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Morgan Stanley’s online trading system for wealthy clients is down


Morgan Stanley, one of the world’s biggest wealth managers, said its online trading portal for wealthy clients went down on Wednesday. 

The bank’s message for clients was to call a human adviser to place trades, rather than using the company’s website. The issue stemmed from “an internal system” malfunction and not high trade volumes or staff working remotely, according to a person briefed on Morgan Stanley’s situation. 

Retail brokerages have suffered sporadic outages this month amid unprecedented volatility and volume in markets amid the coronavirus crisis. Most notably, free-trading pioneer Robinhood was overwhelmed by traffic on several days, including one of the biggest days for gains on the Dow Jones.

The outage at Morgan Stanley lasted at least a few hours during trading Wednesday, and after the close the web portal toggled between being available and showing an error message. 

When Morgan Stanley announced last month it was purchasing online brokerage E-Trade for $13 billion in stock, part of the rationale for the deal was to acquire the company’s retail trading technology. 

With reporting from CNBC’s Lora Kolodny



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