Brokerage firms have witnessed a surge in volumes, with the likes of Robinhood, Vanguard and Charles Schwab facing major outages Wednesday. Similar issues have been faced by European trading platforms, such as Trading 212.
On Wednesday, Trading 212 warned of disruption to its service due to “unprecedented increase in demand.” The platform informed users Thursday that it was halting deals in GameStop and AMC, another stock featured on r/WallStreetBets, “as highly unusual volumes have led to an unprecedented market environment.” In a tweet Thursday, the London-based firm said it had temporarily stopped onboarding new clients due to “unprecedented demand.”
Other investing platforms were also seeing strong demand for stocks featured on the popular subreddit, which now has 4.4 million users — up from 2.8 million Wednesday. That’s even after it was briefly made private by moderators.
British commission-free trading app Freetrade said Wednesday that the value of buy orders for GameStop during the first two days of this week were already 177% higher than for all of last week. BlackBerry buys saw a 163% increase during that same period.
Another U.K. brokerage, Hargreaves Lansdown, said GameStop was the second-most popular traded overseas share on its platform last week, while BlackBerry was the fifth-most popular. GameStop was the most-viewed stock on its platform Wednesday.
Like Trading 212, some other investment platforms have started to restrict trades in certain shares. TD Ameritrade in the U.S. said it had restricted deals in GameStop, AMC and some other securities “in the interest of mitigating risk for our company and clients.”
But not all investment firms are following suit. Freetrade and Hargreaves Lansdown said they were monitoring the situation, while Israeli trading service eToro told CNBC it would continue to urge customers “to be mindful of their actions and protective of their capital.”
“In today’s highly volatile market conditions, we have been urging our users to stick to the basics of investing: diversify, avoid leverage, and only invest in markets and instruments with which you are familiar,” the eToro spokesperson added. “We have been working to remind our users that regardless of whether or not some stocks are in bubble territory, such a strong bull rally should be approached with caution.”
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