- Robinhood’s mission is to democratize finance
- The expansion to the UK will bring the platform to more investors
- Robinhood recently got a BitLicense from NYDFS
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has licensed the popular commission-free crypto trading platform Robinhood to offer its brokering services in the UK. The company will offer its investing platform to investors for traditional assets, but it has not yet revealed if it will offer cryptocurrencies to investors in the UK.
Democratizing Finance for All
The Silicon Valley-based stock trading App announced the development in an official blog post on August 7, 2019, saying this was a critical step for the company for achieving its mission of “democratizing finance for all”. This gears Robinhood up for a U.K. launch, although the company did not disclose when exactly that will be. Following the approval, Robinhood said:
“This authorization will enable us to bring our investing platform to customers in the U.K. and is a critical step to achieve our mission of democratizing finance for all.”
A New Chapter for Robinhood
Robinhood also announced the appointment of Wander Rutgers as president of Robinhood International, to lead the U.K. business and oversee its new London office. Wander has previously worked with savings app Plum and money transfer service TransferWise where he was the Head of Banking & International Expansion and Head of Treasury/Product. Commenting, Wander said:
“Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for Robinhood, and we’re excited to take the first important step towards bringing our investing platform to customers in the U.K. I’m thrilled to be a part of Robinhood and our effort to expand into a new international market.”
Disruptive Force in the Online Brokerage Industry
Robinhood is a free-trading app that’s ideal for investors, especially Millennials, who want to trade stocks, options, exchange-traded funds (ETSs) and cryptocurrency without paying commissions or fees. The firm calls itself a disruptive force in the online brokerage industry and launched to the public in 2014 as a mobile app for Apple smartphones and tablets. The firm’s Android app went live in 2015.
The approval of Robinhood by FCA comes hot on the heels of a BitLicense the company recently received from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) to operate in the state. The firm which initially launched trading in February 2018 raised $323 million in a Series E round recently and was also looking to get publicly listed through an initial public offering (IPO) last year. The firm revealed its U.K. expansion plans were first revealed in January of this year when the firm began “stealthily” recruiting for a London office.