Robinhood has temporarily abandoned its plans of venturing outside the United States, and Britain will not be able to sign up to get access to its stock trading service at least until the end of 2020.
“We’re saddened to share that we’ve made the difficult decision to postpone our UK launch indefinitely. We’ll be closing our waitlist and taking down our UK website shortly,” read a statement from the no-fee trading app.
Robinhood added that rather than pursuing global expansion, it would instead focus on strengthening its infrastructure and looking to bond with clients after recent outages.
“The world has changed a lot over the past several months and we’re adapting with it. On a company level, we’ve come to recognise that our efforts are currently best spent on strengthening our core business in the US and making further investments in our foundational systems,” it said.
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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has given Robinhood, which has more than 13 million accounts, its green light to operate in the UK. The stock-trading startup, which recently secured two mega funding rounds of more than $600 million that placed it at an $8.6 billion valuation, has been granted broker authorization in Q4 2019. It was expected to go live in the first quarter of 2020.
No-fee model attracted 13 million users
Most recently, Robinhood, on June 18, reported technical issues that kept clients from trading equities, options and also affected cryptocurrency trades. The platform was also down for consecutive days during the first week of March. Clients have complained about not having access to their accounts and having long wait times for customer service.
Robinhood’s CEO blamed the shutdown on volatile market conditions, record trading volume, and record new account requests, which caused stress on the company’s infrastructure.
Elsewhere, in December, a Wall Street regulator fined the commission-free investing app $1.25 million for not getting the best execution price for customer equity orders and failing to properly supervise the process.
Robinhood’s offering is particularly popular among the “millennial” population, who appreciate the ease of using the app to trade several asset classes without fees.