Robinhood plans to launch in UK following entry of Webull and Public

Rick Steves

Robinhood plans to launch an FCA-authorized brokerage service for UK retail investors before the end of the year. 

Robinhood Markets Inc, the brokerage firm most directly involved with the ‘meme stock’ craze in early 2021 due to its high popularity among retail traders in the United States and its links with Citadel Securities via the PFOF model, has plans to launch in the United Kingdom.

The Silicon Valley-headquartered neobroker has opened up posts for UK-based regulatory experts and operations lead with experience in securities and brokerage, according to its LinkedIn and official website.

Robinhood originally planned to launch in the UK in 2020 after securing an FCA license in 2019, but postponed it indefinitely. Recent hiring moves and regulatory filings signal that the time has finally come.

Robinhood is hiring a team of ‘Hoodies’ for UK operation

“Our team of Hoodies in the UK will enable Robinhood to continue creating great financial products on our journey towards democratizing finance for all,” one company job listing said.

The need to fill these key roles in the United Kingdom follows regulatory filings that indicate that Robinhood plans to launch an FCA-authorized brokerage service for UK retail investors before the end of the year.

Robinhood will thus join the likes of Webull and Public, which announced their UK launch last week. The US-headquartered brokerage firms will be competing against UK-native brokers such as Interactive Investor, AJ Bell, and Hargreaves Lansdown, as well as social trading apps such as etoro.

Public and Webull launched in the UK last week

Last week, Public launched in the UK as its first market outside the United States. The broker broker aims to be the preeminent place to invest in US-listed equities, offering over 5,000 stocks, deep data and insights, and a simple and transparent fee structure with zero commission trading and low FX fees.

Public’s US product offering includes additional asset classes, such as ETFs, Treasuries, crypto, and alternatives, which may be available in future releases in the UK. The broker also plans to launch Investment Plans in the UK, a tool that allows members to create customized recurring investments.

For Webull, the UK launch follows its entry in Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, South Africa, and Japan, besides its US operation. With Webull users can put investment strategies to work by trading global stocks, ETFs, options, and fractional shares. Webull UK’s offering will initially be limited to U.S.-listed securities, but it has plans to expand the product range and open new global investment opportunities for retail investors.

FX & CFD industry veteran Nick Saunders leads the UK operation of Webull. The executive was appointed in September 2021 to get the broker ready for the 2023 launch, including securing an FCA license and the hiring process.

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