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Robinhood Lands in UK to Offer Investors Fee Free, 24 Hour Investing Platform

Robinhood, the stock trading and investment firm, has officially launched in the UK following five months of in-depth scouting of UK consumer demands. All UK consumers that were on its waitlist are now eligible to use the service.

UK users will be able to access Robinhood following the launch in the UK, meaning they will have access to more than 6,000 global companies listed on US markets and more. From the research conducted, Robinhood found that UK consumers do not like paying fees or FX fees on trades. Fees have put them off from investing in the past according to the research, so Robinhood’s no commission or FX fee policy will be a big hit with UK investors.

Furthermore, UK investors like additional protections on their investments. With Robinhood, they will have $2.25million in FDIC insurance on their uninvested cash compared to £85,000 in the UK. Many also enjoy investing outside of traditional market hours – a third of national trading volume was done so at off-peak times. However, previous platforms available to UK users have limited trading hours. With Robinhood, they will now have access to the 24 hour market, giving them greater flexibility and convenience to invest when they please.

Further findings also include:
  • Five per cent AER on uninvested cash is highly valued by Robinhood’s user-base with customers putting their money to work, even if they’re not investing it. In speaking with customers they’ve called it “amazing,” “really helpful,” and “a big factor in me moving over.”
  • Customers have called the app “really well designed,” “easy to use,” and “very detailed.” The investing platform has spent a lot of time making the user experience beautiful and intuitive, with the goal of making investing more accessible to everyone.
  • In the three months since launch, 70 per cent of trades are for fractional shares and 30 per cent are for whole shares. Fractional shares provide customers greater access to highly valued equities, providing greater flexibility for their portfolios.
  • Some of the most popular holdings so far in the past few months include AAPL, AMZN, GOOGL and NVDA.
  • It’s very apparent that customers value education and learning, with the majority of already onboarded customers having selected to research an investment. They appreciate having tools at their fingertips to help them make informed decisions throughout their investing journey.
  • Robinhood also heard loud and clear that local tax wrappers, access to ETFs, UK stocks, options trading, and recurring investments are important tools that customers are eager to have access to.
Built to work for everyone

While the initial feedback has been encouraging, Robinhood has recognised that all investors have different wants and needs. As a result, it is committed to building for the long-term, and is steadily introducing new features and services that resonate with UK residents.

In November it announced that UK customers will have access to commission-free trading of more than 6,000 global companies listed on US markets. It also announced they could trade without foreign exchange (FX) fees, trade 24 hours a day and five days a week, have no account minimums, have access to real-time data and advanced investment tools in-app, and have the opportunity to earn five per cent AER on their uninvested cash.

Jordan Sinclair, president of Robinhood UK
Jordan Sinclair, president of Robinhood UK

“We’ve been actively gathering feedback and engaging with customers since our waitlist launch at the end of last year, and have been so encouraged by the reception we’ve received thus far,” said Jordan Sinclair, president of Robinhood UK. “Today’s general availability marks the start of a new chapter for Robinhood, and we’re excited to continue challenging the status quo by delivering more local products and services that resonate with our customers and meet their needs.”

New features

Robinhood has now introduced a suite of new features to help meet our customers’ needs:

  • Stock Rewards: When customers sign-up for Robinhood they can earn a fractional share reward between $7 and $175. When they refer friends and family they’re eligible for the same reward. To receive the sign-up reward, customers’ account application must be approved and they must fund their account. For referrals, once a friend signs up, gets approved and funds their account, customers will receive their reward.
  • Web Support: Beginning today, Robinhood is now available via traditional web browsers, giving customers another way to easily and intuitively manage their investment portfolio.
Challenging the status quo

Research from Radius Insights shows that the largest UK brokers typically charge UK investors, with a £10,000 portfolio, an average of £240 per year to invest in US stocks. Over a 10-year period this adds up to thousands of pounds spent on FX and commission fees.

The study analysed fees from five of the largest brokerages in the UK based on total assets under management, which were calculated over a one-year period and then extrapolated over ten years to assess the impact fees have on typical investors. Robinhood offers no commission fees and no foreign exchange (FX) fees on trades.

To amplify the launch, the company has built a modern-day Robin Hood statue, which will appear throughout London’s financial district representing upending the status quo.

robinhood
The statue pictured outside the Bank of England.

Author

  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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