Jose Batista, a retail investor, was awarded virtually $30,000 from Robinhood after submitting a criticism utilizing the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (or FINRA’s) arbitration service. His case could find yourself being an instance for different retail merchants who’re nonetheless upset on the buying and selling platform’s actions in January of 2021.
On January twenty eighth, Batista was planning on promoting his inventory in Koss and Express — however Robinhood had positioned buying and selling restrictions on them, limiting the quantity of shares its customers may purchase. This meant that Batista had to watch helplessly as the costs of his inventory fell to practically half of what they had been the day earlier than the restrictions had been put in place, according to MarketWatch. “Seeing it plummeting and plummeting, I felt horrible, and then I felt stuck,” Batista advised Motherboard.
Robinhood’s restrictions had been thanks to the frenzy of trades taking place around GameStop’s inventory, which had been partially pushed by retail traders. In January 2021, the corporate was overrated by customers of the WallStreetBets subreddit, and its inventory rocketed up in worth. This ultimately lead to momentary market-wide buying and selling halts and even seemingly brought about technical difficulties at a number of brokerages. That included Robinhood, which restricted trades on not simply GameStop however different stocks reminiscent of AMC, Blackberry, Koss, and Express.
The buying and selling restrictions meant Robinhood customers couldn’t purchase any shares of the primary meme stocks. It additionally closely restricted the variety of shares its customers may purchase in different corporations — at one level, customers may solely purchase shares of Express in the event that they owned lower than 5 already. For Koss, you had been solely allowed to purchase a single share. The freeze attracted dozens of person lawsuits, evaluate bombs, and even attention from lawmakers. Most of the opposite lawsuits and investigations haven’t ended up going wherever, although, in accordance to MarketWatch and Batista’s lawyer.
The arbitrator doesn’t give a rationale for Batista’s win. However, Batista’s lawyer wrote a publish theorizing about why they had been profitable the place others had failed: as a result of the case targeted on “Robinhood’s inadequate liquidity management practices and monitoring of its counterparty risk.” The publish additionally says that they “attacked, head-on, the notion that Robinhood’s customer agreement gives it unfettered right to restrict trading for any reason, at any time.”
To different merchants, the case may symbolize blood within the water. While arbitration selections don’t set authorized precedent, which means that one other arbitrator may rule a totally different approach in an virtually an identical case, Batista’s lawyer calls for different Robinhood clients to contact the agency. A few threads on stock-related subreddits have already identified the likelihood that the case could possibly be used for instance to attempt to get a payout from Robinhood.
In addition to the $29,460.77 in damages Batista will obtain, Robinhood may also be on the hook for a few extra grand: the arbitrator ordered it to pay virtually a 12 months’s curiosity on the cash. Robinhood may also have to pay submitting and another charges.
Robinhood, the father or mother firm of the 2 entities named within the dispute, declined to present an on-the-record response for this story. Those two entities are Robinhood Securities and Robinhood Financial. Both are members of FINRA, although the father or mother firm is just not — so the ruling applies to these two authorized entities inside Robinhood itself.
While GameStop’s inventory led to the commerce restrictions, it’s not what Batista filed his criticism about. Batista did personal GameStop shares on the time however had no plans of promoting them, in accordance to MarketWatch. Some Redditors have urged him to put his winnings again into GameStop, however he as an alternative plans on investing the cash into his trucking enterprise and utilizing it to pay for childcare, in accordance to Motherboard.
For Batista, it looks like a pleased finish to the saga — perhaps his story will likely be tailored as a part of one of many bajillion motion pictures, documentaries, and TV reveals which might be supposedly within the works in regards to the GameStop / WallStreetBets bonanza.