US low-cost online broker gets go-ahead for Irish operation

Interactive Brokers to expand staff numbers after Central Bank authorisation

Interactive is one of the largest US discount brokers. Photograph: The New York Times

Interactive is one of the largest US discount brokers. Photograph: The New York Times

 

US low-cost trading firm Interactive Brokers has received authorisation from the Central Bank for its new Irish entity to be able to continue to offer services to European clients post-Brexit.

The business employs about 45 people in Dublin and aims to increase it to close to 70 within the next 12 months, according to a spokeswoman for the Greenwich, Connecticut-headquartered group.

“As we look out three to five years, we expect to increase our staff further in Ireland,” she said. “The roles in our new office will include a variety of positions in compliance, customer service, risk, IT, finance, and legal.”

The Nasdaq-listed company announced plans to establish an operation in Dublin in September, joining a list of more than 100 financial firms that sought Irish licences or approval to expand activities in recent years to prepare for Brexit.

“We are expanding to Ireland partly due to Brexit and partly due to our plan of establishing subsidiaries around the world to support our rapid global growth,” said Interactive Brokers chairman Thomas Peterffy. “Client accounts have grown by more than 52 per cent in a year.”

Established in 1978, Interactive is one of the largest US discount brokers with more than $8.9 billion in equity capital, $25 billion market capital, and $284 billion in client equity.

Popular with Irish customers

The online broker, which allows clients invest in stocks, derivatives, currencies, bonds, and funds, in 135 markets in 33 countries, has been a popular service for some time for Irish customers looking to access low-cost trading. These and other EU customers are now being migrated to the new Irish entity, resulting in a diminution in their protection as the EU insurance regime is less favourable than those of the UK or US.

Interactive Brokers, which has more than 2,000 staff globally, serves more than one million client accounts in more than 220 countries and territories from 11 offices. It recorded revenues of $1.9 billion for 2019.