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Best Forex Brokers in South Africa 2021

FX Empire Editorial Board
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Forex trading comes with some risk, but your choice of broker shouldn’t be part of that risk. As a South African trader, who should you turn to when looking for a broker? Check out our list for the very best brokers in South Africa.

The brokers below were evaluated on the quality of the trading platform they offered, the ease of use of each platform and the tools it provides. We also considered the commissions and other costs as well as their educational and customer service offerings.

The brokers below represent the best forex brokers for trading in South Africa.

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BrokerOfficial SiteRegulationsMin DepositMax LeverageTrading PlatformsFoundation YearPublicly TradedTrading Desk TypeCurrenciesCommoditiesIndicesStocksCryptoCommission on tradesFixed spreadsoffers promotions
FP Markets
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DISCLAIMER: This material on this website is intended for illustrative purposes and general information only. It does not constitute financial advice nor does it take into account your investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Commission, interest, platform fees, dividends, variation margin and other fees and charges may apply to financial products or services available from FP Markets. The information in this website has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the information in light of your objectives, financial situation and needs before making any decision about whether to acquire or dispose of any financial product. Contracts for Difference (CFDs) are derivatives and can be risky; When trading CFDs you do not own or have any rights to the CFDs underlying assets. FP Markets recommends that you seek independent advice from an appropriately qualified person before deciding to invest in or dispose of a derivative. A Product Disclosure Statement for each of the financial products available from FP Markets can be obtained either from this website or on request from our offices and should be considered before entering into transactions with us. First Prudential Markets Pty Ltd (ABN 16 112 600 281, AFS Licence No. 286354). FP Markets is a group of companies which include, First Prudential Markets Ltd (registration number HE 372179), a company authorised and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC License number 371/18, Registered Address: Griva Digeni, 109, Aigeo Court, 2nd floor, 3101, Limassol, Cyprus. FP Markets does not accept applications from U.S, Japan or New Zealand residents or residents from any other country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to those local laws or regulations.

ASIC, CySEC

$100

1:500 (ASIC), 1:500 (CySEC)

MT4, MT5, IRESS, WebTrader

2005

DMA, ECN, No dealing desk, STP

FXCM
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70% of retail investor accounts lose money

FCA, ASIC, FSP

$300

1:30 (FCA), 1:30 (ASIC), 1:30 (FSP)

MT4, Trading Station, NinjaTrader, Zulutrade

1999

Dealing Desk, Market Maker

Vantage FX
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Trading Forex and CFDs involves significant risk and can result in the loss of your invested capital. You should not invest more than you can afford to lose and should ensure that you fully understand the risks involved. Trading leveraged products may not be suitable for all investors. Before trading, please take into consideration your level of experience, investment objectives and seek independent financial advice if necessary. Please read our legal documents and ensure that you fully understand the risks before you make any trading decisions.

VFSC

$200

1:1000 (VFSC)

MT4, MT5, WebTrader

2009

No dealing desk

Trade Nation
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Financial spread trading comes with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. You should consider whether you understand how spread trading works and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

FCA, ASIC, FSCA, SCB

N/A

1:200 (FCA), 1:200 (ASIC), 1:200 (FSCA), 1:200 (SCB)

Proprietary

2020

Market Maker

FXTM
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82% of retail CFD accounts lose money

FCA, CySEC, FSC

$10

1:30 (FCA), 1:30 (CySEC), 1:30 (FSC)

MT4, MT5

2011

No dealing desk

FBS
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Your capital is at risk

ASIC, CySEC, FSCA, IFSC

$1

1:3000 (ASIC), 1:3000 (CySEC), 1:3000 (FSCA), 1:3000 (IFSC)

MT4, MT5, Proprietary

2009

ECN, No dealing desk, STP

Plus500
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72% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

FCA, ASIC, CySEC, FSB, ISA, MAS

$100

1:30 (FCA), 1:30 (ASIC), 1:30 (CySEC), 1:30 (FSB), 1:30 (ISA), 1:30 (MAS)

Plus500

2008

No dealing desk

Pro Tip: Most of these brokers offer free demo accounts so you can test the brokers and their platforms with virtual money. Give it a try with some play money before using your own cash.

Here’s a list of The Best Forex Brokers for trading in South Africa

Note: Not all Forex brokers accept US clients. For your convenience, we specified those that accept US Forex traders as clients

FP Markets

FP Markets

Regulated By:ASIC, CySEC

Foundation Year:2005

Headquarters:Australia

Min Deposit:$100

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DISCLAIMER: This material on this website is intended for illustrative purposes and general information only. It does not constitute financial advice nor does it take into account your investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Commission, interest, platform fees, dividends, variation margin and other fees and charges may apply to financial products or services available from FP Markets. The information in this website has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the information in light of your objectives, financial situation and needs before making any decision about whether to acquire or dispose of any financial product. Contracts for Difference (CFDs) are derivatives and can be risky; When trading CFDs you do not own or have any rights to the CFDs underlying assets. FP Markets recommends that you seek independent advice from an appropriately qualified person before deciding to invest in or dispose of a derivative. A Product Disclosure Statement for each of the financial products available from FP Markets can be obtained either from this website or on request from our offices and should be considered before entering into transactions with us. First Prudential Markets Pty Ltd (ABN 16 112 600 281, AFS Licence No. 286354). FP Markets is a group of companies which include, First Prudential Markets Ltd (registration number HE 372179), a company authorised and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC License number 371/18, Registered Address: Griva Digeni, 109, Aigeo Court, 2nd floor, 3101, Limassol, Cyprus. FP Markets does not accept applications from U.S, Japan or New Zealand residents or residents from any other country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to those local laws or regulations.

The broker offers the ability to trade on more than 10,000+ financial instruments covering Forex, Equities, Metals, Commodities, Indices and Cryptocurrency CFDs. Users have access to a range of accounts including the Standard Account (commission-free) and Raw Account (commission-based) for MetaTrader users, both offering ECN pricing and maximum leverage of 500:1. Users can also access Iress Accounts which are commission-based.

FP Markets also offers a range of education and market analysis resources through the Traders Hub which includes technical analysis and fundamental analysis articles and videos, as well as, trading ebooks and video tutorials. Users can access live support via telephone, email and live chat 24 hours a day, 5 days a week.

Pros: Cons:
  • ASIC regulated.
  • ECN pricing and DMA trading available.
  • 10,000+ tradable financial instruments.
  • Wide range of trading platforms and trading tools available.
  • Excellent customer support and education tools.
  • The volume of choice of markets and accounts may be overwhelming for beginner traders.

FXCM

FXCM

Regulated By:FCA, ASIC, FSP

Foundation Year:1999

Headquarters:United Kingdom

Min Deposit:$300

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70% of retail investor accounts lose money

FXCM Group is an international online forex and CFD brokerage brand. Founded on 1999, The company is based in the UK. The brokerage firm also maintains offices in several jurisdictions such as Australia and South Africa.

In terms of tradable products, FXCM offers trading in the spot forex markets, cryptocurrencies, Treasury bond (the bund) and Contract for Difference (CFDs) for market indices and commodities. Due to the new ESMA regulation, the maximum leverage offered by FXCM is now restricted to 1:30 for major currency pairs.

Pros:  Cons:
  • Regulated Broker
  • Multiple choices of trading platforms
  • Numerous free trading tools provided
  • Low minimum deposit requirement
  • Comprehensive educational section
  • Limited product portfolio
  • No longer accepts US clients after losing US regulatory license

Vantage FX

Vantage FX

Regulated By:VFSC

Foundation Year:2009

Headquarters:Vanuatu

Min Deposit:$200

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Trading Forex and CFDs involves significant risk and can result in the loss of your invested capital. You should not invest more than you can afford to lose and should ensure that you fully understand the risks involved. Trading leveraged products may not be suitable for all investors. Before trading, please take into consideration your level of experience, investment objectives and seek independent financial advice if necessary. Please read our legal documents and ensure that you fully understand the risks before you make any trading decisions.

Vantage FX was founded in 2009 in Australia and is the brand name of the Vantage International Group which is regulated by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA). The broker offers negative balance protection and the segregation of client funds which are held with Australia’s AA rated National Australia Bank (NAB).

The broker offers services that are designed for both beginner and professional traders with access to trade on 300+ financial CFD instruments covering Forex ECN, Indices, Precious Metals, Energies, Soft Commodities and Shares CFDs from the US, UK, EU, Australia and Hong Kong.

Through the broker’s three core types of trading accounts called Raw ECN, Standard STP and Pro ECN, users can access leverage of up to 500:1 with minimum deposits of just $200 and access to Islamic swap-free accounts and demo trading accounts. Bonus and promotions are also offered with a current 50% welcome bonus.

Users can trade from the globally-recognised MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 trading platform for desktop and web, as well as the broker’s own Vantage FX mobile trading app and various social trading platforms. The broker also offers 24/5 customer support in multiple languages and ProTrader Tools from Trading Central such as the Market Buzz, Featured Ideas, Analyst Views and an Economic Calendar, as well as ProTrader Tutorials which includes over 130+ video tutorials from Vantage FX.

Pros: Cons:
  • Commission-free trading available.
  • Can trade from MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5.
  • Access up to 500:1 leverage.
  • Bonus and promotional trading offers.
  • Segregated client funds held with National Australia Bank.
  • No regulation from Europe or UK regulators.

Trade Nation

Trade Nation

Regulated By:FCA, ASIC, FSCA, SCB

Foundation Year:2020

Headquarters:United Kingdom

Min Deposit:N/A

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Financial spread trading comes with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. You should consider whether you understand how spread trading works and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Trade Nation was founded in 2020 in the United Kingdom. It is a brand name for Finsa Europe Ltd, a UK based investment firm authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The broker also has three entities located in Australia (ASIC), South Africa (FSCA) and the Bahamas (SCB), each authorised and regulated in their own jurisdictions.

The broker provides the ability to trade on more than 2,500+ financial instruments covering Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities and Bonds from its proprietary, feature-rich and easy to use Trader Nation web trading platform, as well as the popular MetaTrader 4 platform.

There are two account types available – Spread Trading and CFD. Both accounts come with good trading features including competitive fixed spreads, leverage up to 1:30 (in the UK and Australia) and no minimum deposit. Demo accounts are also available.

The broker offers fee-free funding methods via debit/credit card, bank transfer and Skrill. Processing times are also quick and there are no inactivity account fees. There is a Loyalty Scheme available, however, this does not apply to the UK and Australian entities.

Pros: Cons:
  • Globally regulated (FCA, ASIC, FSCA, SCB).
  • 2,500+ financial instruments.
  • Commission-free trading available.
  • Easy to use, feature-rich web platform.
  • Fast customer support.
  • Monthly loyalty rebate available
  • Not available for US residents.

FXTM

FXTM

Regulated By:FCA, CySEC, FSC

Foundation Year:2011

Headquarters:Cyprus

Min Deposit:$10

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82% of retail CFD accounts lose money

FXTM, otherwise known as ForexTime, was founded in 2011. The FXTM brand holds licences and authorisations from global regulators such as the UK Financial Conduct Authority, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority of South Africa and the Financial Services Commission of the Republic of Mauritius.

The broker offers the ability to trade on more than 250+ financial CFD instruments covering Currencies, Commodities, Indices, Metals and Stocks from six main account types under two categories called Standard and ECN. These offer a variety of commission-free and commission-based trading with low spreads and minimum deposits.

Pros: Cons:
  • Multiple regulations (FCA, CySEC, FSC).
  • 250+ financial CFD instruments.
  • Commission-free trading available.
  • Wide range of research and education.
  • Not available for USA, Canada, Japan residents.

FBS

FBS

Regulated By:ASIC, CySEC, FSCA, IFSC

Foundation Year:2009

Headquarters:Belize

Min Deposit:$1

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Your capital is at risk

FBS was established in 2009 and is the official trading partner of FC Barcelona. The broker boasts a presence in more than 190 countries with 15 million traders and 410,000 partners.

FBS is a brand name of FBS Markets Inc which is authorised and regulated by the International Financial Services Commission (IFSC) of Belize. FBS also operates a European entity which is authorised and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). This review is based on the services provided by the entity regulated by the IFSC.

Users are offered five different trading accounts called Cent, Micro, Standard, Zero Spread and ECN. Each account comes with different features and benefits such as the ability to trade commission-free with floating or fixed spreads or commission based on an ECN account.

Pros: Cons:
  • Commission-free trading available.
  • ECN accounts available.
  • Can trade on MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and FBS Trader.
  • FBS CopyTrade available for traders and investors.
  • Fast customer live chat service.
  • Good range of deposit methods
  • Limited number of instruments (75).
  • IFSC Belize regulation offshore based.
  • No mention of segregated client funds in Terms and Conditions.

Plus500

Plus500

Regulated By:FCA, ASIC, CySEC, FSB, ISA, MAS

Foundation Year:2008

Headquarters:Israel

Min Deposit:$100

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72% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

Plus500 is a leading CFD trading platform with support for stocks, indices, cryptocurrencies, and Forex. This commission-free brokerage charges very low spread-rates and offers fast trades on a great platform. Plus500 supports complex trades, includes negative balance protection, and makes trading an educational and hopefully profitable venture.

You can start with a free demo account to test the platform and any trading strategy. Real money accounts offer leverage of up to 30:1. This broker is based in Israel and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.

Pros: Cons:
  • Support for 2000+ products to trade across global markets,including Forex, commodities, shares, indices
    and cryptocurrency CFDs
  • No commission and low spread costs
  • Advanced trades and fast execution
  • Licensed in several regulatory hubs, and publicly listed
  • Only CFDs, no direct Forex trades
  • High rates on margin/leverage accounts
  • Less research data than some competitors

How to Choose a Forex Broker as a South African Trader

The country of South Africa is one of the richest on the African continent. People make considerably higher salaries in comparison to other African countries. The economic environment in South Africa is quite liberal and you can easily invest in any financial market that is available, both local and global. As Forex is becoming more and more popular with traders there, you need to know what broker to choose before opening an account to trade.

One of the most important aspects to consider is whether the broker is regulated by FSB (local market regulator) or not. If not, do not even think of opening an account with the broker, as loose regulatory conditions bring not only advantages, but also hazards, that’s because lots of scammy brokers come to some countries to target your hard earned money.

Other aspects to consider would be to select a broker that offers a good, easy to use, user friendly and extra features rich platform. Commissions and spreads are also very important. You do not want to be charged hidden and extra fees when all reliable brokers will offer you tiny fixed or variable spreads. There should be a variety of types of accounts you can choose from. Generally speaking, the more the better. If the broker is not there for you to help, you should not be there with him putting money in his company. Customer service matters a lot. Finally, extra useful services are a big plus in deciding which broker to choose.

General Regulation & South African Regulation

Across the world the tendency is to introduce stricter requirements for both Forex brokers and traders. The 2008 crises caused a lot of FX brokers to go bankrupt and lots of traders to lose money because of price manipulation, inside trading, fraudulent practices and etc. Now, regulators frown upon non registered brokers and some even ban them or restrict them from offering services in their respective countries. In most places capital requirements for brokers are raised. The leverage offered to clients was also reduced significantly  in order to reduce risks. Margin requirements increased and unreliable  advertising which only stressed the profit size without disclosing potential risks was strictly prohibited almost everywhere around the world.

Now, in South Africa both Forex trading and the state of regulation of the market is still in its early stages of development. However, there is a regulator there which is the FSB – The Financial Services Board. The main task of the entity is to regulate all companies providing financial services in South Africa. The institution has strong powers to punish those brokers that fail to comply to other rules or even revoke their licenses. One of the key objectives of the regulator is to ensure that investors are offered fair and transparent services by certified brokers. So, if you choose one of the FSB approved brokers you will be able to trade with more confidence than if you traded with some shady unregulated operator.

Trading Platform & Software

One of the fun things and the comfort of doing business in Forex is that you can trade any Forex pair from the comfort of your home sitting in front of your pc and drinking your favorite drink. And you can do it at any time of the day you want. One thing you do need though is a good trading platform. This is your main tool of work and you can open a free demo account with any broker just to test their trading terminals to see if you feel comfortable with them and whether they have all the features you need.

A good trading platform will be easy to use, user friendly, offer you a lot of various charts with possibility to open a lot of windows on the same chart station and with a lot of time frames, from 1 minute to 1 month. You will also need your favorite indicators, ability to analyze charts and place notes on them, back test your strategy and etc. One of the best trading platforms for the time being is Metatrader. It has everything you need. So, you should see if your South Africa broker has it. Of course, if you prefer trading in a browser without downloading software most brokers will offer you that. But you need to check if they have all the tools you need for implementation of your trades.

Commisions & Spreads 

Unlike trading stocks where you will pay an amount for each trade, most brokers do not charge fees. So how do they make money you may ask? By offering you currency pairs with spreads. The spread is the difference between the buy and sell price. For example EUR/USD may trade 1.1706 (buy) and 1.1708 sell. When you open a trade you will have 2 pips of deficit. That would be your broker‘s fee for opening a trade for you. Spreads tend to be fixed and variable and sometimes fixed plus some extra fixed fee. Fixed spreads will in most cases be from 1-5 on major pairs that have US dollar: eur/usd, gbp/usd, usd/jpy, aud/usd, usd/chf, usd/cad and nzd/usd and crosses from 4-15. Those would be combinations of non dollar pairs, for example: eur/jpy, eur/aud, gbp/jpy, aud/cad and etc.

Variable spreads can be much lower with as little as 0.2 for majors and 2-5 pips for crosses. If market is not affected by some surprising piece of fundamental news you will trade those low spreads. When some surprising economic or financial news is released and markets start going up or down sharply spreads tend to increase sharply too. So, you can choose between these two types of spreads depending on what kind of trader you are.

Account Types

Account types generally depend on your capital size and sometimes on the turnover you make.

Micro

In this electronic age you can trade Forex with as little as 50$ on a micro account. Some companies can even allow you to trade with 1$ as they do not have lot size positions, but unit size positions. Well, these are very rare, but 100-200$ initial deposit accounts are offered with most brokers.

Mini

If you have over a thousand USD you can try a mini and trade mini lots and if you prefer bigger trade sizes like 100k (standard lot) you would need 10k or more capital to trade with.

VIP

Of course, you can go further still and get VIP account where huge positions are traded, but you need to always remember that trading is a risky business and you should not risk what you cannot afford to lose.

Customer Service

Trading is an international business, so you can expect a lot of foreign brokers offering there services in South Africa. It is obvious you need to expect excellent customer service in your own language or dialect from them. Those who care, they will go extra mile or two to make you their customer. Do not forget that they will also have to offer a great and speedy request, complaint, questions answering service generally running all working days 24 hours without stopping till weekend. If they fail to solve your problems in a timely manner, do not trade with them.

Additional Services

Like has been said, a good broker will walk extra mile to gain confidence of his clients. Most brokers will do so by offering a lot of extra services for their customers both on their websites and on their platforms. Large amount of those would be educational materials: videos, audio, articles, Ebooks and etc. They will hold free webinars and classes for newbies on every possible aspect of Forex trading. These things will definitely show that your broker cares about you.

Conclusion

You will always have time to trade Forex, so there is no need to rush to trade. You need to eliminate one problem first, find a good and reliable broker. You do that by checking whether he is regulated and what kind of services he offers in terms what hat been discussed in the article. If the broker you have looked at fits our description, it will probably be a good one. Of course, trading is always a risk and you should be ready to lose, but if you have done your homework success will come in your trading eventually.

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