Interactive Brokers: Changes in currency conversion for Cash accounts in April 2024

IB sent me this email yesterday. Anyone else received it?

Wondering if it might be phishing? If not, what does it say? (If yes, of course, wait for feedback.)

basically this:

Under the new policy, clients can have the necessary amount of cash in any IBKR-supported currency (e.g., a US stock trade can be executed versus a EUR cash balance), and IBKR will coordinate the necessary forex trade in the amount required to settle the trade on your behalf.

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Do they say whether the cost is still 2 CHF per conversion even for smaller amounts?


I doubt it, I got it too.

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The automatic currency conversion required to settle your stock trade will be performed by IBKR using a conversion rate that is determined based on the prevailing foreign exchange market rates at the time of execution. However, please note that the conversion rate applied by IBKR may be adjusted from the standard market rate to account for any differences between the settlement cycle for your stock trade and the typical settlement cycle for that currency pair. This rate adjustment allows IBKR to manage the associated risk and costs.

The specific costs and charges applied by IBKR for these automatic currency conversion trades are transparently outlined on the Commission and Fees page of our website.

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We encourage you to review this information to understand the applicable rates and fees for your trades fully

I did a quick look and didn’t find anything new.

Auto currency conversion costs 0.03% without a minimum, according to

Being able to buy foreign securities in CHF would be convenient. Unfortunately, it seems it’s only for cash accounts, not usable for margin accounts.


Well, last month I changed chf to usd and tried to buy as I used to do but wasn’t able anymore.
On that case this new feature would have helped I think.
Or would have generated a mess :smiley:

Somehow I see still minimum of 2 USD per order for Tier1 
. Isn’t this same price as in past ?

It says

For currency trades executed under the auto currency conversion service, IB will typically add or subtract (at its discretion) 0.03% to the exchange rate that would otherwise apply. Please note that IB does not separately charge a commission on these auto-conversion trades.


Thanks. It’s clear now

So if I do manual FX CHFUSD I will pay max($2, volume*0.002%), but if opt for the automatic conversion I will pay volume*0.03% ? Is that right? It almost feels too good to be true.

Basically at ~6.500 CHF it will make sense to just opt for the automatic conversion?

It would be nice if that’s how it works.

Since IBKR wants to encourage the use of forex for the trading of its customers, and not for other purposes, this pricing would make sense.

The spread for spot conversion is not disclosed, so there could also be spread in manual conversation as well.

I read it as following

Manual conversion involves

  • 0.20 BPS (with min 2 USD) commission
  • market spread

Automatic conversion = 3 BPS spread

But I have to say I don’t really understand completely

Need to try this out with my GF. But if she has a margin account (can‘t remember), it wont work right?

I might have to change the account to a cash account. Any downsides?

Couldn’t find anything on reddit, except the same link to commissions page.

I would find this a very useful tool; it seems like most ETFs I end up buying are EUR-denominated (XETRA, Euronext
) because they have the largest liquidity, the smallest spreads, and the trading avenues are cheaper than London and EBS.

What usually happens is that I have to convert to EUR and then wait til those are settled, which usually takes a day. This new option would be awesome. Still I would want to know the exact costs, whether FXCONV or IDEALPRO is being used

I got that too, but it says after market close 18 April.
I read from it that manual FX conversion is no longer needed, that is great!
Especially if the fees are the same as they are with recurring investments, namely nought

Does this facilitate recurring investments in any way?

I would say it simplifies investment in securities that are not traded in fractions and therefore not eligible for recurring investments. Like UPRO :heart_eyes::heart_on_fire: