South Africa is currently one of the most interesting and prospective Forex countries in the world. Thanks to a combination of many factors like an abundance of competent brokers, excellent regulatory authority, and high demand for Forex trading on the market, South Africa has become one of the leading countries for Forex trading online. It is because of these reasons that so many new brokers are now opening in South Africa, and people in Africa now have a very good Forex environment that they can safely use. However, with so many new brokers being available, and the demand being so high, there’s always a risk of being an unfortunate victim of a financial scam. Because of this, a decent understanding of how the market works and what kind of strategy to follow is very important for success, and more importantly, safety.
In this guide, we will explain to you which financial regulator governs the best South African Forex brokers, what sort of protection is offered to the traders, how to avoid South African Forex scams, and the benefits of trading ZAR with local brokers. By the end of reading this, you will have a solid understanding of how Forex trading in South Africa works, and how you can be successful!
Our list of top Forex Brokers in South Africa
Before you go ahead with the guide, make sure to check out our list of who we believe to be the best Forex brokers for South Africans. This list was compiled after doing hours and hours of research, comparing many different South African brokers. These were selected based on the most important details, like safety and security, success rate, user experience, and more.
FCA, CySEC, IFSC, ASIC, DFSA
MT4, MT5, WebTrader
Desktop, WebTrader, Mobile
FCA, ASIC, CySEC, FSCA, FMA, MAS
WebTrader, Windows 10 Trader
Forex regulation in South Africa
License and regulation is the most important thing to pay attention to as a trader, to make sure that you’re safe and secure when you’re trading with different Forex brokers. A broker that is licensed by a competent legal authority is a broker that you can trust, and who the broker is licensed and regulated by, should always be the first thing you’re checking for.
Every country that has a thriving Forex market has its own regulatory authority that supervises all brokers in the country. Naturally, South Africa does too. In fact, South Africa’s FSCA (The Financial Sector Conduct Authority) is one of the most respected and highly-regarded financial regulators in the world. Why? Because since they started operating, they have managed to turn South Africa into one of the best Forex trading countries in the world. FSCA achieved this by taking very specific necessary steps to create an environment that encourages growth but prioritizes safety at the same time.
The goal of FSCA is to fully regulate the market, and ensure that traders and the market itself are protected from fraud and money laundering schemes. FSCA’s presence ensures, that brokers are operating in a legal, transparent, and ethical manner. Only the companies who satisfy these requirements are given the opportunity to get the FSCA license.
As such, when you’re looking for a new broker to start trading within South Africa, it is vital to make sure that they’re licensed by the FSCA. FSCA itself advises not to go with any broker in South Africa that is not licensed by them. Sure, you can make some exceptions with internationally-recognized and established brokers, but in general, every South African trader should be making sure that their broker is definitely FSCA-licensed. Why? Because it is the only surefire way to guarantee your safety.
We’ll soon talk about how exactly that happens, but you should definitely consider it because if and when it comes to you needing to involve authorities to help you out in some kind of a dispute with a broker, the case will be dealt with in accordance to the local laws and regulations. You can’t even imagine how easy this makes a lot of things until you have to experience it yourself. At the very least, consider the importance of FSCA for this aspect only, if for nothing else.
Identifying a licensed broker
How do you know if a broker is FSCA-licensed? You go and check on the FSCA website. There is an actual database that you can search for the registered companies, where you can view all the relevant info. You can look up companies with their license numbers. If you want to look up a broker with their license number but don’t have it, it’s really easy to obtain. Usually, a quick message sent to the broker should be enough for them to provide you with the number. Providing the proof of license with FSCA is something that every broker is happy to do, as it helps assure you of their legitimacy, and that you can trust them.
That being said, make sure to keep a lookout for the brokers that provide fake license numbers with an aim to deceive traders. Many brokers falsely claim that they’re FSCA-licensed, to invoke a false sense of security in traders and defraud them later. As such, make sure that you don’t just assume that just because they gave you the license number that it’s legit. Go and actually look it up in the database, to make sure that it’s valid. Additionally, you also have to make sure that the license number isn’t expired. All this info is readily available on the FSCA website, so make sure to give everything a thorough look before you proceed with any trading.
How exactly does FSCA ensure your safety?
It’s worth a mention that in the past, the regulatory body for Forex trading in South Africa was FSB (Financial Services Board). It is exactly this regulatory body that was later replaced by 7FSCA, the regulatory body that is in place today. Over the years, FSCA has come up with tons of very effective regulatory measures that significantly increase the safety of the traders, and introduced some very positive changes to the regulatory environment. The effectiveness of these changes has shown us that South Africa has, without a doubt, come a long way in becoming a safer country for Forex trading.
One of the most obvious and effective ways that FSCA provides a guarantee of safety to the traders in South Africa is by necessitating all brokers to hold the funds of the traders in segregated bank accounts. This means, that your money is actually kept in a completely separate account, apart from the account that the broker uses to run the day-to-day business.
Building on to the previous point, one of the greatest benefits of FSCA is that in case a broker goes bankrupt, or for some other reason the company has to shut down, you have a complete guarantee that you won’t lose your money and get it back. With how quickly everything can change on the Forex market, where you never know what can happen to the broker who has your funds, having this kind of assurance is a gamechanger.
FSCA also acknowledges the importance of education and general awareness when it comes to Forex trading, and is responsible for providing an education of the financial market to the traders. Financial awareness and knowledge on how to make right decisions is the name of the game when it comes to success on Forex, and FSCA’s goal is to help the customers get all the necessary knowledge they need to avoid making some of the most common mistakes that put most people in danger.
FSCA also ensures that the security standards are up to par by requiring mandatory audits and reports of all nature from the licensed companies. This ensures, that the brokers are conducting their business in a transparent manner, with the best interest of traders in mind, while complying with all the mandatory safety and security laws and regulations.
All in all, FSCA has definitely proven to be a regulator that you can entrust your safety to. Over the years, they have established a track record that is of the highest international caliber. If you could put your full trust in only a handful of financial regulators fo Forex, FSCA will definitely be among the top in that list!
What options do the South African Forex traders provide?
One of the main reasons as to why South Africa is becoming more and more interesting for the traders and brokers alike is how much variety and diversity of choice it offers in terms of what you can trade on.
Are you interested in trading on local currency ZAR (The South African Rand)? Shoot away! There are tons of people trading ZAR/USD and vice versa in South Africa at any given moment. Back in 2019, the turnover for ZAR trading in South Africa was US$20.6 billion per year, so you can get an idea of how much profit there is to be made!
Are you interested in something different? Perhaps something more secure and something you can go for the long term, like gold? Well, you’ve come to the right place, as gold trading is huge in South Africa. Why? Because South Africa is the second-largest producer and exporter of gold in the world, so naturally it would be very popular there, as the gold market is very strong. You can enjoy trading gold in comfort by having access to a 24/7 market and buying and selling it through ETFs and gold shares, both of which are commonly available with most South Africa-based brokers and international brokers that operate in South Africa too.
Are you interested in trading oil? Great. Oil trading is huge in South Africa, as it’s one of those commodities that are always in flux. The volatility can really be through the roof, and this gives way to a lot of opportunities that can be used for profit. If you are one of the people who see opportunity in this rather than danger, then you can trade to your heart’s content. Any broker in South Africa will offer 0ptions for trading gold.
Pros and cons of South Africa Forex trading brokers
As is the case with any financial market, South Africa has its disadvantages as well, along with the advantages that we talked about. These are the things that you should take into account when making your choice on whether or not you’re going to start Forex trading in South Africa:
- The effective regulatory environment provides safety
- Lots of options for trading
- Great Forex scene and a large community of traders
- ZAR is a weak currency
So, what can we say about Forex trading South African brokers?
As we discussed, Forex trading in South Africa has definitely come a long way, and they managed to become one of the exemplary countries on how to progress and create a great environment for growth and prosperity. Trading is something that many people, especially in countries like South Africa with weak national currencies, as a way towards financial independence and wealth. Thanks to the relevant authorities like FSCA, as well as a large number of excellent Forex brokers operating in South Africa, as a South African, you will now have access to a great Forex environment, where you can start trading the right way and start setting yourself up for success right from the beginning!