The Basic Order execution time moved to 3 PM. Give us feedback!

Hey @littlefinger thanks for the post! Just to add some clarity here. The time change was due to the performance of one of our partners, while we are getting significantly increasing numbers of Basic Orders. Our own investment platform won’t have these challenges but not everybody is on it yet.

Out of interest. Does the earlier time affect your trading habits?


So will you be switching back to 4pm when everyone is on the investment platform?

Once everybody is across we’ll look at the best time for basic orders. How does the time affect your investing behaviour?

@Ian Personally, if I’m making a basic order, the timing doesn’t really affect me. I’m fine with the switch to 3pm as long as it means less/no rejected orders.


Great. Thanks for that!


I dislike it as it moves it sooner to the US markets opening, and I feel 4pm suits the UK market well as its basically the end of trading. Ideally I’d like to see it move back to 4pm, or short term, split US basic orders to execute at 4pm still.

Edit - But, if it results in a significant reduction in the number of failed orders then I can understand the benefits - it would just be good to see some of the day to back it up!


I prefer it not being close to Market Close as the price changes so much during that period that execution price can often differ wildly.

For US markets, I do like to see an hour or two of market movement before the order is executed.

If there’s a big news event (e.g. earnings, Iran, etc.), then you still have the option to cancel the order if that day is not looking good for you.

Wouldn’t necessarily cause me to change an order for ETFs, but for stocks I think it’s very useful to have longer to gauge the US market

TBH I can’t recall a time my basic orders ever went through at 4pm, in recent months they’ve either executed at 5, 5:30, 6 or been delayed until the next working day…

The time is less of a factor, but I do hope that reliability is better now.

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Hi Everyone - we took the decision to move the basic order time from 3pm until LSE market close (4.30pm). The cut off time for submitting a basic order is now 3pm which means that these orders will be submitted across the 3pm to 4.30pm time window. By moving the cut off time forward by an hour we aim to improve the reliability of order execution and reduce rejections.

Please note that basic order execution is not guaranteed and rejections can occur. Instant orders give you more control over order execution :slight_smile:

In the near future when we have all of our customers on our Invest by Freetrade platform we expect a better experience and increased order execution reliability :slight_smile:


Please note that basic order execution is not guaranteed and rejections can occur. Instant orders give you more control over order execution

Hi Kirsten, can you clarify this? I thought that the execution strategy is the same in both cases? What changes when we file an instant order (apart from, well, the instant part)? What sort of control do we get (aside from more time to file another order before market close?

EDIT: Aaah, forgive me, I see the order execution policy now, and it spells out the differences between basic and instant order. Don’t mind me.


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I don’t understand this I must confess. You’ve moved the basic order time again? From 3pm to something else?

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Don’t they process things in parallel? :slight_smile:

Presumably the volumes we’re talking about here are still miniscule compared to things like:

  • The overall number of stock market transactions per day
  • The number of transactions on an Amazon retail website per day

Can you provide a little more colour on what’s going on here? Is your partner literally going through a CSV file of orders one line at a time?

I don’t think the time per se makes much difference to me, but:

  • Tying it to a technical limitation rather than something market-related feels cheap. Will it move to 2pm if and when the volumes increase a bit more?
  • It begs the question, which others have also raised, of whether the same time should be used for all exchanges which you offer securities on. What are your thoughts on that?
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Trades were not executed dead on 16:00 everyday but anytime between 16:00 & LSE closure.

Having basic orders executed at 15:00 - 16:30 gives the 3rd party a 90min window to execute all the trades

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Whilst we’re using our partner for trade execution we’re tied to their implementation. It’s a good example of why we’re building our own platform. In terms of it being cheap it’s actually rather unusual to send a large volume of orders all at the same time. Our basic order execution throughput is some 300 times our max volume of instant orders. That said if you look at the contract note you’ll see the order itself is actually very close to the batch time (e.g. 3pm). The time change is to allow our partner to process the order completion. Something we’ll be able to improve on.

That’s definitely something we’d consider.

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No it just means that the trading windows is now between 3pm and 4.30pm (market close).

Agree with @Gaz92 as an investor in US stocks, its undoubtedly made things more difficult, and the customer experience worse, with just half an hour between market open and cut-off time to check prices, check company and market news etc and then place your orders. Likewise I’d prefer the cut-off time, for the US at least, to remain at 4pm.

How has it made me change my trading habits? For now I’m making do with it, in the hope you’ll revert back, but it has prompted me to take a look at what the competition are doing out there, and as a result, I’ll probably now open a T212 to trial.

If Possible, it might be helpful to split the time for UK & US basic trades. 3pm (GMT/BST) is probably ok for UK & European markets, but maybe something closer to 7pm or 8pm (GMT/BST) would be more appropriate for the US markets. I’m not trying to make this more complicated than necessary, but executing basic orders 1-2 hours ahead of that market closing feels about right to me. Just a thought.