Stock trading platform Robinhood is now open in the U.K., its first international market. The company began preparations nearly five years ago, but cancelled its initial waitlist in 2020. Facing pressure in the U.S., Robinhood has been hit with multimillion-dollar fines and controversy over a customer’s tragic suicide. Despite this, the company now has 23 million domestic users, making it a publicly-traded entity. Robinhood will face competition from local players in the U.K., such as Lightyear and Freetrade. The company’s U.K. users will be able to trade thousands of U.S. stocks, with crypto trading to follow for EU markets.
Claiming the U.K. is still a relatively untapped market, Robinhood is aiming to capitalize on its experience in the U.S. by targeting younger traders with in-app guides and support. After recent domestic controversies, the company is introducing 24/7 customer support in the U.K. However, the company’s missteps in the U.S. have left a lasting impact, with some skepticism still lingering over how Robinhood profits from its users. In the U.K., the company will have to adapt to regulations banning certain practices that have come under fire elsewhere, such as payment for order flow (PFOF).