasdaq?

PS I passed the exam - it wasn't that difficult!
I just went through the IB address for the application, but I'm afraid I never had to email them directly because the process went so smoothly. All the stuff I emailed off to them (passport, d/l etc) just went via the application process, so I dont know the email address, sorry.

Dont know about your other question, I dont trade the nas :rolleyes:



Edit : actually I just remembered sending an email to them about some additional funds i wired, that email went to [email protected] and I got a reply within 4 hours so my email client says!
Technically, a stop should be activated on bid or offer but we used to give clients the option if we were in touch.
Re IB I was up and running in about a week. I appear to have dealt with [email protected]

Good luck
My understanding of "Stop" orders is that you have the option as to how they are triggered as shown in the attached image unless I have misunderstood it. Basically you can choose which method you want of the options given.




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    ib stop.jpg
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Thanks guys

Oatman - thats the email address I've used and everything I've sent to them either with or without attachments has been bounced back to me, so I don't know whats happening there.

I'm sure that when I traded the FTSE with Easy2trade the stop was activated on last traded price, so I hope its the same with IB

If you are trading Nasdaq stocks and use "Last traded price" to activate a stop you will get stopped out when a rogue trade goes through at a price miles away from the market action and this happens all the time.

When I am watching my Level II screens you can see that the bid maybe at $24.25 with the ask at $24.26 and there are several MM and ECNs on both sides at or near those prices. Then out of the blue a trade goes through at $23.50 which shows up on a chart as a spike down and I am thinking "What on earth happened there" because the bid and ask havent changed but someone somewhere has sold stock 75c away from the market when they didnt need to.

Anyway it doesnt affect the market action but if you have a stop triggered on last traded price you will be stopped out when you wouldnt want to be.

Personally I would go for the double bid, double ask if you want automatic stops. For me I dont use automatic stops because the routing of orders is very important depending upon what the market is doing. What I do is have a number of different order types ready for execution by hot key and depending on what happens will trigger one of possibly four different order types.

Thanks Paul

All noted for if and when I want to trade Nasdaq stocks (if I ever get an account open that is - have now spoken to nice woman at IB, they have received my documents, but she couldn't resolve the problem, so has passed message to help desk, and am now waiting for them to call me - such a long slow process.....zzzz :( )
FWIW, I just sent a mail to the one posted above and rec'd the following reply back within 15 minutes...

this one didn't bounce obviously!

New Accounts Department
Interactive Brokers (UK) Limited
E-mail:[email protected]

Regulated By the Financial Services Authority
Yeah, nice lady on phone said she was getting other uk emails, so probably something is screwed up with my email address, and until I get a call from their help desk and get it sorted I cant complete the online application process. :cry:
Just to update you - I eventually spoke to someone on the IB help desk this morning (disappointingly they didn't call me back yesterday so I had to call them again twice this morning to speak to someone) and he said there is a problem with my ISP. So phoned ISP and they said no, its IB's fault. Solution - use a different email address (and ISP) and hey presto my application has now moved on to the next stage, so should hopefully be up and running in the next couple of days. I hope it's going to be worth all of this hassle and severe trading withdrawal that I'm suffering! ;)
If anybody is interested there is a chat session over at elite trader web site on thursday 9:30 gmt with Steve Sanders, VP of Business Planning and Development at Interactive Brokers.

the link is;
Dear Waytogo

I am disappointed at the service you got from IB. I made a mess up when opening an account and opened a US a/c instead of GBP. And even sent money in GBP. But all the problems were sorted out fairly quickly. I hope things will be ok now.
Once the email problem was sorted out everything went very smoothly, and money reached my IB account within 2 hours of me instructing the bank to send it yesterday. First trades successfullly executed this morning and confidence in IB improving! :)