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Webull, M1 and Public remove restrictions on 'meme stocks' after citing trade settlement firm as the cause

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Darrell Etherington
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Three of the popular retail stock market trading apps that have hosted much of the activity related to the Wall Street Bets subreddit-spurred run on stocks including GameStop (GME) and AMC, among others, have removed all restrictions on their exchange by their users. M1, Webull and Public had restricted transactions for the affected stocks earlier in the day, along with Robinhood.

M1, Webull and Public all attributed the restrictions placed on these volatile stocks not to any effort to curb their purchase or sale, but instead cited the costs associated with settling the trades on the part of their clearing firm, Apex. All three platforms employ Apex to clear trades made by users via their platform.

In an interview with Webull CEO Anthony Denier, Yahoo Finance confirmed that the restriction was not something the company had any hand in deciding.

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Public confirmed via Twitter that users can now buy and sell $GME and $AMC and $KOSS on the platform, thanks to the resolution of the Apex blocker. Meanwhile Webull noted that all three stocks are now also available for exchange via their app, as did M1 shortly after.

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Other platforms like SoFi so far haven't restricted the stocks, CEO Anthony Noto confirmed on Twitter.

Robinhood earlier issued a blog post noting that it is restricting a number of stocks tied to the r/WallStreetBets action to counter short-seller hedge funds, arguing that it's doing so in the best interest of users. This has not seemed to have been much appreciated by most users, based on the reaction on social media to that action thus far. Robinhood at no time references any technical barriers imposed by any clearing house.