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Industry Spotlight > Clearing and Custodial Firms

Stock Trading App Robinhood Introduces In-House Clearing System

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Robinhood, an app-based brokerage founded in 2013, on Wednesday rolled out Clearing by Robinhood, a clearing system built and operated in-house.

The new system will enable Robinhood not only to clear and settle transactions, but also to custody assets for all of its 6 million customers by year-end, according to a blog post introducing it.

Robinhood said it had set out two years ago to build its own clearing system from scratch, an endeavor that involved a team of some 100 people, including specialists in clearing and compliance.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. and the Options Clearing Corp. provided the necessary licenses.

According to the announcement, Clearing by Robinhood is the only clearing system built from scratch, and on modern technology, in the past decade. The last time a major brokerage built something similar was Vanguard, in 2008.

Earlier this year, Robinhood said that following a Series D funding round that garnered $363 million, its valuation was $5.6 billion.

What to Expect

Clearing for Robinhood will have several implications for customers, according to the blog post.

For one, it will remove or lower a number of small fees that were previously passed on to some customers. “This means you’ll only pay for what things actually cost, and not a penny more.”

In the past, the blog said, bank reversal fees cost $30. Under the new system, Robinhood will pass on only what the banks charge: $9.

In addition, Clearing by Robinhood will generate more account and trade information, resulting in better customer support with quicker response times. Robinhood said it designed an internal dashboard for its brokerage and support reps, called Major Oak, that updates information in real time.

Customers on the new system will also see redesigned monthly account statements, tax documents and proxy notices, written in simpler language and with the Robinhood look and feel.

The blog said Clearing by Robinhood would also enable the company to ship new features faster, expand into different financial services and bring more people to the financial system.

In February, the company introduced Robinhood Crypto.


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