A Forex broker FSCA regulation means they can legally operate in South Africa and are in full compliance with local requirements. Our team list the best brokers with FSCA regulation based on CFDs, spreads, trading platforms and account types.
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See our list of forex brokers that have regulation for South African traders
Markets.com is a top choice for South African traders’ due to its tight commission-free spreads, excellent trading conditions and tools plus oversight from tier-1 financial regulators.
Markets.com follows a market maker brokerage model that executes orders with a dealing desk. As market makers fill orders using their own internal liquidity, Markets.com set their own bid-ask prices and charge no commission fees on top of the spread.
As shown below, commission-free spreads offered by the broker are tight when compared to other top fx brokers. For major currency pairs such as the EUR/USD, Markets.com offers minimum spreads as low as 0.4 pips, while brokers like IC Markets promote spreads from 1 pip.
As well as competitive spreads, the broker provides access to some of the best trading conditions available to retail traders. Orders are executed ultra-fast, in as little as 0.1 ms and a maximum latency of 2.0 ms. As orders are processed quickly and efficiently, slippage stats are impressive. Overall, 86% of Markets.com traders experienced zero or positive slippage when placing orders with the broker.
When signing up to the financial services provider you can choose between four trading platforms. Markets.com offers two proprietary platforms – Marketsx is a forex and CFD trading platform with unique trading tools, while Marketsi was designed predominately for share trading and longer-term investments.
One of the major reasons Markets.com is one of the best brokers globally is the unique trading tools available on the Marketsx trading platform. Along with the standard technical and fundamental analysis tools offered by most fx brokers, Marketsx provides a selection of exclusive sentiment tools.
You can use the above trading tools when developing strategies that cover a diverse range of financial markets. As a Marketsx user, you can trade over 2,000 CFD instruments derived from eight different asset classes (foreign exchange, commodities, indices, shares, bonds, ETFs, cryptocurrencies and blends).
The broker’s second proprietary is well-suited if you are looking to access stock exchanges rather than foreign exchange markets. While you gain access to the same range of CFD financial products as Marketsx, Marketsi provides different trading tools designed for share portfolio development and stock exchange analysis.
As well as the broker’s proprietary software, both MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT4) are available if you want to focus on algorithmic trading. MT4 and MT5 have a large following and the preferred platform for many traders thanks to:
In South Africa, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) oversees and regulates Markets.com operations. Formally known as The Financial Services Board (FSB), the regulatory agency issues licenses to South African brokers, enforces policies that aim to protect traders (such as segregated client funds) and is the main watchdog for scams and fraudulent fx brokers.
Outside of South Africa, Markets.com adheres requirements set by regulatory bodies in the following jurisdictions:
The broker’s parent company, Playtech, is also listed on the London Stock Exchange and a component of the FTSE 250 index, adding another level of transparency and safety.
When compared to other South African financial services providers, Markets.com is the clear winner thanks to the broker’s ultra-tight spreads, excellent trading conditions and selection of trading platforms. Regardless of whether you want to execute algorithmic trading strategies, casually trade forex or develop a diversified share portfolio, Markets.com offers a top trading platform to suit your needs.
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Pepperstone is a top forex broker that provides South African traders access to a range of financial markets. The no dealing desk broker is well-known for its ECN-style pricing and offers ultra-tight spreads as low as 0.0 pips.
As shown in the table below, Pepperstone offers minimum spreads of 0.0 pips and average spreads of 0.16 pips for major currency pairs like the EUR/USD and USD/JPY via its Razor Account type. Standard account holders gain access to commission-free spreads starting from 1 pip and averaging 1.16 pips for the same fx pairs.
While Pepperstone offers three trading platforms (MT4, MT5 and cTrader), MetaTrader 4 is the best option for retail investors who require sophisticated trading tools.
Released in 2005, MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is the world’s most popular retail forex trading platform thanks to its automated trading tools and large trading community.
To fully automate trading, you can use trading robots known as Expert Advisors (EAs) within the MetaTrader community. EAs are algorithms that automatically monitor financial markets and place trades following your EAs pre-defined conditions. As you can dramatically reduce the time you are spending conducting analysis and opening and closing trades, EAs are becoming more and more popular.
You can write your own EAs using the platform’s programming language (MQL4), or download existing EAs from the MetaTrader MarketPlace online. Once developed, you can use MT4’s backtesting tools to test and optimise your trading strategies against historical data.
As well as algorithmic trading, when using MetaTrader 4 you can benefit from the following tools and platform features:
Pepperstone offers two main trading account types that are both available on MetaTrader 4. The Standard Account is great for beginners as forex spreads are commission-free, while Pepperstone’s Razor Account offers ECN-style spreads ideal for algorithmic and experienced traders.
As trading forex and CFDs is a high-risk activity, Pepperstone offers demo accounts. Demo accounts allow you to test out the broker’s different account types and trading platforms prior to trading with real money and high risk.
Setting up and managing your trading account is easy with a low minimum deposit and fee-free funding methods. Pepperstone requires no initial minimum deposit to open either a Razor or Standard account, although they recommend at least $200.
Although Pepperstone is not a licensed financial service provider in South Africa, traders can sign up to one of three subsidiaries that are overseen by top-tier regulatory bodies.
Each Pepperstone subsidiary offers the same account types, spreads and trading platforms, but investor protections vary between location.
In the UK (FCA), Australia (ASIC) and Europe (CySEC, BaFin), the local regulators enforce leverage caps for retail traders, with a maximum leverage of 30:1 available. Additionally, the financial authorities require brokers to provide Negative Balance Protection to ensure traders do not end up in debt to Pepperstone.
Elsewhere, Pepperstone provides no NBP. In Kenya (CMA) you can use leverage up to 400:1, while the broker’s Seychelles (FSA) branch offer a maximum leverage of 500:1.
If you prefer MetaTrader 4, Pepperstone is a great broker offering tight spreads, automated trading, and a range of add-on trading tools.
View Pepperstone Review >>Visit Pepperstone >>
FxPro is an FSCA regulated forex broker that offers cTrader as a trading platform option. If you want to execute scalping strategies, cTrader provides a great trading experience with full market depth, tight spreads and fast execution.
When scalping, you are looking to make profits from small price movements. As you are performing many trades within a small time period, trading is fast-paced and you are never holding positions for longer than one day.
cTrader is a popular platform among scalpers due to the platform’s excellent trading environment with a depth of market pricing. To achieve ultra-tight forex spreads on cTrader, FxPro sources its liquidity from several liquidity providers such as top financial institutions and banks.
As well as full market depth, you can enjoy the following features when executing scalping strategies cTrader:
Although predominately a forex trading platform, you can access CFDs derived from three major asset classes on cTrader – foreign exchange, commodities and indices. When trading indices and energies on the platform, you pay no commission fees, while forex and metal CFDs incur a $4.5 commission fee per side, per 100k traded.
When using cTrader you can trade across devices from one trading account. As well as a web trader platform, trading apps are available for Android and iOS mobiles and tablets. To get started, you can easily sign up for a live or demo account online. FxPro recommends making an initial minimum deposit of $1000, yet you can fund your account with as little as $100.
FxPro provides an excellent trading environment for scalping on cTrader with fast execution speeds, no requotes, minimal slippage and advanced technical analysis tools.
View FxPro Review >>Visit FxPro >>
FXTM, also known as ForexTime, is an FSCA regulated broker that accepts South African traders. As an FXTM customer, you can trade a range of fx and CFDs on either MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5.
The broker offers an array of account types for CFD and forex trading with varying minimum deposits, spreads and trading platforms. Both ECN and commission-free pricing structures are available.
If you want to automate trading using social trading tools, you will need to use MetaTrader 4 and sign up for an ECN or ECN Zero account type. After making a $100 minimum deposit, you will gain access to FXTM Invest, the broker’s social trading and account mirroring service.
As with other copy trading platforms, FXTM Invest allows you to copy the strategies of experienced traders (known as Strategy Managers). You can easily filter through different Strategy Managers, finding traders that match your risk tolerance, trading style and objectives.
A major benefit to the social trading platform is that you only pay your Strategy Manager a fee when they make profitable trades, with no fees for unsuccessful strategies.
The broker offers copy trading via their FXTM Invest social software. The account mirroring service lets you copy the trades of experienced traders (Strategy Managers), allowing you to fully automate trading on the MetaTrader 4 platform.
View FXTM Review >>Visit FXTM >>
Established in 1974, IG is one of the oldest and largest fx brokers. In South Africa, IG holds an FSCA financial services license as well as operating subsidiaries in the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Dubai, Singapore, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Bermuda and Germany, which caters to European traders.
On top of a strong global presence, IG offers impressive market access to over 17,000 different financial products:
As an IG customer, you can use the broker’s proprietary trading platform or third-party software like MetaTrader 4 (MT4) or L2 Dealer.
Established back in 1974, IG is known for its large trading community and impressive market access. You can trade over 17,000 different financial products, ranging from forex and cryptocurrencies to interest rates and knock-out options. The broker offers a range of trading platforms, with an option for each level of trading experienced.
View IG Markets Review >>Visit IG Markets >>
Plus500 is a multi-regulated broker that highly regarded for its risk management tools and features. As a Plus500 trader, you are limited to its proprietary platform, yet you gain access to premium order types offered by few brokers along with negative balance protection. Key features of Plus500 include:
The broker operates multiple subsidiaries around the world that are overseen by local financial authorities. In South Africa, the broker operates under FSCA regulation (license number 45746) and offers investor protections like segregated client funds and negative balance protection. To supplement the broker’s global tier-1 regulation, Plus500 is listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Plus500 recognises the high risk that comes with CFD and forex trading and provides a good selection of trading tools to assist with risk management. Plus500 allows you to place both basic and premium orders on its proprietary platform. Basic orders like stop losses, stop limits and trailing stop losses are free, while guaranteed stop-loss orders (GSLOs) entail a small fee. The difference between basic stop-loss orders and GSLOs is explained below.
In addition to premium and pending orders, you can minimise the high risk of trading with the following Plus500 features:
The market maker broker offers commission-free trading on its proprietary trading platform. A greater selection of risk management features is available with Plus500 compared to competing top brokers, such as guaranteed stop-loss orders and negative balance protection for all clients.
View Plus500 Review >>Visit Plus500 >>
*Your capital is at risk ‘76.4% of retail CFD accounts lose money’
FXCM is a subsidiary of Forex Capital Markets Ltd that operates in South Africa under FSCA regulation. Key features promoted by the broker include:
A range of fundamental analysis tools is offered by FXCM through their trading platforms and online. The broker’s website provides knowledge and insight sections, where you can find an economic calendar, markets news, live charts and articles explaining significant economic events.
Three third-party trading platforms provide access to the broker’s excellent trading conditions and fundamental analysis tools. Both Trading Station and MetaTrader 4 provide advanced trading and analysis tools, while ZuluTrade offers social-copy trading services.
If you are looking to develop trading strategies using fundamental analysis, FXCM useful tools on both its trading platforms and online. The broker’s website provides an economic calendar, markets news and economic news articles to help you keep up to date with changing markets.
View FXCM Review >>Visit FXCM >>
HotForex is an FSCA regulated broker that provides access to a range of financial markets. To trade forex and CFDs, MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5 is available.
The broker offers various account types suited to different styles of trading, including accounts specifically designed for micro and automated copy trading. HotForex’s most popular account types are:
Each of the above HotForex account types is available on MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5, with access granted to the broker’s full product range. You can trade a diverse range of CFDs with HotForex, including:
As well as Micro, Premium and Zero Spread Accounts, HotForex offers Auto, PAMM (Premium) and HF Copy Accounts, all of which offer no commission spreads from 1 pip.
If you want to trade CFDs and forex with high leverage, HotForex is a good option, although it is important to note that high leverage comes with high risks.
Under FSCA regulation, HotForex offers South African traders maximum leverage of 200:1. If you prefer even higher leverage, you can sign up to an offshore HotForex subsidiary that offers leverage up to 1000:1, much higher than any competing brokers.
Although high leverage can help magnify your profits, it also magnifies your losses. Leverage should be used wisely, as it further increases the high risk of CFD and forex trading. Another high leverage broker to consider is Tickmill.
HotForex is an FSCA regulated broker that offers high maximum leverage of 200:1 when trading forex. If you want even higher leverage, the broker’s offshore branches provide leverage up to 1000:1.
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AvaTrade is a CFD and forex broker that is overseen by six different regulatory bodies, including the FSCA in South Africa.
As a market maker, AvaTrade sets its own fixed bid-ask prices, meaning you pay no additional commission fees on top of the spread. Commission-free spreads start from 0.9 pips for major fx pairs like the EUR/USD.
The broker offers a selection of proprietary and third-party trading platforms for forex and CFD trading. The broker’s proprietary software, AvaTradeGO, is available as a web trader platform and mobile trading app. MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 can be accessed through desktop and web trader platforms as well as mobile apps.
To help you learn about forex markets and trading, the broker offers a comprehensive education centre with resources for all levels of trading experience.
Educational materials cover four key topics:
AvaTrade offers a free ebook that discusses trading strategies, along with trading platform tutorials for both beginner and experienced traders using MetaTrader 4.
If you require even more educational resources, AvaTrade provides free access to Sharp Trader, a third-party forex education provider. Sharp Trader offers features to boost your trading knowledge, such as:
AvaTrade provides you with various educational resources to enhance your trading knowledge. Whether you are a beginner trader with little forex trading experience, or a seasoned pro wanting information about complex strategies, AvaTrade offers suitable educational courses and materials online.
View AvaTrade Review >>Visit AvaTrade >>
ThinkMarkets is an FSCA regulated broker with good mobile apps for online trading. The broker offers three top trading platforms – MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and cTrader, all of which have trading apps for mobile and tablet devices.
The proprietary ThinkMarkets trading app is incredibly popular among the forex trading community, receiving over 15,000 five-star reviews.
As well as ThinkTrader, if you want to trade on the go, both MT4 and MT5 offer quality trading apps. Both versions provide an excellent range of technical and fundamental analysis tools, along with risk management tools.
MT4, MT5 and ThinkTrader trading apps are compatible with Android and Apple (iOS) mobiles and tablets.
To access the broker’s proprietary trading software (ThinkTrader), you are required to sign up to a Standard Account type. The no-commission account offers forex spreads as low as 0.4 pips and averaging 1.2 pips.
ThinkZero, ThinkMarkets other account types, is available on MT4, MT5 and ThinkTrader platforms. The ECN-style account provides minimum spreads of 0.0 pips and average forex spreads of 0.1 pips. As spreads are ultra-tight, you pay a flat-rate $3.50 commission fee per side per 100k traded.
You can test the broker’s different account types and trading platforms via demo accounts. ThinkMarkets provides you with a virtual balance of $50,000 to practice different trading strategies and see which platform suits your trading needs.
View ThinkMarkets Review >>Visit ThinkMarkets >>
Overall, Markets.com is the best FSCA regulated broker for forex and CFD trading. South African traders can access tight no commission spreads as low as 0.4 pips on four different trading platforms – MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, Marketsx and Marketsi. If you want to develop algorithmic trading strategies using Expert Advisors, MT4 and MT5 are great options. Alternatively, the broker’s proprietary platform, Marketsx, provides the best CFD and forex market access, while Marketsi was purposefully designed for share trading.
Regardless of the Markets.com trading platform you choose, you gain access to excellent trading conditions with fast execution and low spreads can, along with a unique selection of trading tools to enhance your CFD and forex trading experience.
Justin Grossbard has been investing for the past 20 years and writing for the past 10. He co-founded Compare Forex Brokers in 2014 after working with the foreign exchange trading industry for several years. He also founded a number of FinTech and digital startups including Innovate Online and SMS Comparison. Justin holds a Masters Degree and an Honours in Commerce from Monash University. He and his wife Paula live in Melbourne, Australia with his son and Siberian cat. In his spare time, he watches Australian Rules Football and invests on global markets.