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Humbug! E-Trade and Schwab Platforms Hit With Technical Problems

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Charles Schwab and E-Trade experienced more technical issues with their online trading platforms to kick off the week.

On Monday, Schwab’s trading platform experienced a problem that prevented at least some brokers and investors from being able to see their account information, including trades that were just made, before being resolved later in the day.

“Some Schwab applications experienced technical issues early this morning, which have now been resolved,” a company spokesperson said Monday evening.

“We have been working with affected clients to address their questions as quickly as possible,” he told ThinkAdvisor, adding: “We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

In this case, “the problem was due to a faulty mainframe connection and we have taken steps to remedy the issue,” he said.

All was fine Tuesday morning, he said, telling ThinkAdvisor: “After inquiring with our teams, we have no reported issues with our platform today.”

However, there was a complaint on Downdetector.com Tuesday morning by somebody claiming to be a Schwab client that its StreetSmart Central site was “still not working.”

Many investors claiming to be users of Schwab’s trading platform complained on Downdetector.com and Twitter Monday morning about an inability to see confirmation of trades they had just made or other account info and, in some cases, that they had issues logging in.

One disgruntled investor tweeted at 11:23 a.m. ET: “Totally unacceptable! I am now strongly considering transferring all of my accounts to another brokerage – this is the second time in the last few months! How do you run a company this way?”

A few minutes earlier, at 11:10 a.m. ET, Schwab tweeted: “Certain online functionality may be slow or unavailable. We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

Responding to one investor who complained he “lost… well over $5000 cause your system would not let me trade when I tried over every platform,” Schwab tweeted at 1:40 p.m. ET: “the issue has been resolved. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.”

Downdetector also reported an issue at E-Trade’s online platform at 9:40 a.m. ET Tuesday morning that affected the ability for at least some people claiming to be clients to log in or make trades. A few hours earlier, an outage was reported at TD Ameritrade overnight.

One person claiming to be an E-Trade client tweeted at 10:21 a.m. ET Tuesday: “what’s going on with your website today?? had a lot of issues logging on this morning, now it’s not updating properly.”

E-Trade did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A TD spokeswoman told ThinkAdvisor: “Reports of an outage at TD Ameritrade last night or today are inaccurate. Clients are able to access their accounts and trades are being processed as usual across all TD Ameritrade platforms. There was a very short window of planned maintenance last night, but clients were made aware of the maintenance in advance and it did not impact their ability to trade.”

There have been several outages and other technical issues on these and other trading platforms since early 2020 that have resulted in complaints from many angry investors, including a two-day problem at Robinhood last week.

Schwab reported in November that an unspecified “technical issue” prevented at least some clients from being able to log into its online trading platform, while Downdetector said outages were also experienced by E-Trade, Fidelity, Merrill Lynch, Robinhood, TD Ameritrade and Vanguard.

On Aug. 31, a multi-system market outage affected many of the largest brokerage firm platforms, with clients taking to Twitter to voice their frustration. Only a few days earlier, TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim platform experienced technical issues for several days. That followed multiple outages on the websites of TD Ameritrade and other financial firms earlier this year that led several investors to take to Twitter to complain about trades they were unable to make and money they lost as a result.

Morgan Stanley completed its $13 billion acquisition of E-Trade Financial in October. Only a few days later, Schwab said it finalized its $22 billion purchase of TD Ameritrade. Their online trading platforms are being integrated.