If you read my last post „How to buy options in Latvia?” then you know I planned to open a trading account in Norvik bank. In this post I will describe the process in more detail.
After reading some info online I visited Norvik’s branch on Raina bulvaris 11 and asked, how to open a trading account. The lady working there looked like she has no idea, but at least she gave me phone number of their broker department.
So I call the brokers – they ask me to send them a short email with info, what instruments I want to use and how much money I plan to invest. Ok, no problem – I send an email, and get a fast response with couple of links:
Not excited, but filled out the documents. Only issue – I need to have an account in Norvik bank, and enter this account number in application.
OK, I visit Norvik again – ask them that I need to open a bank account, they offer me 3 different Payment card account options and try to sell their 2nd pension pillar plan. I was not interested in their pension plan and don’t plan to use their credit cards, so I selected the cheapest account that had access to their internet platform e-norvik.lv
Client manager was kind to fill out the application form, just needed to sign all the papers and pay 2 EUR. In cash. Had no cash, and got a little annoyed. Almost felt like I am in a market buying potatoes, not in a bank that should be able to accept credit card payment or later withdraw money from my account that is fully in their control. But OK – went to an ATM and paid 2 EUR in cash.
Trading account application
Updated my application for trading account, sent all documents along with copy of my passport and invoice that proves my address. Couple of days later visited Norvik again to sign all the papers. Then received a call later – in signing process they gave me too many documents, and asked to bring back one of them. Ok, no problem.
Next I needed to send a message in e-norvik.lv:
“Ar šo paziņojam par savu piekrišanu AS NORVIK BANKA sniegt tās rīcībā esošo informāciju par mūsu uzņēmumu un tā patiesajiem labuma guvējiem uzņēmumam INTERACTIVE BROKERS LLC bez jebkādiem ierobežojumiem”
A week or so later an investment account was opened, and another 5 days later received login to the trading platform. In the message with login details, the link was placed to http://www.norvik.eu/sw_install/norvik.jnlp – downloaded some kind of Java file, launched it. Tried to login – no luck, got an error:
Wrote to broker service, and received info – I could not login, because first I needed to login in a different link: https://gdcdyn.interactivebrokers.com/sso/Login and fill out another application asked by US government. Ok, I do that as well and next day I can finally log in.
What’s next? Buy options, right? No, not so fast. Sent some EURos to my Norvik Payment Card Account, then tried to send them to investment account. Not possible:
The reason? I am allowed to send money to investment account only from a „Settlement account” („Norēķinu konts”), but I have opened a Payment Card Account.
If someone would have educated ladies working in Norvik branch, I would have opened this Settlement account already first time I visited, but as that obviously did not happen, I needed to go there again. Not cool.
Bank account nr2
Went there again, got a question – in what currency I want to open Settlement account – EUR or USD. Moments later also got the multi-currency option, chose that one. 10 EUR from me. Had cash this time.
Sent money from Payment card account to Settlement account, then to investment account. No „Beneficiary account specified incorrectly” error this time. Good.
Then received an email from Norvik – they forgot to copy my ID card and asked, if I can visit them again. And no, it is not enough, that they already copied my ID card the first time when I opened an account – they need to make a copy each time I open a new account. Ok, fine – maybe will visit them some day.
Next challenge? Turn my EUR into USD. I plan to buy options for US stocks, and to use USD in Norvik’s TWS trading platform, I first needed to send a message in e-norvik.lv system:
„Lūdzu atvērt INV konts USD.”
After new account was created, I was able to send (convert) my EUR from EUR trading account to USD trading account. Transaction needed manual approval and some hours later it was done.
Now I could finally see my USD balance not only in e-norvik.lv, but also the Interactive Brokers trading system. A week later I decide to place my first order:
Ha. Not so fast. Wrote to support again, this time the reason for limited permissions – based on my application where I informed that I have no experience with trading options, I was not allowed to do that. To fix it, I needed to write another message in e-norvik.lv:
“Lūdzu pieslēgt man iespēju tirgot ar opcijām Norvik platforma TWS.”
After this message Norvik approved permissions and within 24h also guys from Interactive Brokers should update info. Then I finally might buy some options.
How easy was it?
The process was a bit messy because of too complicated procedures and not very competent branch client managers, but that was kind of compensated by very good support from Norvik broker, who some times replied even in late evenings.
- 1 month
- 4 visits to Norvik branch
- 4-5 messages in e-norvik.lv
- 20 emails
How does the platform look like?
Screenshot from web platform is above – nothing fancy, but at least works from Chrome and does not need any magical Internet Explorer plugins.
The desktop software for Windows is a bit more advanced: