We offer multi-currency accounts
What does it mean and how can you benefit?
Clients can transfer cash in one currency and buy instruments or withdraw cash in another currency. Suppose you have funded your account with us with Polish zloty (PLN). Maybe you bought some stocks on Warsaw Stock Exchange and you have some cash left in your account in PLN. Then you see an opportunity to buy a stock in the US. With ICM you simply place the order, just like you would for a Polish stock. Our system will calculate automatically if the cash in your account in PLN is enough to pay for the purchase in USD. After the order is executed, you will see in your account information a negative balance in USD and a positive balance in PLN. You could send us an order to convert PLN into USD at any moment (during normal business hours) before the settlement date of your purchase (for the US this is usually 3 days after the trade date). If you take no action, we will convert the amount needed for the USD purchase on the date of settlement.
This approach has many advantages. You don't have to convert PLN into USD before placing an order for a USD stock. This is a huge advantage and allows you to take opportunities immediately when you see them. With many other brokers, by the time you are done converting currencies before placing an order, the opportunity may be gone. In addition, maybe you don't know if your order will be executed and when.. maybe you will change your mind and want to buy more or less of the stock in USD. Maybe you want to benefit from a movement in the exchange rates between the moment you trade the stock and the settlement date. All this is possible and easy to achieve with a simple brokerage account with us
We apply the same agency-only model to currency conversions
What does it mean and why is it better for you?
We send client orders for currency conversions to other parties. Usually these are banks with which we have negotiated very tight spreads between bid and offer prices for currencies. We execute client orders at these prices and apply a small commission. It means we are on the same side as our clients. We don't have conflicts of interest with you.
This approach means you are able to convert your cash balances with us at much better exchange rates than with most other banks or brokers. In addition, the rates that you will get with us are transparent and predictable. Other brokers and banks usually convert your currencies by acting as a counterparty to your order. They don't charge commission, but they quote you a price that is much worse than the market price. For example, on Bloomberg for USD/PLN the normal spread between the bid and the offer is about 0.02% of the price (0.0008 zloty for one USD). Most banks and brokers will sell you USD against PLN at a price that is more than 1% worse than what you could see on Bloomberg. Again this cost of about 1% is 5 to 10 times worse than what you would get with ICM.