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New app-only stockbroking platform launches

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An app-based stockbroker has launched its in-house platform in the UK today with the aim of “making investing in the markets more accessible than ever”.

Invest by Freetrade offers investors access to 500 UK and US shares and ETFs but hopes to increase this number to thousands in the future.

The platform does not charge commission or a fee for basic trades, which are executed at 4pm each day, and charges £1 per trade for instant orders.

In comparison, traditional online stockbroker Hargreaves Lansdown charges £11.95 per trade.

The platform is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and deposits are protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

In a bid to make trading and investing accessible to more people, Invest by Freetrade also hopes to allow customers to buy fractional shares by early next year.

This enables investors who cannot afford a whole stock in a company to buy a fraction of a stock, which means that anyone can buy a stake in a company with high value shares.

Adam Dodds, founder and chief executive of Freetrade, said: “Exorbitant fees of traditional providers shouldn’t be the norm, so we have broken the mould for how stockbrokers operate by taking brokering in-house, creating our own software platform, and reducing costs tremendously.

“This benefit is passed directly to Freetrade users in the form of zero-commission and the choice of more stocks and ETFs than ever before.”

Competition hotting up

East London-based Freetrade is one of several fintech challengers to offer fee-free trading.

Earlier this year, Revolut launched a trading platform offering Metal customers (who pay £12.99 a month or £120 a year for their account) up to 100 commission-free trades per month in over 300 US-listed stocks on the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.

Trades with Revolut are instant, with a 0.01 per cent annual custody fee and no account minimums.

More recently, US-based start-up Robinhood said it was gearing up to launch in the UK next year after receiving its broker authorisation from the FCA.

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