Interactive Brokers- £ or $


Junior member
Feb 7, 2005
I am in the middle of opening an account with Interactive Brokers, and have got to the page about how to fund the account. Which way do other UK users fund their accounts? Can I put in £1450 and let them convert it to dollars, or do I have to send them the amount already in dollars? I rang my bank and asked them. They said they could send a bankers draft in dollars, but I've since seen that they do not accept 'domestic drafts', which I suppose would rule that out.

Also I tried to ring them, but I think it was a US number, and I was just told to leave a message. Do they not have an office in the UK where I could talk to them?

Also I was wondering if I cannot talk to them in the UK or fund my account in pounds, would it be better to open an account with twowayfutures instead?

Any help would be appreciated,
Mar 14, 2003
I live in the UK and fund mine in GBP. I think when you first set up an account you can choose whether your base currency is in USD, EUR or GBP. I'd go for GBP as it makes matters simpler and does not expose you to exchange rate risks. The account can hold a number of different currencies at once (more on this later).

I use a simple NatWest internet transfer to IB's London account. AFAIK any electronic transfer will do. BACS or CHAPS both accepted.

Send it to sort code 18-50-08 a/c 08774544 (when I last looked!). Attach your IB a/c number or username as a reference.

After you make the transfer be sure to fill in the IB deposit form or IB won't credit your account. It's under LOGIN >>> sub menu Deposits. Tick the wire transfer box for an internet transfer.

Once funded imagine you make a trade on a US exchange and unfortunately lose $250.

Your account will look something like this:

GBP 1450
USD -250
BASE 1318.43 (GBP)

Beware that they charge interest on negative currency balances even if your total account is positive. So if you have a negative dollar balance it can be wise to buy $ using the IB IDEAL currency conversion facility, unless of course you think the dollar is due a big fall that would outweigh the interest payments. :)
Likes: Tuffty


Junior member
Apr 22, 2003

IB have a freephone no. also 00800 42 276537, open from 8am to 8pm UK time I think, number is listed on their home page under contact info somewhere. I called them a couple of times when first opened about the pattern day trader rules etc & to confirm that these do not affect forex or mini-dow trades. They are english speaking & reasonable to deal with.

As ever, good info from frugi - I did my account transfer just using a straight forward telephone bank call & giving them the details that frugi notes above.

Good trading.