Delay: Execution time on LSE AIM Stocks

Realised in the past one year that execution is delayed on FTSE AIM stocks.

Is there a way trading 212 can improve on this? I know the standard response is low liquidity (which is not always true).

There are some good bitcoin/crypto mining stocks listed in AIM; and likely more will join in the future / if not in AIM market, one of the other U.K. indices.

Would be nice if Trading 212 finds a way to solve this issue instead of depending all in on interactive brokers.

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A lot of AIM stocks do have low liquidity, which as a result trading can regularly go to auction at set intervals throughout the day.

Have you checked any stocks liquidity out on the London Stock Exchange, and the volume/size/type of orders that go through?

Note orders submitted for symbols trading on these segments may behave differently and may cause delays in order acknowledgement and execution compared to fully electronic segments:


Which stocks do you think these do not hold true, that haven’t been executed through payment for order flow?

One stock that I have been trying to buy or sell in the past 7-8 months have been Argo Blockchain. It’s the only U.K. blockchain/bitcoin mining stock available on trading 212 at the moment.

Long delays always happens, in terms of buying or even at times selling.

What is weird is that, every time this issue is mentioned; it somehow gets fixed and the delays reduce .: and after few weeks it goes back to long delays again (until someone brings this to focus again) That’s something I found strange.

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It somehow gets fixed - as in you waited long enough for an auction to take place and your trade be matched with another?

Looking at it a lot of the trades are off book, which means not on the exchange. Makes me think they may be payment for order flow trades that are banned in the U.K. not sure about Europe.

Someone can correct me on that.


This stock trades on SETSqx

What is SETSqx?

Stock Exchange Electronic Trading Service: Quotes and Crosses (SETSqx) is a trading service for securities less liquid than those traded on SETS. The auction uncrossings are scheduled to take place at 8am, 9am, 11am, 2pm and 4:35pm. There are 2 types of order book model for SETSqx depending on whether the security has registered market makers providing non-electronic quotes. An execution in the final auction will set the security’s closing price for the day and generate a closing price crossing session, which provides a further trading opportunity to execute business at the closing auction price. Electronic orders can be named or anonymous and order book executions will be centrally cleared where indicated in Millennium Exchange & TRADEcho Business Parameters document.

There are two types of model for SETSqx, depending on whether the security has registered market makers providing non-electronic quotes. The model in operation determines which time in forces are valid for the electronic orders, and how these orders are publicly displayed ahead of the scheduled uncrossing.

SETSqx with Market Makers

This model combines a periodic electronic auction book, with standalone non-electronic quote-driven market making. Registered market makers are obliged to make firm, 2-way quotes, between 8am and the end of the closing auction (including any price monitoring or market order extensions). While market maker quotes are not obliged to participate in any of the auctions, the mid of their best bid–offer forms the closing price should there be no closing auction execution that day. Electronic orders are only visible during the 10-minute call period ahead of the next scheduled uncrossing, except for the closing auction when the call period is restricted to five minutes. If time in force GFS is used any unexecuted orders will carry forward to the remaining auctions that day (but will only be visible in the call periods).

When I first started trading Argo Blockchain the execution happened immediately - this was if I recall correctly 6,7 months ago. But as time passed by; buying orders were stuck on pending for 10 minute, than longer etc…, same happened with selling.

I remember once; I was up 5% on Argo, and hit the sell button, but when it executed, after some time, it went to a loss. That’s a really bad thing , I didn’t bring it up with trading 212 as the amount invested was small.

Blockchain and Tokenisation will change the future of brokerage services, and I’m pretty confident, there will be other alternatives to trading 212 ahead in time, and free to use.

Sadly: I feel trading in smaller stocks doesn’t suit trading 212, and you are basically directed towards the known or common stocks, most people are heavily invested in. So the potential for your return is limited, as it’s not easy to find companies that go 5x or 10x in big companies listed in the main indices.

Why are the prices stuck? The market have been open for more than one hour and price stuck on the same level.

When will trading 212 take the AIM/smaller markets seriously?

See example below:

Hey @MohammedS

Apologies for jumping in your discussion, like that, however, I assumed you might find the following post useful for your particular case and also future similar ones :point_down:

On a side note: we can assure you that T212 does not take a bias towards any particular stocks, since we aim to provide an all-around smooth user experience to the extent that it depends on us.

Nonetheless, feel free to reach me or anyone else from the team, if you need anything else!

Still the same.

Last pictures posted at 9:10am

Current pictures are timed 9:25am.

No change at all. Please see below.

It’s not only liquidity issue that often gets said: as I have shown above with the pictures, even prices are not updated. I feel like there is general in attention to the AIM/smaller markets by trading 212.

I have heard that they will improve this for many months now: seems like no progress has been made.

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It would be nice to see improvements being made. There is one stock still hasn’t executed in a month. If this is the case they would be better off not listing it.

It’s not a liquidity issue as we all know. There are some very liquid AIM stocks.

TBF it has saved me a couple of times haha when i had a buy order and the price tanks. Think it was BOTB fell by 30% in a day i cancelled my limit order haha and bought later

BOTB trades on SETSqx, and rules don’t allow for payment of order flow, so means you have to wait and see if your trades match with an opposite trade in the auctions.

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What does that mean? Can you break it down for folks who are new to investing in layman terms

Payment for order flow, is where brokers can pay commission to direct/influence where trades can take place thus influencing the price to the buyer/seller.

Regulators do not believe that PFOF leads to best execution or best price for the buyer or seller. The regulator recommends instead to hold auctions at set points throughout the day to aggregate small deals and increase the volume of deals matched between a buyer/seller at a better price. America allows for PFOF so this may be why you see trades falling outside auction times.

Some other more expensive brokers work round this and can offer PFOF, by presenting the buyer/seller with a proposal trade to be accepted within a short timeframe.


Lawmakers don’t rate best execution either fwiw and want to remove it from the FCAs jurisdiction.

I agree, there should be a ‘propose and accept’ model between broker and trader for lower liquidity stocks.

How do other platforms operate? Like freetrade or similar brokers like trading 212. Do they have the same issue or is this only localised to trading 212.

Freetrade iirc has a different way of accessing the market. They have somewhat better execution on lower liquidity stocks. They do not sit in pending though if liquidity isn’t stellar, they just fail again and again and again.

You also have to pay £9.99p/m to access most of them

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I’ve been fairly lucky recently and managed to pick up most of the AIM shares I wanted. But that’s only because I have a free level 2 account so I can see all the orders at auction and I can set the right price.

The big concern is that selling could be difficult, especially if there is high volatility.

Don’t everyone get this free level 2 account? I use trading 212 only for my ISA. Maybe they should give free level 2 to all the ISA investors?

I don’t get L2 through T212

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