What happens if you move an ETF to a broker that doesn't offer it?

As the title says. What happens if you move for example VT from IBKR to SQ or PF? Do they refuse?

I don’t think there will be anyone able to answer that, and I guess it will be quite individual per broker.

But anyway, why in the world would you want to do this? You want to move your highly liquid ETF to a broker where you might be locked in and unable to sell? And that for a generic all world ETF you can easily replace with a very comparable alternative?

By-the-way: SQ and PF is the same. PF uses SQ’s platform.


It’s a thought experiment I had after reading the IBKR’ security posts. Nothing I’d do tbh.

Also SQ and PF trade VT just fine as well.


If a broker doesn’t offer an ETF then I don’t think you can move the ETF without first asking the broker to list it on their portal

Having said that SQ offers US ETFs (like VT) to individual investors and hence no issue

Again I’ve fallen victim of the atrocious search on SQ’s site.

When banks and other stock brokers talk about transferring securities, what they really mean is that the new broker buys the security at the same time that the old broker sells it. This is done in a synchronized way so as to avoid price differences.

Because of this, the new broker has to deal in the security in question in order for a transfer to work. And even if the new broker has the security in question: If your shares were previously kept in segregated accounts and/or were registered in company share registers, those things will only continue to apply if the new broker offers those services.

It was different in “the good old days” when your old broker would transfer stock certificates (or access to certificates in a central repository) to a different broker.


Also waiting for a feedback from Saxo. They offer TQQQ and VTI, but not IBIT.
I can imagine, that you can transfer these securities, including IBIT, but you cannot buy more. But holing or selling should be doable.

At brokers, who do not allow purchasing US ETFs per se, you can buy them through options; they allow you to hold in the end VTI or TQQQ.

Another question I had: can it make sense to diversify the broker? Meaning: buying VTI at IBRK until you have 200k and then transferring to e.g. Saxo Bank just to hold it there? I do not know the differences in detail, but having them at a Swiss bank with Swiss rules, can be safer. What do you think?

Uh, ACATS is a transfer there’s no buy/sell involved: https://www.dtcc.com/clearing-services/equities-clearing-services/acats

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I think you can find the answer in another thread. Some people do that. I did it with PF. IBKR->PF is free.

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Saxo doesn’t offer US ETFs to private investors. So I am assuming you are classified as „professional client“ at Saxo . Right? If not then please make sure you confirm with them.

Hmm, just tried their demo account, I saw the tickers there.
But in this case: no, I am not a professional client, I am a small fish :slight_smile:

I could theoretically borrow 500k, store it for couple of weeks and then give it back, but tbh, this is not an option.

I am now checking with ZKB as well, how the situation looks there.

As far as I know Swissquote offers US etfs for normal investors. But others might need this special waiver like Saxo etc

Yes it’s possible. However only with Swiss brokers who actually offer you to trade the same ETF. You cannot transfer a security which you cannot trade.

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Do you know of any Swiss banks that use it?

Even without ACATS, at least the transfers between IB and Swiss brokers are FOP (free of payment), no buy/sell involved.

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That’s the standard to my knowledge, too. How else would you keep the cost base on the positions. Although some banks are bothering to provide cost base info only if the client insists…