Robinhood to Launch Stock Trading Platform in the UK in 2024, Marking Third Attempt at International Expansion

U.S.-based Robinhood Aims for Early 2024 UK Launch with Features Including 6,000 U.S. Stocks and 24-Hour Trading

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Robinhood, the popular stock trading platform, announced its plans to launch in the United Kingdom in early 2024, marking its third attempt at international expansion. The platform will initially offer the ability to choose from 6,000 U.S. stocks and provide 24-hour trading five days a week, offering users the flexibility to trade on market-moving news.

While Robinhood won’t include U.K. stocks at the launch, it expressed intentions to incorporate them later. The platform will not support options and other derivatives initially but may consider adding them as it expands its product offerings. Robinhood’s CEO, Vlad Tenev, emphasized the popularity of 24-hour trading, allowing users to act on market news immediately.

This move follows two previous attempts by Robinhood to enter the UK market. The first attempt in 2019 was halted due to surging demand in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the company sought to acquire the British crypto-trading app Ziglu, but the deal fell through, resulting in a $12 million impairment charge for Robinhood.

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To expedite its UK traction, Robinhood is encouraging users to share a unique referral link with friends and family to move them up the queue for early access. The platform aims to become one of the largest employers in England and is optimistic about its chances in the UK market.

Robinhood will launch in the UK with a license from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the country’s markets regulator, with a focus on compliance and a robust platform. The FCA has previously expressed concerns about the “gamification” of investments, a trend seen in brokerage apps that use stimulating features but may encourage excessive trading.

Customer funds on Robinhood will be held in segregated accounts protected by the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Commission, with users having the opportunity to earn a 5% annual yield on cash in their accounts. The platform also clarified that it won’t launch payment-for-order-flow (PFOF) in the UK, a practice that is banned in the country. Instead, Robinhood plans to generate revenue through other avenues such as securities lending, margin lending, and its premium subscription service, Robinhood Gold.