Freetrade to Launch Commission-Free Trading Platform in The UKby Fintechnews Switzerland October 6, 2016
UK-based Freetrade will be launching a new commission-free platform for trading stocks and shares. The company will be joining iDealing, another UK brokerage, that has opted for a zero commission model for stock trading.
Freetrade‘s mobile-first investment platform seeks to democratize investing and targets demographics that have been priced out of investing on the stock exchange notably due to costly broker fees. These include Millennials, which currently counts some 14.8 million individuals in the UK alone.
Freetrade’s mobile app was designed to make stock market investing more accessible for UK investors, the company says. It offers a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to search for companies that are trading on an exchange. The platform has no restriction around portfolio sizes and operates on a zero-commission model “so low value traders are not excluded.”
Additionally, the company will introduce fractional share dealing to the UK market, an option available in the US through the likes of DriveWealth and Stash Invest that has yet to be brought in the UK.
A fractional share is a share of an equity that is less than one full share. They are considered as an efficient way for investors to diversify every penny in their investment portfolio.
Furthermore, the Freetrade app will offer access to a network of independent financial advisors (IFAs) using a model similar to “Uber and Airbnb.” Independent advisors will be able to provide advice directly through the app, providing thus people new to trading with access to the same professional advice as more seasoned investors.
“We came across the model they have in the US, and not being satisfied with simply bringing the same concept to the UK, we looked at how we could raise the bar,” said Adam Dodds, co-founder of Freetrade.
“Professional advice is an intrinsic part of making a good investment decision, and no one, as far as we can see, is offering low-cost, flexible access to IFAs and other advisers,” he said.
“We are creating a world-first – an Uber or Airbnb model for IFAs, alongside a zero commission trading model. With all these elements combined, we’re unlocking the stock market for millions of people, and creating an investment platform that will massively disrupt a huge market.”
Freetrade is in the process of applying to the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to become an execution-only broker. The company plans to start officially trading by early 2017.
Earlier this month, Freetrade announced that it has been selected to join Octopus’ fintech program, Octopus Labs. Octopus is a UK fund management business managing over £6 billion worth of assets on behalf of over 50,000 retail and institutional customers.
The 12-week acceleration program will give Freetrade a workspace in Octopus’s London headquarters as well as top level mentoring from financial industry experts and successful entrepreneurs.
The success of American companies such as Robinhood and Loyal3 has demonstrated that zero commission trading models can work. Robinhood Markets Inc., the Palo Alto-based company behind the popular commission-free stock trading app, has announced plans for international expansion in 2015. The company said it will start with Australia and China.
For US$10 per month, users can skip the three-day waiting period with instant deposits and reinvesting, trade 30 minutes before and 2 hours after the market is open, as well as borrow up to double the money in their account to trade on margin with leverage.
Featured image by ESB Professional via Shutterstock.com.