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Robinhood Rise Brings Setbacks of Irate Traders, U.S. Probes

  • Agencies flooded with complaints; SEC examining March outage
  • Robinhood says it’s committed to improving customer service
Bloomberg business news
Robinhood's Popularity Exposes Flaws
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Robinhood Markets has catapulted ahead of its online brokerage rivals with a smartphone app that has attracted an army of young investors. Yet with the company’s rise has come a litany of problems: trading outages, angry customers and regulatory probes.

Over the first half of the year, U.S. consumer protection agencies received more than 400 complaints about Robinhood -- roughly four times more than competitors like Charles Schwab Corp. and Fidelity Investments’ brokerage unit. The grievances, obtained via a public records request to the Federal Trade Commission, depict novice investors in over their heads, struggling to understand why they’ve lost money on stock options or had shares liquidated to pay off margin loans.