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Schwab, Fidelity, E-Trade, Others Face Trading Platform Glitches

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Brokers and investors complained of glitches Monday morning when logging in or attempting to make trades using the online and mobile trading platforms of Charles Schwab, Fidelity, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley’s E-Trade, Robinhood, TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim and Vanguard.

Downdetector reported issues with all those platforms starting at 9:33 a.m. Eastern time. Among those issues were three people claiming to be E-Trade clients who complained they couldn’t log into their accounts; four people claiming to be Merrill clients who complained they were unable to trade; multiple investors claiming to be Schwab clients who complained of assorted issues; and various people claiming to be Vanguard clients who complained they had trouble making trades.

Similar complaints were made by brokers and investors on Twitter. For example, James DePorre, CEO of Shark Investing in Hickory, North Carolina, tweeted: “Hey Schwab $SCHW your system can’t handle the volume. FIX IT!”

In response to complaints, Schwab tweeted: “We apologize for the inconvenience. We have worked to resolve this as quickly as possible. If you are still having issues. It may help to log out and log back into your account.”

Responding to a query about issues with the Schwab platform, that firm issued a statement to ThinkAdvisor on Monday, saying: “This morning, clients experienced intermittent issues for a brief period at market open. We worked to resolve the issue quickly and apologize for any inconvenience this caused our clients and are working now to address any impact.”

Regarding issues with the thinkorswim platform, which Schwab now owns after the closing of its acquisition of TD Ameritrade in the fall, a TD Ameritrade spokeswoman told ThinkAdvisor: “Clients are able to access their accounts and trades are being processed as usual across all TD Ameritrade platforms. For a few minutes this morning, some TD Ameritrade clients experienced delays in viewing order status and historical quotes. This issue was resolved rapidly. During this time, clients could access their accounts and place trades through all of our platforms. We apologize for the inconvenience and take the performance and reliability of our trading platforms very seriously.”

Robinhood referred ThinkAdvisor to the status issue it posted at 10:58 a.m. ET, saying it was “investigating,” adding: “We are experiencing issues with crypto trading. We are working to resolve this as soon as possible.”

With Merrill’s platform, “there was a slowdown in logins for a short period of time earlier but it has been resolved,” a company spokesman told ThinkAdvisor at 11:21 a.m. ET, adding it “lasted about 15 minutes.”

Meanwhile, Vanguard said in a statement: “We understand some Vanguard clients may have experienced difficulties reaching us through our website this morning.  The issue was resolved quickly and we thank clients for their patience.”

In the case of Fidelity, “earlier today for a short period of time, some customers might have experienced an intermittent issue when attempting to view positions or slowness when attempting to place orders on Fidelity.com,” a company spokeswoman said. However, “we worked quickly to remediate the issue and our systems are functioning normally,” she said at 2:26 p.m. ET.

E-Trade did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Although problems have been reported with trading platforms many times in recent months, this was one of the few times in which issues were reported across so many major platforms at about the same time.

On Aug. 31, however, a multi-system market outage affected many of the largest brokerage firm platforms, with clients taking to Twitter to voice their frustration.

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