Digital bank Revolut to offer customers fee-free share trading

LONDON (Reuters) - British digital-only bank Revolut said on Thursday it is building a commission-free trading platform on its app, its latest bid to use technology to undercut traditional financial services.

Users, who can already use the app to manage their money and spend abroad with minimal fees, will be able to invest in stocks from British and U.S. listed firms as well as exchange-traded funds and options.

Revolut, which launched in 2015, said it wants to break down barriers to entry in investing, which include high costs, confusing interfaces and complicated sign-up processes.

Nikolay Storonsky, founder and CEO of Revolut, said with brokers charging as much as 5 pounds ($6.71) per trade and offering clunky technology, there was “massive” room for improvement.

“To put it bluntly, we are going to cause the same disruption in investments as we have done in banking.”

Revolut is one of a number of app-only banks and other financial technology firms that have sprung up in Britain, aiming to take business away from established providers with slick technology that is easy and cheap to use.

It said has now signed up two million customers across Europe, representing a 300 percent increase in user growth over the last year.

While there are some fintech firms focused on commission-free trading, such as Robinhood in the United States, Revolut will be the first digital bank to integrate an investment platform into its app alongside everyday banking services.

The move pits it against the investment platforms of established financial services groups like Hargreaves Landsdown HRGV.L, Barclays BARC.L and Close Brothers CBRO.L.

Revolut said users will be able to buy and sell listed stocks in seconds, without paying commission.

A spokesman for the firm said the product would generate income from premium subscriptions, which will give perks to paying customers, as well as margin trading, securities lending and interest on cash held.

Reporting by Emma Rumney. Editing by Jane Merriman