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US fintech giant Robinhood to take on Hargreaves and Freetrade with UK launch

The commission-free share trading app opens its waitlist today but will officially be going live in the first quarter of 2020.

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Robinhood, the $7.6bn US personal-investment disruptor, has opened its waiting list today for UK users ahead of a planned 2020 launch, its first live international market outside the US.

As the fintech firm that popularised commission-free share trading, Robinhood’s move to the UK will certainly bring a shake-up amid rising competition in the self-directed investment market.

The past 12 months have seen plenty of new competition within the retail investor market in the UK with the launch of zero-fee share trading from Freetrade and Revolut and industry leader Hargreaves Lansdown embroiled in the scandal surrounding fallen ‘star’ fund manager Neil Woodford.

Ex-Plum and Transferwise exec Wander Rutgers is President at Robinhood UK, leading the launch. He currently has a team of about 10 in the UK. 

Robinhood will not launch with an Individual Savings Account offering initially but will likely have it on its product roadmap Rutgers told AltFi in a phone call this week.

In the UK Robinhood will offer unlimited commission-free trades, no account minimum, with access to a broad range of US and global stocks including 3500+ US stocks listed on NYSE and Nasdaq and 1000+ global stocks but will not offer full access to the FTSE 350 pool of firms.

Robinhood, which was founded in 2013 by Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt and launched in the US in 2015, has more than six million customers. It raised  $323m Series E funding round, at a $7.6bn valuation, in July 2019.

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