Interactive Brokers kicks off 2021 with solid trading volume

abdelaziz Fathi

Interactive Brokers LLC (NASDAQ:IBKR) has announced higher trading volumes in January, dwarfing the metrics for December by 18 percent.

Boosted by a rout in US markets. IBKR said the number of fee-generating trades — which includes equities, currencies and commodities — was 2.62 million amid a continued surge in activity from retail investors. With 344 annualized average cleared DARTs per account, this figure, which reflects one of widely followed industry metrics for customer activity, is up from 2.3 million transactions set back in December 2021.

The US-listed brokerage said the number of daily average revenue trades, or DARTS, dropped 20 percent year over year from January 2020.

IBKR has won more than 50,000 new accounts in January. Total active accounts stood at 1.73 million, or 3 percent higher from 1.68 million accounts in December. The figure was also 45 percent above the previous year’s figure.

Looking deeper into Interactive Brokers’ latest monthly report, the group’s client margin loans topped $50.1 billion in January. This figure climbed by 23 percent against the $39 billion reported in the year prior, but was lower 8 percent from $54.6 billion in December 2021.

IBKR reports strong financials despite no-fee trading push

On average, in January 2022, Interactive Brokers charged clients commission fees of $2.47 per order, up from $2.37 in December. This figure includes exchange, clearing and regulatory fees, with the key products metrics coming out at $1.70 for stocks, $3.41 for equity options and $3.84 for futures orders.

Despite headwinds from a push to no-fee trading and historically low interest, Interactive Brokers’ commission revenue increased in 2021 from the year ago. The upbeat performance was attributed to higher customer trading volumes in stock and options markets.

The strong results were also driven by strong growth in interest revenue, aided by higher margin loan balances and strong securities lending activity. However, this was offset by lower revenues in the “other income’ segment.

Aside from its core electronic-brokerage business, the IB earnings for the third quarter included a mark-to-market loss of $185 million from its 7.7 percent stake in Tiger Brokers. This compares to the company’s $6 million float gain, which was tied to the Chinese brokerage in Q3 2020.

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