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Robinhood given green light by UK regulator

The free share trading business is (finally) about to arrive.

a couple of women sitting on a couch

Baiju Bhatt/Vladimir Tenev/Robinhood.

US commission-free share trading giant Robinhood last night revealed it has set up a UK subsidiary and has been granted authorisation from the FCA to launch.

Robinhood started in 2013 as the brainchild of Vladimir Tenev and Baiju Bhatt for a cheaper way to buy and sell US stocks and shares, today the business is valued at $7.6bn and the cofounders previously commented that they hoped to take Robinhood public in 2019.

Although fairly unique in the US, Robinhood will find the UK market far more competitive than its home turf with multiple challengers having sprung up in the last few years.

Freetrade launched in 2018 and now has more than 30,000 customers, while Revolut is slowly rolling out share trading of US stocks to its reported 6m customers.

Meanwhile, Australian challenger Stake understood by AltFi to be planning an upcoming launch in the UK.

“Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for Robinhood, and we’re excited to take the first important step towards bringing our investing platform to customers in the UK,” said Wander Rutgers, president of the newly created Robinhood International.

Rutgers has a solid background in Fintech, coming from Plum where he led the investing and savings product, and before that leading product, operations and compliance teams at TransferWise.

Robinhood declined to put a date its UK launch, but posted a number of new jobs available in its London office including compliance, operations, user research, and marketing.

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