IBKR always says I don't have enough cash settled to make a trade. WHY?

The base currency of my account is CHF and I sold the pair CHF.USD to get USD in my account. Should I have done it differently?

(probably doesn’t matter but the canonical pair is USD.CHF, tho I doubt that would make a difference)

if you have 10’000 CHF and you want to have 0 CHF, you cannot achieve this with USD.CHF. You have to sell CHF.USD…

Just a theory, but does not IB charge (some) fees in account currency? So if you had 0 CHF, then maybe it was not possible to charge the fees?

Indeed if you want to have exactly 0 chf and chf is your base currency sounds like the only way (but might be a bad idea to have no base currency).

If it’s not a base currency, if the balance is smaller than 5 USD or equivalent, it’s automatically converted.


Didn’t know that. My base currency is USD and I always looked to it, that I have 0 CHF left after the trade.

Currently I have 5 CHF left so any commission would be taken out of that amount (?).
The weird thing is that when I am trying to enter an order limit for, let’s say 3500 USD, it tells me that I would need 4420 USD to get it through. I don’t understand where that amount is coming from because I am selecting the USD amount I want to invest.

Do you usually choose the USD amount or select number of shares?

The dollar amount doesn’t seem to work properly without a margin account if you want to use up all the remaining money. For some reason it needs some bigger reserve than the money you actually want to use.

Yeah same thing here, I gave up on that. When I ask to buy say 10k of a share, it wants me to have 12k to cover the transaction… Not sure why, it makes no sense at all.

So I just do a buy order for a specific number of shares, with a limit of slightly above current price, and I always have some change left over. It’s USD though so no overnight negative interest on it.

AFAIK CHF negative interests starts only at 100’000 CHF cash, so should not be a big deal.

I had the same issue last month, fixed itself the next day or the day after.
Before then (10 or so times) I never had any issues, and I don’t think I did anything differently (always through the website)

Hope this month it goes nicely again and I only have to login once.

Thank to all participants on this thread.
I’ve read the whole thread and it was very useful to me.

As a user of Revolut but a beginner of IBKR, it was not easy to understand you have to sell the pair CHF.USD to have exactly 0 CHF remaining.
I made first a 5000 USD.CHF buy with my initial 5000 CHF deposit.
Next month I will try the sell CHF.USD.

You can also used the simplified “Exchange currency” feature, instead of dabbling with those pairs.


It happened to me as well!.
I exchanged chf to usd and tried to buy immediately with no luck. Teh CHF were there already for more than a week (I’d say last month), but apparently the exchange didn’t really happen or was virtual since it said I was short of some usd. Everything seemed fine, but apparently it wasn’t.
The new simplified web interface is doing something wrong probably.

I think that you have to wait that the conversion of your CHF really happens in USD.

From what I’ve read in MP’s Blog, the webinterface show the conversion immediately, but it can take hours or days to really happens in “real life”. Maybe, this is the problem?

The best way to solve that is to use a margin account

I never had that problem. I transfer and I can use immediatly…
What can happen is : not enough cash to fill the position ?

EDIT : and I have a cash account.

I don’t know, I’m using IB since 1st of April and didn’t have any problem to trade. I was just guessing what I’ve read in MP Blog and maybe this is the problem? I guess that if you are transfering some money on the 4th of July, and you convert it this day, you will have to wait the next business day since it is a vacation day in US?

It used to work in both the old web interface and in the new, at least last time I tried.

Interesting topic having this problem for the first time today while using IBKR for over a year now :thinking:

Doesn’t that mean you’ll get charged interest for essentially using your own money to enter a position a few days earlier than you would have if the money had settled?

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