Robin­hood scraps UK launch af­ter crit­i­cism of US model

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Michael Cog­ley

AN APP ac­cused of tempt­ing mil­lions of in­ex­pe­ri­enced traders to in­vest in ul­tra-risky stocks has scrapped plans to launch in Bri­tain.

San Fran­cisco-based Robin­hood put in­ter­na­tional ex­pan­sion on hold amid mount­ing crit­i­cism of its US oper­a­tions.

The firm has won over mil­lions of mil­len­nial in­vestors by mak­ing it easy to trade shares and com­plex fi­nan­cial in­stru­ments – but has also come un­der fire for fea­tures such as smi­ley faces that make in­vest­ing seem like a game.

One user com­mit­ted sui­cide last month af­ter fall­ing $730,000 (£573,000) into the red.

A spokesman said: “A lot has changed in the world, and we’ve made the dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion to post­pone our UK launch in­def­i­nitely.”

The firm is also fac­ing law­suits from an­gry cus­tomers fol­low­ing a tech­ni­cal glitch that locked them out of their ac­counts dur­ing sharp swings in the stock mar­ket.

Robin­hood said the prob­lems were ac­ti­vated by a jump in trade vol­umes that it was un­able to han­dle.

It said: “We are re­fo­cus­ing our ef­forts on strength­en­ing our core busi­ness. We know many peo­ple in the UK were ex­cited to in­vest through Robin­hood, and we re­gret that we can­not de­liver our prod­uct to UK cus­tomers.”

Bub­bling over Tait­tinger, the cham­pagne firm, has been given the green light for a Kent win­ery. It’s the first elite French house to set up a UK win­ery.

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