Stock Broker Uptime Monitor

As you know, we like to help people see clearly – so we put together this article to keep track of the statuses of certain major brokers.

Below you can find a tool that monitors around 50 brokers globally and uses automated capabilities to see whether brokers have/had platform outages and trading restrictions. The info is available both for EU and US brokers.

Stock Broker Uptime Monitor
Stock Broker Uptime Monitor for US Clients

Stock Broker Uptime Monitor for US clients

Updated as of 2021.02.18. 7 am EST

We are aware that most US brokers have experienced service outages, lags, or have suspended retail trading of recently popular stocks such as GME, BB, AMC, etc. Below you can find a table listing those US brokers that had serious, minor, or no problems with their services. We keep this table updated by closely monitoring:

  • whether a broker had an outage in the last seven days
  • whether a broker had suspended retail trading on popular stocks

Please be aware that trading on margin and other leveraged trading strategies could be extremely risky in times of high market volatility. Sharp price moves could quickly wipe out your invested capital.

As of now, these brokers had issues in the past 7 days:

US brokers where we experienced major issues
Broker Had a major platform outage recently? Are any popular assets restricted right now?
None - -

Below these brokers have not experienced any issues between the end of January and mid-February. If you're looking for alternative stockbrokers, feel free to check any of the following:

Alternative US brokers
Broker Link to broker review Visit broker
TradeStation Read review Visit broker
Chase You Invest Read review Visit broker
SoFi Invest Read review Visit broker

Stock Broker Uptime Monitor
Stock Broker Uptime Monitor for EU Clients

Stock Broker Uptime Monitor for EU clients

Updated as of 2021.02.18. 11 am GMT

Not all brokers are available globally. This means that most of the US brokers detailed above are not available for EU residents. To tackle this, we have created another table below, listing EU brokers that may have experienced outages or service lags, or suspended retail trading of recently popular stocks such as GME, BB, AMC, etc. The list does not contain all affected brokers from our selection, as we focused on the ones that received the most attention. As with US brokers, we'll try to keep this table updated too, by closely monitoring:

  • whether a broker had an outage in the last seven days
  • whether a broker had suspended retail trading on popular stocks

Please be aware that trading on margin and other leveraged trading strategies could be extremely risky in times of high market volatility. Sharp price moves could quickly wipe out your invested capital.

As of now, these brokers had issues in the past 7 days:

EU brokers where we experienced issues
Broker Had platform outage? Are any popular assets restricted right now?
Trading 212 No* No
IG No** Yes, some volatile assets are not tradeable
eToro Yes Yes, some volatile assets are not tradeable, e.g. short selling is not allowed at GME
CMC Markets No Yes, some volatile assets are not tradeable, e.g. short selling is not allowed at GME

* Account opening is suspended at the moment

** Australian, and UK clients can't open share accounts

Below these brokers have not experienced any issues between the end of January and mid-February. If you're looking for alternative stockbrokers, feel free to check any of the following:

Alternative US brokers
Broker Link to broker review Visit broker
TradeStation Read review Visit broker
Chase You Invest Read review Visit broker
SoFi Invest Read review Visit broker
Alternative EU stockbrokers
Broker Link to broker review Visit broker
Saxo Bank Read review Visit broker
TradeStation Read review Visit broker
flatex Read review Visit broker
Fineco Bank Read review Visit broker
Swissquote Read review Visit broker

We have also collected a few alternative CFD brokers in the following table, feel free to check them out as well.

Alternative EU CFD brokers
Broker Link to broker review Visit broker
Capital.com Read review
Visit broker
XTB* Read review Visit broker
Plus500* Read review Visit broker

*At XTB and Plus500, you cannot trade GameStop CFDs as of writing, however, you are allowed to trade other recently popular names.

Stock Broker Uptime Monitor
Stock Broker Uptime Monitor for non-US/non-EU Clients

Stock Broker Uptime Monitor for non-US/non-EU clients

Updated as of 2021.02.18. 11 am GMT

Lastly, we created a separate Uptime monitor for brokers that are available globally. As with US and EU brokers, we monitor if the broker experienced outages or service lags, or suspended retail trading of recently popular stocks such as GME, BB, AMC, etc. The list does not contain all affected brokers from our selection, as we focused on the ones that received the most attention. As with the other brokers, we'll try to keep this table updated too, by closely monitoring:

  • whether a broker had an outage in the last seven days
  • whether a broker had suspended retail trading on popular stocks

Please be aware that trading on margin and other leveraged trading strategies could be extremely risky in times of high market volatility. Sharp price moves could quickly wipe out your invested capital.

Global brokers where we experienced issues
Broker Had platform outage? Are any popular assets restricted right now?
Trading 212 No* No
IG No** Yes, some volatile assets are not tradeable
eToro Yes Yes, some volatile assets are not tradeable, e.g. short selling is not allowed at GME
CMC Markets No Yes, some volatile assets are not tradeable, e.g. short selling is not allowed at GME

* Account opening is suspended at the moment

** Australian, and UK clients can't open share accounts

Below these brokers have not experienced any issues between the end of January and mid-February. If you're looking for alternative stockbrokers, feel free to check any of the following:

Alternative global stockbrokers
Broker Link to broker review Visit broker
Saxo Bank Read review Visit broker
TradeStation Read review Visit broker
Swissquote Read review Visit broker

We have also collected a few alternative CFD brokers in the following table, feel free to check them out as well.

Alternative global CFD brokers
Broker Link to broker review Visit broker
Capital.com Read review Visit broker
XTB* Read review Visit broker
Plus500* Read review Visit broker
City Index Read review Visit broker
Forex.com Read review Visit broker

*At XTB and Plus500 you cannot trade GameStop CFDs as of writing, however, you are allowed to trade other recently popular names.

Stock Broker Uptime Monitor
What's Happening

What's happening on the brokerage market

In late January 2021 saw retail customers jump en masse on a few specific stocks. This caused great upheaval and excitement on the financial markets, Wall Street and everyone involved, including us here at BrokerChooser. As it happened last March, the surge of never-before-seen interest made brokerage services - as you would say in German - “kaputt” (go down, in this sense). The trading seemed to be impossible for anywhere from a few moments to hours. 

There were extreme market movements in these hectic days, which we want to show you in more detail. Stocks of GameStop and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. attracted the most attention, with the result that many brokers had serious problems with their services, such as suffering platform outages or stopping new account registrations. Below, we highlight who these brokers were, and we also show alternative providers that you can still use problem-free.

Some major brokerages started restricting the opening of new positions in shares and options of certain companies like GameStop (NYSE: $GME) and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc (NYSE: $AMC) that were on a tear thanks to individual investors chasing those stocks in recent days. This meant that only closing existing positions was allowed.

This caused outrage among many retail investors who held positions in the above-mentioned stocks because the fact that no new buys were allowed changed the dynamics of the game and could have contributed to a huge decline in stock prices for a few hours.

Some brokers have now re-allowed the opening of new positions, but have ramped up margin requirements for the affected stocks.

Why did this happen?

Interactive Brokers chairman Thomas Peterffy told CNBC that according to his estimation, nearly $10-15 billion in value has been lost and made in trading GameStop shares and options. Given that brokers stand between customers and clearing houses, when someone profits, the clearing house must transfer that amount to the brokers to hand to their customers, while the brokers must do the inverse with their own customers, depending on their losses or gains. ; Ultimately, it’s the brokerage house that needs to put up their own money if their customers cannot come up with the money to pay for their losses -- something the chairman said was not a concern for his company.

Some officials even advocated for heavier measures: “I really think at this point it calls upon the regulators, in this case, the New York Stock Exchange, to consider simply suspending it for a month and stop trading it,” said William Galvin, the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

But how did it all start?

Reddit is a popular social platform, and on the so-called subreddit forum WallStreetBets, members often advocate buying call options. Since market lows in March 2020, buying cheap, out-of-the-money call options on stocks has led to spectacular results. In normal times, this strategy often results in the call options expiring worthless. However, if prices go parabolic, these call options can be extremely profitable, and the results have encouraged thousands of retail clients to use this strategy.

The focus has now shifted to heavily shorted individual US stocks (e.g. GameStop or AMC), where a short squeeze can quickly move prices. For example, institutional investors took huge short positions against troubled video game retailer GameStop, prompting Reddit users to pile into buying the stock and call options on the stock.

See our article on how a rapid and relentless buying spree can force short sellers to close their positions with a big loss.

Stock Broker Uptime Monitor
Bottom Line

The last days of January 2021 are definitely among the craziest the financial world has ever experienced. We've seen the power of social platforms on politics and media before, but this is the first time we really experienced their impact on financial markets.

The growing interest in trading new stocks has had a heavy impact on brokers. Many of them have had issues with their services, such as platform outages or even a halt to onboarding new clients.

All in all, take care, and be safe. If you experience any issues with any of these or other brokers, we would really appreciate it if you left a comment under the reviews or emailed us directly at [email protected].

Author of this article

Gyula Lencsés

Author of this article

Gyula has more than 10 years of experience in the financial industry. He spent most of his career in the wealth management business as a portfolio manager of mutual funds. He is eager to leverage his knowledge to guide you through the world of brokerage.

Gyula Lencsés

Broker Expert

Gyula has more than 10 years of experience in the financial industry. He spent most of his career in the wealth management business as a portfolio manager of mutual funds. He is eager to leverage his knowledge to guide you through the world of brokerage.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

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