Suddenly classified as Professional for market data purposes?

Discussion in 'Interactive Brokers' started by GRULSTMRNN, Jul 3, 2019.

  1. I started my machine the other day and noticed in horror how all my real-time data subscriptions were gone and my entire display was filled with delayed data. Upon calling IB I was told that my Non-Professional status was changed to Professional. Has this happened to anyone else recently? I take huge issue with this for the following reasons:

    a) Typical IB, nobody called me to discuss, nobody sent me a warning or notification, they just removed all my real-time data subscriptions, nothing else. I have been with IB for well over 10 years and hold several million USD across all my IB accounts. I also did not change any of my employment status or anything else in my profile recently.

    b) They told me that they found my LinkedIn profile and saw that I have been a professional trader for investment banks and hedge funds for many years in the past. I pointed out that I have been independent and trade my own capital, only, now for over 7 years. I do not manage others' capital, I do not hold a professional regulatory broking or trading license. I do not own a business where I trade on behalf of that business. I exclusively use IB and market data for my own personal investment and trading. IB clearly states in its classification that it is NOT past employment that matters but current employment and current licenses or affiliations.

    c) IB lays out in writing (the link can be easily found when googling for it) clear and precise their definition of what constitutes a classification as "Professional" vs "Non-Professional". Not a single issue of my profile or current employment status or activities warrant classification as "Professional" according to their definition, not mine.

    d) Should IB not relent and adjust their misclassification then I will be forced to change brokers and close all my trading accounts with IB. As professional I would be subject to 2-3 thousand USD of monthly market data charges as I trade macro and subscribe to most US and European and Asian exchanges. I also would have to pay hefty fees for "non-display" market data, which are data that are used by my algorithmic trading engine (although for the sake of fair disclosure, I currently do not use IB for any algorithmic trading, only other brokers).

    Question, has anyone else faced similar issues and what are the best ways to communicate and argue such case? Clearly they have the choice what to do and if they do not want my business then I would need to look elsewhere. I am well covered regarding cash fx but it would be a major hassle for me to find equity, options, and futures brokers that cover all European and Asian exchanges.

    @def @InteractiveBrokers, if you are reading this could you please clarify what is going on? I have HK accounts as resident in HK. What is going on?
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
    VPhantom, wrbtrader and nooby_mcnoob like this.
  2. MattZ

    MattZ Sponsor

    I deal with large fx and futures institutes in the USA and Europe and would be more than happy to facilitate you.
  3. maxinger


    " They told me that they found my LinkedIn profile and saw that I have been a professional trader for investment banks and hedge funds for many years ...."

    That's interesting. Either IB did some investigation or someone alerted IB?
    VPhantom and wrbtrader like this.
  4. Wtf! Makes no sense.
  5. guru


    Didn’t have similar issues but IB compliance called me about a transfer/deposit I made from a company account instead of personal account, asking for an explanation.
    It seems that they put lots of effort into compliance, which probably they are obligated to, while much of such work can be automated. IB is a tech company and it should not be a surprise they use technology in compliance research. While there are lots of service providers that can offer such service to IB as well.

    I’d ask them for sincere help in addressing this issue, including asking if they’d accept removing or adjusting your LinkedIn profile.
    You can also ask if there is any statement you could sign declaring your current professional status.
  6. d08


    It's probably the scummy exchanges stepping on their backs.
    MoreLeverage and comagnum like this.
  7. Simples


    This is where anonymity online protects you. Information will be used against you by all kinds of organization, even unjustly. Why GDPR is a good thing.
    d08, NQurious, SteveH and 1 other person like this.
  8. Robert Morse

    Robert Morse Sponsor

    VPhantom, S-Trader, Nobert and 6 others like this.
  9. R1234


    TD Ameritrade took away my real time data a couple of months ago.
  10. fan27


    Just went through something similar with Iqfeed but it was all cleared up with a phone call and without data interruption. Can't believe IB cut the data without warning. Very uncool!
    #10     Jul 3, 2019
    GRULSTMRNN likes this.