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IG faces customer ire after tech crash

Online trading platform IG Group faced a backlash from hundreds of customers on Thursday afternoon after its mobile app and website crashed, leaving many users stranded and unable to close their trades for more than an hour.

Spread betters and online trading platforms have seen a boom in activity in recent months as the coronavirus pandemic has caused markets to whipsaw. But IG Group’s platform has struggled to handle the increased activity that led revenue to jump by more than a third in the first quarter and has meant staff are set to share a bumper bonus pool for 2020.

In March some customers were unable to log in on a day of extremely volatile trading. Users took to Twitter after Thursday’s crash to complain of disruptions that had been going on for “months”.

One commented on a post from IG’s client help Twitter account: “This keeps happening. I’ll be withdrawing my funds. Wanted to trade and can’t, now losing money.” Another complained he had nearly £25,000 of positions open when the technology failed.

Customers also bewailed long waiting times on phone lines or posted screenshots on Twitter of the group’s status update page, which showed a “major outage” across the entire system.

Jason Hill, who experienced difficulties closing a trade, said that when he did manage to get through to the company, it had credited his account with the profit he would have received if he had been able to close the trade when he tried to. “I am satisfied with the result even if it took a long time to get through,” Mr Hill said.

James Hamilton, an analyst at Numis, said the integrity of IG’s platform had “generally been extremely good” but that “this is not the first time this has happened”.

M Patel, who did not want to give their full name, said: “It’s obviously not the first time this has happened this year unfortunately and is a regular occurrence. I have put in a claim request for loss claims but don’t expect a resolution or reply soon as their help desk is very slow.”

IG Group said: “Resolving this issue was our highest priority and our IT team ensured clients could trade again in just over an hour. We are currently conducting a thorough ​investigation of this incident.”

The company added that there were “unprecedented volumes” in March and that despite login difficulties those who were able to get access “could trade at all times”.

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