As North America’s corporations resume business following the winter vacations, the year 2014 commences with a retail FX industry comprising even less participants than last year as yet more firms exited the market during 2013.
Interactive Brokers is one particular FX company which soldiers on, having become a benchmark for profitability in the United States.
Today, the company has released its metrics for the final month of 2013, depicting a slight increase in customer equity to $45.7 billion, which represents a 2% increase over that of November. Indeed, despite the industry-wide slowdown in volumes during the latter months of last year, Interactive Brokers’ customer equity figures for December still represent a 39% increase from that of December 2012.
DARTs Down 6%
Whilst an increase in customer equity is apparent, Interactive Brokers suffered a 6% decrease in daily average revenue trades (DARTS) to 478,000, therefore providing an indication that the company’s commission-generating trading activity had protracted compared with that of November, however, in keeping with a majority of market participants worldwide, this still amounts to a 21% increase from December 2012’s results.
In addition, the company reported that there were 456 annualized average cleared DARTs per customer account in December 2013.
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Margin Loan Business
Interactive Brokers today reported customer margin loan balances for December of $13.5 billion, 38% higher than the same month during the previous year and 7% higher than that of November 2013, margin loans being a facility that the company extended to its client base internationally until a contretemps with Australian financial services regulator ASIC resulted in this facility being withdrawn to Australian clients due to ASIC having stipulated to Interactive Brokers that the company’s license does not permit the provision of margin loans to clients.
The company concluded the month of December with customer credit balances of $25.9 billion, 26% higher than prior year and 1% higher than prior month, and 239,000 customer accounts, 14% higher than prior year and 1% higher than prior month.
In terms of average commission per cleared customer order, Interactive Brokers reported this figure to be $4.39 for December, including exchange, clearing and regulatory fees. The company cites the commission on its key products as being $2.46 for stocks, $6.35 for equity options, and $7.30 for futures, with an estimated 61% of the futures commission representing regulatory fees and clearing costs.
As a company which has built upon its increasing trading activity and continues to keep more than a foothold in the US market, Interactive Brokers may not be resting on its laurels, but can certainly consider 2013 to have been a year of steady and sustained growth.