Interactive Brokers imposes a daily "Exposure Fee" on a small minority of IB customer accounts that have a very high worst-case loss risk exposure. This is to attempt to partially protect IB and its customers from those accounts that have very risky positions that currently satisfy exchange margin requirements, but nonetheless could suffer excessive losses in the event of a significant market move (for example, accounts with high exposure to short option positions).
Exposure Fees only apply to a small minority of IB customer accounts with unusually risky positions. Most IB accounts are not subject to the fees. The fee is not a higher margin requirement. It is a fee to be deducted from affected accounts to compensate IB for the risk in servicing such accounts. Please note that the exposure fee is not insurance against losses in your account and you will remain liable to Interactive Brokers for any debt or deficit in your account even if you have paid exposure fees.
Each day, as part of its risk management policy, IB simulates profit-loss scenarios for client portfolios based on hypothetical market movements of certain magnitudes ("Exposure Analysis"). The scenarios examined may exceed the parameters used by various exchanges for determination of minimum margin requirements.
As part of this daily process, IB will calculate an Exposure Fee to be charged to high-risk accounts based on the potential exposure the account represents to IB in the event of a major loss. Under the Exposure Analysis conducted by IB, if an account would lose so much value that its equity would be eliminated and it would then additionally have an unsecured debt to IB (i.e., negative equity), this would represent an Exposure to the firm (since IB is legally obligated to guarantee its customers' performance to the clearinghouse even if the customer has no remaining equity).
The Exposure Fee will be calculated for all calendar days and charged to the account at the end of the following trading day. Example, the exposure fee charge on Monday's activity statement will reflect the charges for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The results of the Exposure Analysis relating to the Exposure Fee will be made available for each account via the Account Management section of IB's website.
Please note the following:
If you wish to avoid being charged an Exposure Fee, please consider the following: