How to actually get an AIM order to excute?

Hi all

I’ve been struggling to get an AIM SetSqx market order to execute for the last 24 hours even though I can see plenty of volume has been going through in the name (mostly OTC but there have also been multiple auctions since I placed the order). I was wondering if you guys had any tips or approach on how to improve execution chances in this scenario? I read some suggest that breaking the order into smaller chunks might help.

Trading 212 have so far just continued to provide the boilerplate language citing the “low liquidity” excuse even though I can see consistent MM quotes and millions of shares trading through MMs who they could easily access if they cared to…I suppose you get what you pay for - no incentive to care about best execution when they don’t make money on the trades!

@Finki any ideas? (Aside from the ultimate answer which is to open with another broker like Freetrade who can access market makers, which I’ll probably do eventually given this experience).

Thank you in advance!

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AIM can take days to be executed. There are not so many transaction as you would have in a normal high capitalization market. I have a small UK Reit in my portfolio and it took me 24 hours to find a seller.

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Thanks, I understand but the security I mention is BIDSTACK which has traded 20million shares (including OTC) since I placed the order! 26 hours later still no execution

I guess it should not take that long. Did you contact the team?

Yep I spoke with multiple people on the chat, and messaged every rep I could find on here too, and emailed also. In the past I had good experiences with their customer service reps but this time any response I have received is the standard “low liquidity” text when they could literally just ask IB to make a price for it or find a risk trade (but it seems they don’t really care about accessing the liquidity from MMs /providing best execution unless they make some money from it).

That’s the usual answer, it’s almost never correct. If your really want to make the trade in a more timely manor then your best bet is elsewhere otherwise I suppose just hang in there and see what happens?

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Thanks, and agreed I will probably open up with Freetrade if the stock does not execute today. I feel it is quite deceptive that they would activate the stocks on the platform but actively choose not to access the major liquidity for these markets. By limiting liquidity access its actually falling short of best execution.

Its a shame as they were doing everything else right for me and this is clearly an area which will continue to become more competitive as Freetrade grows and other players enter the zero comm space.


I’ve personally checked your case & the reason behind the delay of the execution is the lack of liquidity on London Stock Exchange. All of the trades for today are internalized (Off-book) which means that they’re not trades executed directly on LSE books.

Last but not least, some of the AIM trades takes up to several days to get through due to the nature of the securities listed on this particular venue.

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Hello, thank you I understand that but the reason there is no liquidity at the exchange is because it seems everyone except Trading 212 is utilising the Off book capabilities of Market Makers and Brokers. Even FreeTrade does this. There are around 10 million shares traded today this way, but Trading 212 only sends to auctions - of course the liquidity will be low there because nobody else needs the auctions as every other broker on the street uses MMs!

Honestly it’s stating to sound like the boy who cried wolf. This is the excuse you give every time 212 can’t execute an order and while it may be true on occasion it seems to almost never be true. No one else is having issues executing orders, just you. That’s not a liquidity problem that’s a 212 problem.

If you’ve stopped sending orders to the exchange and are now only relying on trading between 212 customers only surely this is an important piece of information that customers should be aware of? Just saying it’s a liquidity problem isn’t good enough and seems frankly misleading.

As I said. There isn’t a liquidity problem.


Agreed! The problem is actually that they are sending to the exchange but NOT using Market Makers who will provide immediate prices and execution. Today there have been 330 shares traded through auction but around 10 MILLION through MMs which are also reported to the LSE. Other brokers such as IG, FreeTrade, HL etc use these MMs to give their clients execution capability for these stocks. The liquidity is literally right there, but Trading 212 CHOOSES not to access it and instead sends to the auctions where of course there will be low liquidity since everyone else is using MMs!

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@Eden @thba9 We currently support only direct market access (exchange execution). We’re very aware of the benefits of relying on market makers for execution on exchange-illiquid securities but we cannot facilitate this at this moment in time.

This is not a top priority and thus will not be accomplished very soon, we can’t provide an ETA.

The previous post suggested that none of the orders went to market today and instead relied on internal trades between 212 customers? Presumably it’s a mix of both with some condition that determine if you’ll decide to send orders to an exchange?

In either regard it seems to be something that customers are unaware of, they believe their orders are being send to a market maker or exchange and the response saying their illiquid presents a misguided view of what’s actually happening. Maybe some improvement is needed to ensure customers are properly aware of how an order is being executed?

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I agree - T212 need to make clear to their customers that the exact same orders for these stocks with another broker will be more likely to execute in a shorter time frame and closer to the current price, since others brokers access the key liquidity for these markets.

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@Eden @thba9 We’re aware AIM execution isn’t perfect. We rely on Interactive Brokers & most of their routing is DMA (on the exchange’s books).

We’d like to improve execution by working with market makers in order to get orders filled quicker but that’s not expected to happen in the coming months. We’ll share more information once things are a bit more clear.


Love seeing transparency and honesty. Glad to see this is being worked on. Trading 212 don’t stop moving :chart_with_upwards_trend:


That’s fine. How orders are executed doesn’t really matter, but as I said this isn’t what customers seem to be understanding from the service and the communication around it doesn’t seem to be explaining the problem sufficiently before people make orders. And subsequently when support say it’s a liquidity problem this also doesn’t seem to be a sufficient answer and gives the wrong impression

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It is a liquidity problem though… liquidity problem is resolved by MMs which 212 do not use currently. I suspect the reason for support using this line is because it is the easiest way to explain the problem to regular investors, who may not be aware of concepts such as off-book trades or MMs.

I do agree though, this kind of information is important and should be available for everyone to see somewhere - possibly in the help centre.


Agreed, it’s good to see the issue is at least being acknowledged. Not sure how anyone can complain too much with all the positives that T212 do provide.

I too was waiting for ages to buy Bidstack - gave up in the end and jumped off to use my HL account and it was executed immediately. Decided it was worth the £11.95 transaction charge in this instance.

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That’s the issue though it’s it? It’s a liquidity problem within 212 since they said these stocks are being traded internally only. It’s not a market liquidity problem since it was never sent to market.

A lot of assumptions are being made, every thread on this issue seems to believe their order was sent to the market when either it wasn’t at all or it was only send (and failed) at auctions, but users are completely unaware of this. The support comms could give this information but doesn’t or as you say put clearly in the help centre, or perhaps prompted when ordering if orders are internal only, auction or direct to the exchange

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