A few quick updates on a couple of very recent blogs.

First off, poor old Curve. There I was getting excited about their new Curve Credit idea. And loe and behold, that same day my colleagues at AltFi reported that Curve seems to be providing the card payments backbone for Samsung’s new phone Pay card. You can see the story HERE 

And then the saga that is Wirecard intervened . Today, as a customer I received the following email. Turns out Wirecard provides Curve’s payments backbone…

Dear Curve Customers,

Your Curve card and all associated Curve transaction and money transfer services will be temporarily suspended with immediate effect. Please be assured, we expect to be up and running again shortly but it may take a few days. Your money and card details held at Curve are safe and secure.

This has happened because the Financial Conduct Authority1 has this morning suspended its permission for Wirecard Card Solutions Limited (the company who currently issues Curve Cards) to operate, without prior notice. This action is not related to Curve – but Curve currently depends on Wirecard for operation of the Curve card.

One can’t help but feel a tiny bit sorry for Curve. But AltFi reckons that within a few days a new relationship with Mastercard should be up and running. And to be fair Curve has had its ups and downs in the past. A while ago it triumphantly announced that Amex cards could be used in the app, only for that to be retracted a few days later when Amex pulled its cooperation.

Look away now….UK investors and US stocks

Anyway, back to day traders and the rise of the Robinhood free share dealing generation outside of the US.

Yesterday I pointed to some data from Drivewealth, who’s brokerage platform powers most of the free dealing app brands outside of the US. Yesterday I looked at overall data for global clients dealing in US shares. Today we have detailed data for Q1 and Q2 for UK specific clients.

I’m most interested in the Q2 numbers, with three firms dominating the middle of the list : Callon Petroleum, Oasis Petroleum and Whiting Petroleum. I can’t say that I know much about these three stocks except to say that they seem obvious shale plays. My recollection is the Whiting had filed for Chapter 11. These seem like classic day trader oil volatility plays. What’s also interesting is to see Hertz in at number 2. Matt Levine at Bloomberg Opinion has been recounting the cracking tale of Hertz (also bankrupt) and I have to say that you really couldn’t make it up if you tried. Before the SEC stopped them, they were planning to raise fresh equity even after going bust. The fact that four out and out mega risk, day trader stocks (plus Tesla, which is highly volatile but a much more solid business) dominate the Q2 trades is ever so slightly worrying.


Q1 Q2
1 Tesla 1 Tesla
2 Apple 2 Hertz
3 Microsoft 3 American Airlines Group
4 Advanced Micro Devices 4 Callon Petroleum
5 Virgin Galactic Holdings 5 Oasis Petroleum
6 Amazon 6 Whiting Petroleum
7 Alphabet 7 Apple
8 Beyond Meat 8 Boeing
9 Facebook 9 Delta Airlines
10 Disney 10 Amazon