Robinhood Delay UK App Launch Due To Controversy

Many novice traders in the UK were looking forward to the UK launch of Robinhood, an investment app that claims to be democratising finance for millions of traders.However, after facing pressure from US authorities and politicians, the app has announced it will be delaying its UK launch.

Trading Apps

The main function of the Robinhood app, which has over 13 million US users, is to allow new traders to buy and sell financial products without depositing a minimum sum or paying commission.

The current waiting list for the app in the UK has over 250,000 people, many of whom were looking forward to the app being launched later this year.

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Individuals on the waiting list were greeted this week with a message from Robinhood explaining the app launch would be delayed.

The email read, “We’re saddened to share that we’ve made the difficult decision to postpone our UK launch indefinitely… We’ll be closing our waitlist and taking down our UK website shortly.

The world has changed a lot over the past several months and we’re adapting with it.”

Media Focus

The app, currently valued at $8.6bn, received a lot of media and political attention after a 20-year-old US user, student Alex Kearns, killed himself in June.

Kearns is believed to have killed himself due to mistakenly believing he had lost $730,000 (£575,000) on the app.

Kearns, unfortunately, seemed to misunderstand the app, due to lack of trading knowledge as his account was actually up $16,000 at the time of his death.

Robinhood has received approval from the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) and was expected to launch in Spring 2020.

Although the launch delay is ‘indefinite’, there is hope for UK residents who plan to use the app as Robinhood also stated in their email;

although our global expansion plans are on hold for now, we will continue our work to democratise finance for all and we look forward to the day when we can bring this mission to the UK.”

Existing Robinhood employees in the UK are expected to move to the US, while a team of skeleton employees will remain in the UK under the guidance of Wander Rutgers, former TransferWise executive.

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