Why is IBs margin requirements screwed up?

Discussion in 'Order Execution' started by huh, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. huh


    So I managed to do a very small scalp as a test during the melt down friday morning. Basically I had a option spread on a stock where the deep in the money put spread bid was max.

    Meaning lets say the stock is trading at 10 bucks and the 31/30 put spread had a bid of $1.00. So if I sell this then I would normally have a margin requirement of $100....but I also received $98 (paid 2 bucks for commission). So I got hosed because even though this really doesn't affect my margin, my buying power fell by 400 bucks? WTF? I ended up with no buying power ability even though I had really just paid 2 bucks in commissions for a trade so how does paying 2 dollars equate to 400 dollar reduction in buying power?
  2. Jachyra


    They changed their margin policies last week:

    Margin Changes
    In the interest of ensuring the continued safety of IB clients, IB is modifying certain margin policies to adjust for the unprecedented volatility in financial markets. Please monitor this web page for alerts and updates regarding margin policy changes.

    Stock margin increase (7-8 October 2008)
    The minimum margin requirement for stocks held in regular (non-Portfolio Margin) accounts will increase from 25% to 30%. This will affect all stocks offered by IB globally: US, Canada, Mexico, Germany, UK, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Hong Kong, Australia.
    The changes are expected as follows:
    # US and Canadian stocks: increases will commence 14:00 EST, Tuesday, 7 October 2008.
    # European and Asian stocks: increases will commence Wednesday, 8 October 2008.
    # Stocks whose margin already exceeds 30% will not be affected.