SEC Mentions Ban of PFOF, Robinhood Suffers

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robinhoodSEC Chairman Gary Gensler told Barron’s on Monday that a ban of payment for order flow (PFOF) may soon be implemented by regulators and the controversial business model for companies like Robinhood may be coming to an end.

Gensler has gone on record as an opponent of PFOF, where wholesale market makers send client orders to brokers in exchange for a fee. Gensler and many other regulators have claimed that the PFOF business model is a major conflict-of-interest.

In response to the release, Robinhood’s stock fell to $43.64 per share shortly after Gensler’s thoughts were publicized. A nearly 7% skid in price may be the tip of the iceberg for the company if the SEC does indeed have plans to end PFOF. Robinhood’s business model of zero-commission trading may have to be reconstructed should something like this occur.

The PFOF model was heavily criticized in February during the federal hearing regarding Robinhood’s trading limits to counteract the GameStop short squeeze. Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev was criticized at the hearings by the House Financial Services Committee in regard to how the PFOF business model supported biased relationships with companies like Citadel and Melvin Capital during the controversy.

Despite the overall success of Robinhood’s shares since going public earlier this month, the group has had some recent roadblocks besides the latest regulatory sentiments. PayPal is considering a stock trading platform in the United States, sources say.

With federal regulators and new competition breathing down the company’s neck, Robinhood may be due for drastic changes sooner than later.

Last modified: August 31, 2021
Adam ZakiAdam Zaki is a Reporter at deBanked. Connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter.


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