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Interactive Brokers (IBKR) Unveils Crypto Trading for UK Clients

After becoming the first SFC-licensed securities broker to be approved to allow retail clients to trade cryptocurrencies in Hong Kong, Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. IBKR has now launched crypto trading in the U.K. With this, the investment broker expands its scope of digital asset exposure.

The individual and institutional investor clients of Interactive Brokers (U.K.) Limited will now be able to trade crypto assets, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash, from a single unified platform.

Interactive Brokers U.K.’s eligible clients can transact and view balances through a single platform that provides a unified view of their securities brokerage account and crypto account at Paxos Trust Company.

Notably, commissions of cryptocurrency for IBKR’s U.K. clients are only 0.12-0.18% of trade value, depending on monthly volume, with a minimum of $1.75 per order. Also, clients are not charged any added spreads, markups or custody fees.

With the latest introduction, clients will benefit from the convenience of centralized cash management and can trade various digital assets, along with stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs etc., from a single screen.

Now, investors will not need to trade through different trading platforms, allowing financial advisers to efficiently manage portfolios and allocate a percentage of client assets to cryptocurrency.

Gerald Perez, the chief executive officer at Interactive Brokers U.K., stated, “Interactive Brokers offers a wide selection of global investment products, sophisticated technology and competitive pricing. Introducing cryptocurrency trading gives UK clients enhanced flexibility to invest across markets and asset classes while also adding exposure to digital assets.”

Notably, Interactive Brokers has continuously been undertaking measures to enhance its global presence. The IBKR GlobalTrader enables investors around the world to trade stocks through mobile application.

Moreover, IBKR was one of the first brokers to introduce Overnight Trading on U.S. stocks and ETFs nearly 24 hours a day, five days a week. The launch of IBKR Lite has enabled investors to trade commission-free and is, thus, expected to improve the company’s market share.

Interactive Brokers also launched cryptocurrency trading via Paxos Trust Company, charging commissions that are lower than other crypto exchanges.

Over the past six months, IBKR shares have gained 54.1% compared with the industry’s growth of 31.9%.

 

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Currently, IBKR carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Competitive Landscape

In November 2023, Robinhood Markets, Inc. HOOD announced that it wanted to start cryptocurrency trading in the European Union (“EU”) and brokerage operations in the U.K. as part of its efforts to expand globally.

The company stated, “With an experienced team in place, we will soon launch brokerage operations in the U.K. As another step in global expansion, we are also planning to launch crypto trading in the EU following our U.K. launch.”

The EU expansion move by HOOD came at a time when other crypto firms were suspending serving U.K. customers because of the implementation of the new promotion rules effective Oct 8, 2023.

Starting Oct 8, consumers in the U.K. have greater protection as crypto asset firms’ marketing is now required to be clear, fair and not misleading, and labeled with prominent risk warnings.

While more banks and financial institutions started embracing cryptocurrencies after witnessing increased demand for the emerging market, crypto assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum remained largely unregulated in the U.K., which has been worrisome.

Because of increased scams and fraud cases, JPMorgan’s JPM retail bank, Chase, in the U.K., decided to restrict customers’ access to cryptocurrency-related transactions. JPM said that from Oct 16, 2023, there would be a limit on the ability of its customers to engage in crypto transactions in the U.K.

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