Robinhood CEO admits communications shortcomings, ahead of House testimony

By John McCrank NEW YORK (Reuters) - Robinhood, the trading app popular with young investors, could have better explained why it restricted the buying of heavily shorted stocks caught up in the social media-fueled trading frenzy around GameStop Corp, said the company's chief executive officer. 'No doubt we could have communicated this a little bit better to customers,' CEO Vlad Tenev said late Friday on the All-In Podcast, the hosts of which include Chamath Palihapitiya, who had strongly criticized Robinhood over the trading restrictions, and Jason Calacanis, a Robinhood investor. Tenev's comments came ahead of his scheduled Feb

Reuters February 14, 2021 00:05:33 IST
Robinhood CEO admits communications shortcomings, ahead of House testimony

Robinhood CEO admits communications shortcomings ahead of House testimony

By John McCrank

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Robinhood, the trading app popular with young investors, could have better explained why it restricted the buying of heavily shorted stocks caught up in the social media-fueled trading frenzy around GameStop Corp, said the company's chief executive officer.

"No doubt we could have communicated this a little bit better to customers," CEO Vlad Tenev said late Friday on the All-In Podcast, the hosts of which include Chamath Palihapitiya, who had strongly criticized Robinhood over the trading restrictions, and Jason Calacanis, a Robinhood investor.

Tenev's comments came ahead of his scheduled Feb. 18 U.S. House Financial Services Committee testimony about the trading turmoil and Robinhood's role in it. The CEOs of Citadel Securities, Melvin Capital and Reddit will also testify.

Robinhood did not respond to a request for comment.

Robinhood outraged many of its customers when on Jan. 28 it restricted the buying of 13 heavily shorted stocks that had been driven to record highs, including GameStop, whose shares had surged more than 1,600%.

The moves were due in part to retail investors coordinating on sites like Reddit’s WallStreetBets to drive prices higher and force hedge funds like Melvin to unwind their bearish positions. Several other brokers also restricted trading in the shares.

Tenev said the restrictions were necessary due to a large increase in deposit requirements by a post-trade regulator, but that was not spelled out in automated emails sent to Robinhood customers early on Jan. 28.

"As soon as those emails went out, the conspiracy theories started coming, so my phone was blowing up with, 'how could you do this, how could you be on the side of the hedge funds,'" he said.

"We probably could have offered more detail into that with the foresight that maybe customers would think that a hedge fund forced us to do it," he later said.

(Reporting by John McCrank; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro at ₹499 for the first year. Use code PRO499. Limited period offer. *T&C apply

also read

Robinhood now a go-to for young investors and short sellers
Business

Robinhood now a go-to for young investors and short sellers

By John McCrank NEW YORK (Reuters) - Robinhood, the online brokerage used by many retail traders to pile in to heavily shorted stocks like GameStop Corp, has made an ambitious push into loaning out its clients' shares to short sellers as it expands its business. The broker had $1.9 billion in shares loaned out as of Dec. 31, nearly three times the $674 million a year earlier, and it was permitted to lend out $4.6 billion worth of securities under margin agreements, around five times bigger than the prior year, according to an annual regulatory filing late on Monday

Wall Street mixed as Apple and Tesla retreat
Business

Wall Street mixed as Apple and Tesla retreat

By Noel Randewich (Reuters) - Wall Street was mixed on Tuesday, with Apple and Tesla losing ground, while materials and energy companies climbed as investors looked toward the U.S. Congress approving another stimulus package.

Biden's SEC nominee vows review of GameStop trading issues, climate disclosures
Business

Biden's SEC nominee vows review of GameStop trading issues, climate disclosures

By Pete Schroeder and Chris Prentice WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden's pick to head a key market regulator promised on Tuesday a thorough review of issues raised by the GameStop Corp stock frenzy and suggested companies may have to disclose their potential risks from climate change