Thoughts on the trading 212 deleting notifications and other recent issues

I noticed that at least one message was deleted from my notification history and that some of the notifications around why they had to stop GME/AMC trading don’t really make sense since other platforms didn’t halt trading. I recently watched a video that backs up what I was thinking. I personally don’t day trade and only use trading 212 to add into my buy and hold ETFs in my ISA once a month but this lake of transparency is extremely worrying to me.

This video talks about some of the problems in detail and shows the deleted notification: https://youtu.be/3uiciQ40oVE?t=282

What are your thoughts?

The information notifications have an expiration time and automatically disappear when they outdate.

The clients were informed accordingly when GME and AMC were put to Close only, and when they were made available for buying again, respectively.

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Sorry to jump into your conversation, but I think that we need to discuss the term “lack of transparency” while explaining how everything is actually expected to work on our end.

As my colleague suggested - the in-app notification has an expiration. This is quite standard - we don’t want your account to be flooded with tons of old/presumably irrelevant messages, right? Regardless, the same information is always listed (and not removed) from:

Just use the search functionality. You’ll find tons of information about GME, and all details around it.

As of the video that you’re referring to - the main issue, as it seems, are the referrals & the waitlist. Here is a simple workaround, which guarantees that both the referral and the referrer will get the free share.

On a side note: we’re looking for a way to attribute the referral links with the waitlist, so we can ease even further the process.

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Almost all of the messages disappear after a period of time. Only some such as order confirmations remain permanently.

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My thoughts: this YouTuber should get his facts straight because he makes a few false/baseless claims.

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Even the “lake” of dividends notifications received expire after some time. This is a feature not a bug.

The youtuber didn’t claim it was a bug, he implied it was “evidence that was deleted”.
At first I thought he is getting some things completely wrong, but watching the whole video I see he is intentionally representing everything in a way that would make Trading 212 look bad.

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Been a lot of this, for all brokerages, recently thanks to the GME saga. A lot of people who have a platform are broadcasting their “thoughts” as if they are fact, yet are significantly misinformed on the intricacies and mechanics of various things in the market.

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Hi guys,

Got pointed here by Ivo from Trading 212. I am the guy who made the video.
I don’t work for Trading 212 nor do I have any specific knowledge of how their systems work. I simply state things as I see them.
In fact 90% of the videos I have about Trading 212 on my channel are very positive, but in any case on the point raised here:

I am well aware that some notifications expire at different time periods and I get why. However the two notifications in question are related to exactly the same topic as the first one on the 28th, yet they expired before which is why I mentioned it.

In fact the second notification on the Monday was almost identical to the one on the preceding Thursday and so I didn’t understand why a message on an identical topic with almost identical content would expire before the previous one would - you can still see the previous one in the bit where I scroll through them.

I mentioned it in the video - I do not know anything behind the structure or rationale but I simply just talk about things that I see as I see them doing my best to be impartial and honest.

And yes - that means some videos will have more of a negative slant if the thing I am talking is a bit negative and others will come across way too positive. In the end you can’t have every video having every single point about a company mentioned because each focuses on a particular topic.

Cheers,

Sasha

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For me, the main issue I had when watching the video was the way you implied malice in places. Criticism and discussion of the pros/cons for brokers is great, especially when you’re comparing free brokers, it is great to have (at least) two really good choices in the UK - both with their advantages and disadvantages. But there has been a surge in videos about 212 recently and most are full of clickbait and baseless claims - only serving to drive referrals to a broker that is still giving out free shares to the creator.

I thought your video on the whole was good and you’ve gained yourself a subscriber! but there were a few parts where in my opinion where it crossed the line from “this is how I see things” to making a baseless claim.

The part where you said (when referring to the disappearing notification) “that’s slightly concerning because somebody within T212 actually had to go and do some work to go and remove all these messages from people’s history so that they couldn’t go back and see”. In my view, this really doesn’t fit with what you’ve said above and just promotes all the conspiracy bollocks we’ve seen in the forum and on social media surrounding all brokerages since the GME saga.

As someone who works in finance, surely you can see that most of these conspiracy theories (e.g. hedge fund + retail broker collusion or back room deals to shut down trading or outright accusations of market manipulation) are fundamentally flawed and it is claims such as yours that someone from T212 actually went in and removed messages from people’s accounts, implying some sort of cover-up or malpractice, that add to them.

But that’s just my view, felt I should explain myself given my previous message above may come off a little harsh :grimacing:

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Hey @Sasha,

Thanks for joining us for a discussion.

Sure, we don’t mind the criticism. We encourage it in fact. For the sake of the transparency, and also to avoid misinterpretation by your audience, we believe that we have to elaborate further on some of the topics to clear up the concerns you raised in the video.

  • The part with the notifications was already covered I believe. The in-app notifications are aimed to provide timely updates to our clients before they’ll have to reach our customer care team or search in our HelpCentre & Community. It is expected that those notifications expire - the expiration date is set manually by a member of our team upon sending those. It makes no sense to store that many messages in your account while you have it all listed in the official sources of communication, i.e. HelpCentre and Community;

Regardless, the matter concerning notifications is just a tiny part of the video. We have covered pretty much all aspects of the email we’ve sent you, and I’ll share the points we made:

  • There are no cash flow or liquidity issues or concerns whatsoever. Trading 212 has been profitable for many years and has no debt. The introduction of a waitlist relates only to scaling up our capacity which is also mentioned in the form itself. We’ve also specifically provided the reason for the waitlist itself with posts on Twitter and our community post. It is painful for the whole team that we are temporarily unable to on-board all clients wishing to open an account. Yet, we strongly feel that it also wouldn’t be fair for existing clients not to have access to the great service they deserve, due to scaling issues;

  • In the video, you mentioned that scaling up should be fairly easy to do. We have been heavily investing in new infrastructure, but unfortunately, it isn’t just down to adding new hardware. To meet the exponentially growing demand for our service, our IT team has been tirelessly working on implementing a ton of upgrades and optimisations throughout the pandemic. Despite that, the recent events caused even higher spikes in both influx of new users and unprecedented activity by existing users, bringing the demand to levels outpacing our scaling abilities.

  • The whole matter is not related to the “Invite a friend” promotion. If this was the case, then we were going just to pause the referral programme. All facts above are pointing out the contrary, I believe.

  • The GameStop halt was caused by events that were outside our scope of control, as the halt was introduced by our intermediary. We were not restricting orders until we were indicated that our intermediary was not able to process them. After our intermediary proceeded to lift the trading restriction, we immediately opened the stock for trading on our side as well. This is precisely the reason we sent out a notification informing clients that they were now able to place orders with the company, however, that they should be aware of the market conditions and that they might severely affect their trading experience;

  • The restrictions were lifted on Friday 29th, and since then there haven’t been any. However, in the video, you mention that we have introduced new restrictions on the 1st of February, which is not true;

  • In regards to why we had to set a higher minimum for pending orders, as mentioned in this Community post and in our Help Centre. In the video, you imply that the higher minimums also apply to market orders placed outside trading hours, which is not true. Market orders are not affected in any way;

  • As for your point on content creators not being able to automatically receive free shares for the customers they’ve referred to the waiting list. As you know, in most cases people using your referral link to download the app are automatically enrolled in the referral program without any additional processes. In the rare cases when the automatic attribution between a link usage and an install fails to work, there is a workaround - check this;

To preserve the smooth process, we are working on associating the link usage to the submission of an email to the waitlist, which would again automatically enroll the user in the referral program.

  • As for concerns that this video might lead to the discontinuation of your unlimited referral link, we’d like to reassure you that we never interfere with any content creator for the reason that they are providing constructive feedback. Up until now, there hasn’t been аn instance of a referral link suspension due to the nature of the content itself. However, we do not tolerate or condone the spread of misinformation and the deliberate misrepresentation of facts in a way that is construed toward sensationalism and could harm individuals or companies.
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Fair play to @Sasha for posting here, he didn’t have to do that and, in fairness, most of his videos seem better than some of the rubbish out there.

One suggestion from me: in future, why not post here or approach T212 more directly before posting such videos?

That way, you give T212 an opportunity to reply and clarify any concerns, and it’ll result in fairer, more balanced videos, which should, in turn, grow your audience.

Thanks @Tony.V . I did read the email and reply to it hence why I landed here in the first place. :+1:

@topher I talk about a huge number of different topics on my channel - I sometimes do 3 videos per day. The point is to talk to my audience about things that I feel would be relevant and of note.

I made this point to Tony or whoever sent me the original email as well - I appreciate that there is a community here but there is a much bigger number of people out there who use Trading 212 than the number who frequently read the forum.

There have been 12 messages on here so far as I am writing this in the thread about this video in the 3 days since this post went up. The video has so far got 4,600 views and has 224 comments in 5 days.

I am providing information to a wide audience and I happily accept criticism. Like the criticism for misreading 1 of the notifications which I misread when putting the video together.

But the official Community of Trading 212 (that as I understand it has paused new accounts being able to set up) is not going to help me reach the most people or provide the most value. I also don’t want to split my conversation up into a dedicated forum for every single app/company on that company’s own space where they, to some degree, control the narrative.

@ryan9921 I get you - but I am trying to tread a fine line between highlighting things that need highlighting and being as objective as possible. With regards to the notifications, I stand by my statement. I presume there are standard notification expiry times that apply.

So in order for the 2 subsequent notifications to expire BEFORE the identical earlier one, someone had to specifically set up a shorter expiry window on them. I said in the video that I don’t know why you’d do that but the fact that it happened was odd and so I highlighted it. I didn’t hear anyone else mention it but it jumped out at me so I thought it was something I needed to talk about.

That’s about it. Just putting my view across.

I assume the expire period probably looks something like this, and they probably don’t think too much about the duration of the expiry, and just set two different expiry periods for each.

Thanks for the response, I did clearly get the impression from your video that you were trying to be objective and I watched a few of your other recent videos and found also that you try to be as balanced and fair as possible when discussing things.

However, I do think there is a huge difference between what you said in your video i.e. “someone from T212 has gone in and done some work to remove the notifications” vs what you are saying now re. simply a shorter expiry window and so I am a bit confused as how you can stand by your incorrect statement?

I know this is now just debating semantics and the overall point is that Tony has cleared up all the confusions / misleading claims but do you see how what you said in the video implies that someone from T212 actively removed a notification, therefore feeding cover-up theories vs what you say now which is just that whichever member of staff did the notification chose a different expiry for the notification to automatically disappear?

Point is the general impression of what you said in the video was blatantly a suggestion that T212 staff had actively tried to remove/hide information but what you are now saying gives a completely different impression, which means a totally different interpretation by your audience.

And if we wanted to suggest reasons for why this shorter expiry window may have been chosen, perhaps the staff that sent out the new notification deemed that one announcing normal service has resumed is less important 2-3 days later than a notification announcing a degradation of normal service. That certainly seems sensible to me but of course could just be pure chance that the staff chose a different expiry.

I’d argue that impartiality’s important. Imagine how you’d feel if it was your business and you weren’t offered an opportunity to reply to similar claims. Surely offering up both sides of a story is relevant and of note to your audience? Some day, hopefully governments will get their arses in gear and start regulating online content in the same as traditional broadcasters.

@Sasha It’s great that you joined the discussion.

However, I think people here are smart enough to sense the difference between trashing and “I simply state things as I see them”.

You have made a number of baseless claims in the video, let alone publicly implying that a financial institution like T212 has a “cash flow problem” that they are not disclosing with their clients is pretty terrifying I would say, especially if it isn’t true. I don’t think your audience deserves that.

(in that regard you repeat a few times that T212 saved “several million pounds” by not allowing people to sign up)

This is part of the reason why I have these discussions on a neutral platform. I get that everyone here is a fan of Trading 212 - it’s their community after all. And I get that you may disagree with some of the things I said and that’s cool. But just to super briefly answer the points made.

@cavanhagan and @ryan9921 I do not know how their system works. I simply made the point that because two identical notifications with almost identical text seemed to have different expiry timeframes implies that a decision is made by someone on when these should expire. I presume there is a protocol involved and I found it odd that messages of near-identical nature should have different expiry times. That’s it. As someone pointed out above, this was a very small part of the video.

@topher Yes I could well have gone and discussed everything with Trading 212 beforehand taking a lot of time to do so but even in Tony’s post above, I do not see specific answers to some of the questions I posed including the one above. Just saying “different notifications have different expiry timestamps” is not an answer for WHY you would set them differently. Because these are very important notifications.

@VicVega I mostly asked questions rather than make claims based on the things I specifically mentioned in the video. The cash flow issue was definitely posed a question because I have no idea but the combination of different factors together with Robinhood (much bigger than Trading 212) openly admitting they had cash flow issues, I don’t see how this is somehow far fetched given the minimum deposit requirements on these stocks were reportedly raised.

On the last point - yes. As it stands Trading 212 have saved something that may measure in the millions of pounds by preventing people signing up for 2 weeks because the free shares are given almost immediately. Am I incorrect in saying this?

Ivo from Trading 212 has told me that the company is working on a solution to attribute the referral codes where possible to people on the Waiting List when they sign up. If that is the case, I applaud the efforts and I think it’s great. I didn’t even make the comment because of the money - it was related to the previous point because of the juxtaposition of the different events that both have a noticeable financial implication.


Just before more comments turn up, I am a big fan of Trading 212. Go watch literally any other video about Trading 212 or the video I made very recently about the best investing apps in the UK.

I want them to do well because the more companies offer better products to customers, the better. I am a customer myself and I love the platform.

But I will say things how I see them and ask questions that may be uncomfortable and where I may get completely the wrong end of the stick based on coincidental timing of different events. That’s what I do and everything I say or ask I justify or explain the basis for.

@Sasha Regardless if it’s made via a rhetorical question or statement, your review provides inaccurate information to the audience. I have listed several facts here. Feel free to correct me whenever you find that I’m wrong.

If you go through some of the posts, you’ll see enough evidence that whenever there was an issue with our service, people shared the criticism freely.

We clearly stated that we’ll resume the onboarding process and I also mentioned that people will be able to use the referral programme too. The same information is present in the post which you have screenshotted in your video. We also pointed out the reasons - I have added all links in my reply above. So those millions of pounds that you’re referring to are not locked in the drawer. If we wanted to save those funds, as your video suggests, then we were going to shut down the referral programme.


P.S. I think that you’re focusing on the notifications, which was already addressed and I don’t believe it the most important aspect of the conversation. Again, those notifications work like a reminder/heads-up tool and they are meant to expire. Whenever we send a notification, we put an expiration date. Regardless, the posts in the Community/HelpCentre remain listed and unchanged.

You’re pointing out that the notification is the reason for the whole feedback, while those are just part of the above list of facts we disagree upon and yet haven’t been addressed by you, namely:

  • cash flow concerns;
  • Scaling;
  • the “Invite a friend” promotion;
  • restrictions not being lifted after Friday 29th.

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4 posts were split to a new topic: Are too many posts being flagged?