This article is last updated in April 2022
In this guide, we will show you how to fund your Interactive Brokers (IBKR) account using SGD and USD.
Funding IBKR with SGD
IBKR can be funded using SGD through a bank wire. The process is broken down into two steps:
- Create a deposit notification to ensure proper routing of funds
- Wire your funds over from your bank with the wire instructions
The time taken to transfer is determined by your bank, and it typically takes between several minutes to 4 business days.
Once deposited, the funds can be used to trade immediately. However, there is a withdrawal hold and debit card hold of 3 business days.
Step 1: Make a deposit notification
The first step to fund your account is to set up a deposit notification – this allows Interactive Brokers (IBKR) to efficiently locate your incoming funds and route the deposit to your account in the correct currency.
Head over to Transfer & Pay on the top navigation bar.
Click Make a Deposit.
Select the currency to deposit.
Click Get Instructions under Bank Wire. This will give you instructions for a one time setup of a Wire template at your bank to transfer funds from your bank to your IBKR account.
Fill in the form on the right then click Get Wire Instructions.
- In the Sending Institution field, you can just name your bank DBS BANK LTD, or UNITED OVERSEAS BANK etc
- Under the Account Number field, enter your sending account number without hyphens
- Under Account Nickname, you can give this bank account a nickname or leave it as the default value
- Under Deposit Amount, enter the amount you are going to transfer. Please ensure that you transfer the exact amount for it to match correctly and quickly
- Under Make this a recurring transaction, tick the box if you want to create a standing instruction in your bank account, leave it blank if you want to do a one-time transfer
If you are thinking of making a recurring transaction, especially if you want to dollar cost average into the market every month, then you can give this recurring deposit a name (e.g. monthly deposit) and set the start date and frequency (monthly, quarterly, annually).
You'll be shown a screen for bank wire instructions.
Note the Bank Account number (A) and Payment Reference (B).
Step 2: Transfer money from your bank
Head over to your bank’s Internet Banking page, and set up a payee with the above information.
A few things to take note:
- The receiving bank account number denoted by (A) is a unique account that routes only to your account so please enter it correctly
- Enter the reference code denoted by (B) in the comments or reference section of the transfer every time you make a deposit
- It is given in the format UXXXXX / Name
- If your bank doesn’t allow you to add a slash ‘/’ in the comments or reference box, you can just exclude the name part and enter the UXXXXX information, which is your account number
Make a FAST transfer to the account number given earlier which accepts SGD.
If you’ve already set up a payee, this part is quick – just send the exact amount as you’ve set up the deposit notification, under comments enter your reference number (B) above and click send.
Step 3: Wait for the funds to arrive
Let your bank do their job and you should see your funds appear in your IBKR account under Transfer & Pay > Transaction Status & History within a few hours.
It should say Available once the funds are credited into your account.
Funding IBKR with USD
IBKR also supports funding your account with USD, especially if you don't want to make the foreign exchange on IBKR. When funding with USD, you will receive USD directly into your account.
IBKR can be funded using USD through several options:
- Bank wire - this is similar to the above steps
- Direct ACH
- Online Bill Pay
- Mail a Check
Depending on where you're based, you might only see the Wire option.
The process for wire is the same as the SGD method above.
For Direct ACH transfers, you need to first conduct a one-time setup of a template at IBKR to link to your bank account. Then you can use your bank login to initiate transfers to IBKR.
The following instructions will be about wiring USD to your IBKR account.
Step 1: Make a deposit notification
You should see a page that’s similar to the SGD example, except with some small differences. The currency is now USD.
Fill in the information as required and you should be set to go.
Note that the amount to be received is the actual amount in USD (this part is important if you want it to match your transfers properly).
Step 2: Transfer money from your bank using overseas transfer
Step 2 is where this method is slightly different from the SGD example. If you're based in Singapore and using local banks, you'll need to remit USD from your bank account, especially one with a multi-currency function.
Let us illustrate this using DBS Overseas Remit which allows free same-day overseas remittance to over 50 countries at competitive rates.
If you're using DBS to transfer, you can wire your USD directly to the same DBS account shown in the bank wire instructions screen as your SGD account. DBS uses JP Morgan as the US correspondent bank to ensure your USD gets routed correctly.
However, if you're not using DBS to transfer, then you'll need to add your IBKR account number that is using Citibank N.A. as a new recipient before transferring.
As an alternative, you can use Standard Chartered to make transfers to IBKR using SC Remit.
That’s it! Funding your account is as simple as that.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Are the wire transfers free?
Yes, wire transfers are free if you're living in Singapore using the above options. However, if you're living overseas, your bank might charge you for international wires.
How long does it take for the transfer to arrive?
It takes between a few hours to 4 business days for your funds to arrive, depending on when the sending bank processes your outbound transfer, which determines when the funds move.
It also depends on IBKR’s processing to credit your inbound funds to your account. For first-time transfers, new bank account origin, it will take slightly longer because of added checks.
Should I panic if I don’t see my funds?
I usually don’t have a problem with my fund arrivals (sometimes it is a bit delayed) but if you are not seeing your funds arriving after more than 4 business days, you can hit them up via Chat to check the status of your fund transfers.
Be sure to provide your transaction reference, origin and bank account number to help them locate your funds.
Can I withdraw my funds after depositing?
New funds deposited into your IBKR accounts are subjected to a withdrawal hold of 3 business days, so they cannot be moved internally or transferred out. Once that withdrawal hold is over, you can withdraw them for free once a month and they should arrive within 3 business days.
The Withdrawal hold period begins on the entry date and ends after the close of business of the relevant day.
What if I missed out on the reference number when transferring funds?
Your funds are not lost, don’t worry. If they have been sent to the correct unique account given to you, then they can still map and credit the funds correctly. If you don’t see them after 4 business days, hit them up and they should be able to help you with the funds.
Sign up for an account with Interactive Brokers using this link.