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Robinhood goes live across the UK

Robinhood goes live across the UK

Stock market investment app Robinhood has marked its launch in the UK with the erection of an eight-foot-tall Robin Hood statue firing an arrow in the direction of the Bank of England.

The firm set up a waitlist for UK residents in Novwember with plans to open up the app on a rolling basis over the following weeks.

In 2020, the company abandoned a planned UK launch as it dealt with operational problems caused by an explosion of day trading in its core US market during the Covid-19 pandemic. A renewed push was signalled in July when it tapped Freetrade executive Jordan Sinclair to lead the business in the 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,” says Sinclair. “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.”

At launch, Robinhood will offer trading without foreign exchange (FX) fees, trading outside of market hours and no account minimums. Users can build a portfolio for as little as $1 and grow their uninvested cash at an eye-catching interest rate of 5% AER.

RobinHood is entering a crowded European market in its first global foray beyond the US, taking on the likes of well-established local firms such as Freetrade, and continental platforms like Trade Republic, Scalable Capital, Lightyear and Bux.

To encourage take-up, the company is offering fractional share rewards of between $7 and $175 for referrals of friends and family.

The company has been struggling during the tech downturn, with successive rounds of lay-offs coming amid depressed trading volumes.

In November Google parent Alphabet dissolved its stake in Robinhood, having first invested in the company before it went public in 2021, betting on the startup as it rode the wave of a surge in retail investing.

It listed at $38 per share and saw its price hit more than $80 in the first few days of trading.

However, by the time of the final dissolution, the company was trading at just over eight dollars a share having missed third quarter revenue analyst predictions, with transaction revenue and monthly active user numbers both down.

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