Investors report problems with TD Ameritrade, Scottrade amid sell off

August 25 10:04 2015

Investors encountered problems accessing their online stock accounts and completing trades through brokerage TD Ameritrade on Monday morning amid a feverish sell off in the broader markets. TD Ameritrade first confirmed the issue in response to traders on Twitter who complained about the problems. The firm directed traders to a toll-free phone number and a special website address to complete trades.635760078304794178-TD-Ameritrade

Scotttrade also experienced issues as investors flocked to execute trades. Collectively, the issues exposed creaking digital infrastructure not capable of handling a massive surge in trading on a day with heavy interest in the equity markets. “The sell-off is causing wide-spread issues in multiple areas of the market. We saw a significant increase in trading volumes at the open, and volumes remain above average,” she said. “Client trades were and continue to be executed, although there has been some slowness in some cases, related to these industry-wide issues and the historic nature of the day.”

The company wasn’t the only online brokerage to experience troubles during the selloff. Separately, brokerage Scottrade also experienced problems with its site. The firm acknowledged the problems on Twitter and said it had restored its access after a brief outage. The disruption came amid a rapid sell off that occurred in pre-market trading and bled into the trading day after the opening bell. The Dow was down more than 1,000 points briefly after the bell before recovering. It was down only 134 points at 1:12 p.m.

It was not immediately clear how pervasive the problem was for TD Ameritrade, which had 6.6 million client accounts with $702 billion in assets as of June 30. But Hillyer said the company’s site was never completely down. Scottrade spokeswoman Shea Leordeanu said in a brief phone interview that the Scottrade site “was slow” during the height of the selloff. Trading volume on Scottrade was up 221% as of 11 a.m. compared to last week’s average daily volume, the brokerage said.