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Robinhood to launch in UK next year

written by Bella Palmer
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Robinhood would not offer U.K. stocks to begin with but will look to include them as it brings more products into the platform

Online investments app Robinhood said Thursday that it is set to launch its platform in the U.K. early next year, marking the firm’s third attempt at cracking global expansion.

Features include the ability to choose from 6,000 U.S. stocks and 24-hour trading five days a week. Robinhood presently offers 24-hour trading in the U.S., permitting trades to take place outside 2:30 pm GMT and after 9:00 pm GMT.

Robinhood would not offer U.K. stocks to begin with but will look to include them as it brings more products into the platform. The U.K. version will not include options and other derivatives at launch, either.

Jordan Sinclair, Robinhood’s U.K. chief expects 24-hour trading to be popular, as it will let users trade on market-moving news.

You wake up in the morning, read the news headlines, and then you have to wait, he added. Customers actually can make a trade and choose their investment strategy and act on that market news.

Robinhood has already attempted to launch in the U.K. twice.

A waiting list it rolled out in 2019 saw more than 300,000 people sign up, but the firm pulled the plug on its U.K. expansion plans, citing surging demand at home during the pandemic as interest in retail investing jumped dramatically.

Then, last year, it sought to acquire UK’s crypto-trading app Ziglu. That deal faltered, however, and Robinhood was compelled to write off the value of its investment, with the firm reporting a $12 million impairment charge on the failed transaction.

Brits will be able to join a waitlist from Thursday and will be notified when they can sign up for early access at a later point in time. In an effort to get more traction fast, Robinhood is also asking users to share a unique referral link with friends and family to move them up the queue.

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