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We tested 160+ Forex brokers accepting South Africans traders, including all the FSCA-regulated brokers based here in SA. To test a broker, we check their regulation and make sure they are safe. We also judge the quality of their trading platform, and education and market analysis so new traders will be able to learn how to trade well.

Below the list are reviews of each broker where we explain why each of them made it on this list. These are the best Forex Brokers with the best trading platforms in South Africa in 2022.

  • AvaTrade - Best Overall Forex Broker in South Africa
  • FXTM - Best Forex Broker for Beginners
  • XM - Lowest Fees in South Africa
  • HotForex - Low Fees and Free Withdrawals
  • Exness - Best Trading Account Conditions for Beginners
  • Pepperstone - Lowest Cost ECN Account
  • CM Trading - Largest South African Broker by Client Volume
  • Axi - Best ECN broker on MT4 in South Africa
  • FBS - High Leverage Trading and 1 USD Minimum Deposit

Best Forex Brokers in South Africa

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Broker
Overall Rating
Official Site
Min. Deposit
Max. Leverage (Forex)
Cost of Trading
Platforms
Beginner Friendly
Beginner Course
FSCA Regulated
Regulators
Compare
AvaTrade
4.48 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
ZAR 1500
400:1
USD 9
Avatrade Social
AvaOptions
Excellent
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission
Financial Services Agency
CySEC Regulated Brokers
Central Bank of Ireland
FXTM
4.33 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
USD 10
2000:1
USD 15
Excellent
CySEC Regulated Brokers
FCA Regulated Brokers
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
Financial Services Commission
XM
4.25 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
USD 5
500:1
USD 16
Excellent
CySEC Regulated Brokers
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
FCA Regulated Brokers
International Financial Services Commission
HotForex
4.49 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
ZAR 70
1000:1
USD 10
Excellent
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
CySEC Regulated Brokers
FCA Regulated Brokers
Financial Services Commission
Exness
4.12 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
USD 1
2000:1
USD 7
Standard
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
The Seychelles Financial Services Authority
Pepperstone
4.61 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
USD 5
30:1
USD 6.90
Excellent
FCA Regulated Brokers
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
CySEC Regulated Brokers
Dubai Financial Services Authority
CM Trading
3.54 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
USD 100
200:1
USD 15
Sirix
Standard
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
The Seychelles Financial Services Authority
Axi
4.34 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
USD 5
500:1
USD 12
Excellent
FCA Regulated Brokers
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
Financial Markets Authority of New Zealand
Dubai Financial Services Authority
FBS
4.23 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
USD 1
3000:1
USD 7
Excellent
CySEC Regulated Brokers
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
International Financial Services Commission

How To Choose a South African Forex Broker

Although international brokers accept clients from most countries, trading conditions and regulatory supervision may be different for South African traders. To find the best Forex broker for South African residents, we need to understand account conditions for South African clients in detail.

To test each broker’s trading platform, we opened an account, set up the trading software, read through the educational material, and deposited and traded R4000 of our money. We also created all kinds of trouble for the customer service teams, read through the fine print in the client agreements, and tested how long it took to withdraw our money. In our test, we investigated:

Broker Regulation: Regulators keep an eye on Forex brokers to make sure they’re behaving legally and ethically. Some regulators, such as ASIC, the FCA, and CySEC, are better at keeping brokers honest than others. The FSCA in South Africa is getting better at regulating brokers all the time and South African’s should feel safe trading with an FSCA regulated broker.

Account Supervision: Most brokers are supervised by multiple international regulators. As a South African resident, it is important to know which regulatory authority will supervise your trading account. It is common for FSCA-regulated brokers to open trading accounts for South African residents under their offshore licenses (Mauritius, Seychelles, Vanuatu, etc.) to offer higher leverage or to bypass powerful client protections. Traders with accounts registered under offshore licenses are not protected by the FSCA and are open to the additional risks of broker bankruptcy, fraudulent activity, or unfavourable trading conditions like a lack of negative balance protection.

Broker Trading Conditions and Costs: Better Forex brokers will often have lower trading costs, meaning that spreads are tight and minimum deposits are low. Trading execution should be lightning-fast and with little or no intervention. Forex brokers should also publish their spreads, execution policy, and a list of all CFDs available to South African traders. We often see that trading conditions and negative balance protection availability change depending on a trader’s country of residence.  

Broker Education and Analysis: Brokers should offer beginner traders a coherent and well-structured trading course alongside a demo account. Brokers should supply detailed market analyses to highlight trading opportunities and provide a complete learning experience. While all material is available in English very few South African brokers will offer the same material in Afrikaans, Zulu or Xhosa.

Broker Trading Platform: Brokers will have their own trading platform or provide support for a third-party platform, such as MT4, MT5, or cTrader. Some brokers will do both. Most Forex traders generally have a platform preference, so brokers with multiple platforms are more likely to have the platform a trader wants to use.  Platform availability may vary between countries of residence, so our research notes which platforms are available for South African residents.


AvaTrade – Best Overall Forex Broker in South Africa

Who AvaTrade is for: Traders who want a good all-round broker with low costs, free withdrawals, ZAR trading accounts and a well-designed mobile trading app.

Why we like AvaTrade: AvaTrade’s biggest selling points are free deposits and withdrawals to South African bank accounts and low trading fees, with Forex spreads starting at 0.9 pips on the EUR/USD. While AvaTrade’s minimum deposit of R1500 (or 100 USD) isn’t the lowest you can find, it’s still low enough for most beginners. Traders on the move will like AvaTrade’s well-designed mobile app, AvaTradeGO, with its smart risk management tools and direct connection to AvaSocial, AvaTrade’s popular social trading system. Another highlight is the 13 cryptocurrency pairs available to trade at AvaTrade, more than most other brokers in South Africa. Cryptocurrency traders will also appreciate the dedicated 24/7 crypto trading customer support. It’s no secret that share CFDs are also very popular right now and AvaTrade has that sector covered too with 625 share CFDs to trade, including famous tech stocks like Google, Apple, and Amazon.

AvaTrade’s drawbacks: As we noted above AvaTrade has low trading fees, but they are not the lowest available in South Africa – some brokers have spreads down to 0.6 or 0.7 pips on the EUR/USD. And it’s possible to find much lower minimum deposits, all the way down to 3 USD in some cases. But most serious beginners will want a deposit of 100 USD or more and AvaTrade’s strength lies in its all-round excellence.

Pros
  • Good for beginners
  • Well regulated
  • Low minimum deposit
Cons
  • Dealing desk
  • Limited market analysis
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.90 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 400:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. AvaTrade Group regulated by ASIC, FSCA, B.V.I FSC & FSA.

FXTM – Best Forex Broker for Beginners

Who FXTM is for: Beginner traders with day-jobs who want low-risk trading, a superior copy trading service and detailed Forex education.

Why we like FXTM: FXTM is the best broker in South Africa for beginner traders for its low-cost Micro Account with a 10 USD minimum deposit and its demo account that never expires, both great low-risk options for learning to trade. Beginner traders may also be interested in FXTM Invest, FXTM’s copy trading system.  FXTM Invest allows beginner traders to copy the trades of professional traders for a small commission so they can learn trading strategy and make a profit at the same time. Low-risk trading and watching professionals make a profit are both great learning tools, but you can boost your learning with FXTM’s huge library of educational material, available for free in 22 languages. It includes videos, webinars and daily videos covering trading opportunities. For traders with jobs in the week, FXTM customer support is also available on Saturday and Sunday via email, live chat, email, telephone, and popular messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram. A real advantage for beginners who want to get set up over the weekend.

FXTM’s drawbacks: While the Micro Account has a low minimum deposit, the trading costs are a bit higher than average, with spreads starting at 1.5 pips on the EUR/USD. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts will also be disappointed that FXTM only has 4 cryptocurrencies to trade. And while standard leverage is 2000:1, it is limited to 1000:1 on the Micro Account, though most traders should find this more than enough.

Pros
  • Good for beginners
  • Excellent education
  • Well regulated
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Copy trading accounts
Cons
  • Expensive withdrawals
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.50 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 2000:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. Leverage offered can vary depending on country of residence, and your trading knowledge and experience. FXTM is regulated by CySEC, FCA, FSCA, and the FSC.

XM – Lowest Fees in South Africa

Who XM is for: South African traders who want a low-cost ZAR trading account on MT4

Why we like XM: The main draw at XM is the Ultra-Low Account, which has some of the lowest trading fees in the world. Available as a USD or Rand trading account, the Ultra-Low Account has spreads starting at 0.6 pips on the EUR/USD and no commission. Rand trading accounts are a good option for South African traders because there is no currency conversion with withdrawals or deposits from a South African bank account. The Ultra-Low Account has a minimum deposit of 50 USD (R700), but XM also has two accounts with a minimum deposit of 5 USD (R70) which may be more suitable for beginners. Beginners will also benefit from XM’s great education section and a demo account that never expires. XM clients will also benefit from a choice of the MT4 or MT5 trading platforms, and a selection of trading assets including commodities, precious metals, indices and 1200+ shares.

XM’s drawbacks: While the XM Ultra-Low Account is cheap in terms of ongoing trading fees it’s still relatively expensive to get started, with a minimum deposit of 50 USD. Traders can find multiple accounts in South Africa with minimum deposits of 5 USD or lower. Some traders may also be put off by XM’s lack of cryptocurrency to trade. Finally, those wanting to trade shares will be forced to use the MT5 platform.  

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Excellent education
  • Wide range of assets
  • Fast and free withdrawals
Cons
  • Dealing desk
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.60 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. XM Group regulated by CySEC, ASIC, and the IFSC.

HotForex – Low Fees and Free Withdrawals

Who HotForex is for: Traders who want a Rand trading account with a low minimum deposit and fast and free withdrawals to South African banks.

Why we like HotForex: HotForex is a good all-round broker, but its fast and free deposits and withdrawals and ZAR trading accounts are the highlights here. All three of its account types have the option of using Rand (ZAR) as the trading currency but the standout is the Micro Account, with a 70 ZAR minimum deposit and decent trading fees starting at 1 pip spreads on the EUR/USD. Traders always want to deposit and withdraw their funds as fast and as cheaply as possible and HotForex excels over other brokers with instant deposits and 2-day withdrawals, all with no extra charge. Fast and free funding is available for all clients who have online bank accounts with African Bank, Bidvest Bank, Capitec Bank, FNB, Investec, Nedbank, Standard Bank or TymeBank. Beginners and those with little time to trade should take note that HotForex also has two copy-trading accounts – where clients can copy the trades of experienced and profitable traders. The three standard accounts have access to trading on Forex, commodities, indices, shares, bonds, and ETFs and with FSCA regulation since 2015, HotForex clients can rest assured of local protection of their trading accounts.

HotForex drawbacks: HotForex is popular for its good range of CFDs, but it has stopped offering cryptocurrency trading, citing the volatility risk inherent in this trendy asset class. And while the Micro Account has a low minimum deposit, a starting spread of 1 pip is a bit higher than other brokers. Copy traders should also be aware that the HFCopy account is only available on the MT4 trading platform and trading is restricted to Forex, indices, and gold.

Pros
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Tight spreads
  • Well regulated
  • Good range of accounts
Cons
  • Limited base currencies
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.00 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 1000:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. HF Markets Group regulated by the FSCA, FCA, FSC, CySEC and the DFSA.

Exness – Best Trading Account Conditions for Beginners

Who Exness is for: Beginner traders looking for a low-risk trading account with a 1 USD minimum deposit, low trading fees, and 24/7 customer service.

Why we like Exness: Exness has the best cent trading account for beginners in South Africa. Cent accounts allow micro lot trading, and the trading balance is displayed in cents, so a 20 USD deposit will be shown as 2000 cents. These features make cent accounts the cheapest trading accounts with the lowest risks. The Exness Standard Cent Account has a minimum deposit of only 1 USD and much lower trading fees than most cent accounts, with spreads as low as 0.3 pips. Costs are low on the funding side too, with free deposits and withdrawals via online banking in South Africa, though this funding method has a minimum 3 USD deposit. Good customer service is essential for beginner traders and Exness customer support is available throughout the weekend, 24 hours a day. Weekend support is good for beginners who work during the week but it’s also helpful for cryptocurrency traders as the cryptocurrency market never closes.

Exness drawbacks: There are a couple of downsides to Exness’ Standard Cent Account: It’s only available on the MT4 trading platform and trading is restricted to Forex pairs and precious metals. And despite Exness offering ZAR trading on its other accounts, the Standard Cent Account is only available in USD cents, EUR cents, GBP cents, CHF cents and AUD cents.  

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Wide range of assets
  • 24/7 customer service
Cons
  • Limited education
  • Limited market analysis
  • Unavailable in Europe
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.70 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 2000:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. Exness is regulated by CySEC, FCA, and the FSC.

Pepperstone – Lowest Cost ECN Account

Who Pepperstone is for: More experienced traders looking for a low-cost ECN broker with a choice of trading platforms.

Why we like Pepperstone: Pepperstone’s low-cost ECN trading service, fast trade execution, and range of third-party trading platforms has made it popular amongst experienced traders and serious beginners around the world. Pepperstone’s Standard Account has no commission and spread fees averaging 0.69 pips on the EUR/USD, making it one of the lowest-cost trading accounts available. For traders who prefer raw spreads, the Razor Account has spreads down to 0 pips on the EUR/USD and a commission of 7 USD per trade. More experienced traders who rely on scalping and bots for automated trading will appreciate that most trades on both of Pepperstone’s accounts are executed in less than 30ms. While it doesn’t offer its own trading platform, Pepperstone supports three third-party trading platforms: MetaTrader 4 (MT4), MetaTrader 5 (MT5), and cTrader, which is easier to learn but shares all the sophisticated automation tools found in MT4 and MT5. Serious beginners looking for an ECN broker should take note that Pepperstone has scrapped its minimum deposit requirement, though it still recommends starting with at least 200 USD. Pepperstone’s also has one of the better education sections offered by an ECN broker.

Pepperstone drawbacks: Unlike most brokers, Pepperstone does not offer its own easy-to-use trading platform so beginners may find their early trading a bit intimidating. The steep learning curve will also include the need to calculate commission costs if they decide to go with the Razor Account. Both issues can be reduced by going with the cTrader trading platform, which has a flat commission structure and is easier to learn than MT4 or MT5.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Great platform choice
  • Wide range of assets
Cons
  • Limited market analysis
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.69 pips with 0.0 USD commission round turn on the trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4, MT5 & cTrader platforms supported. Pepperstone Group is regulated by the FCA, ASIC, and the DFSA.

CM Trading – Largest South African Broker by Client Volume

Who CM Trading is for: Traders looking for an FSCA-regulated South African broker with excellent toll-free customer service

Why we like CM Trading: CM Trading has over 1 million clients worldwide, making it the largest South African broker. South African traders value South African brokers like CM Trading highly for a few reasons. South African brokers like CM Trading are regulated by the FSCA and are governed by South African laws and regulations. This means that CM Trading keeps traders’ funds in South African bank accounts and disputes are handled by local authorities and local courts. Another benefit to having a locally based broker is local customer service. CM Trading’s toll-free South African customer support is excellent and is a huge benefit for traders, especially beginners who may run into trouble getting started. Despite not being required by the FSCA, CM Trading also offers negative balance protection for all South African traders so they can never lose more than they have in their trading account. CM Trading has 6 account options starting with the Bronze Account with a minimum deposit of 250 USD. Clients can trade Forex, indices, cryptocurrencies, commodities, oil, and metals on both the MT4 and Sirix Webtrader trading platforms. Sirix WebTrader also has a built-in copy trading system that also allows for automated copying. The system is easy to use and supports one-click trading.

CM Trading drawbacks: CM Trading’s fees are noticeably higher than many other brokers, despite having high minimum deposit requirements. Spreads on the Bronze Account start at 1.5 pips, and spreads are even relatively high on the Premium Account, which requires a 100,000 USD deposit. Unfortunately, despite being a South African broker, fees are also relatively high for deposits and withdrawals. Beginners may also question CM Trading’s basic education and market analysis, especially compared to the better international brokers.

Pros
  • Good for beginners
  • Great customer support
  • Copy trading accounts
Cons
  • Expensive withdrawals
  • Local regulation only
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.70 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 200:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & Sirix platforms supported. CM Trading is regulated by the FSCA.

Axi – Best ECN broker on MT4 in South Africa

Who is Axi for: Traders who only use the MT4 trading platform and want an ECN broker with great trading tools, but aren’t too bothered about trading shares.

Why we like Axi: Axi, formerly AxiTrader, stands out for three reasons: First off, it’s an MT4-only broker, so if you want to use any other trading platform you can look away now. Secondly, it’s an ECN broker with low fees, no minimum deposit requirement, and two simple accounts, one with commission and one without. Finally, it has a fantastic collection of trading tools that it offers for free to its clients. While the MT4-only policy may seem like a drawback, it does allow Axi to focus on making its MT4 trading experience as profitable as possible. This includes Axi’s MT4 NexGen plugin which includes an advanced sentiment indicator, a correlation trader, and an automated trade journal. And while the fees on its accounts aren’t the lowest available, they are below the industry average. The Pro Account in particular is good value, with spreads averaging 0.1 pips on the EUR/USD and a 7USD commission. Beginners and experienced traders alike will really appreciate Axi’s selection of powerful and free trading tools, including Autochartist, MyFxbook, and PsyQuation. Autochartist is a tool that automatically identifies trading opportunities, MyFxBook is one of the world’s most popular copy-trading platforms and PsyQuation is an AI trade diagnostic that helps traders learn from their mistakes.

Axi drawbacks: The main and most obvious drawback here is Axi’s insistence on only providing support for the MT4 trading platform. Apart from putting some traders off, this also results in a smaller range of trading assets and Axi only recently added a handful of share CFDs to its product line-up. That said, Axi does have a good range of cryptocurrencies to trade. Another concern is that South Africans will be trading with Axi’s subsidiary based in St Vincent in the Grenadines (SVG). SVG does not regulate brokers so Axi’s South African clients will not have negative balance protection.

Pros
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Tight spreads
  • Innovative trading tools
Cons
  • MT4 only
  • Limited range of assets
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.20 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. Axi Group is regulated by the FCA, ASIC and the DFSA.

FBS – High Leverage Trading and 1 USD Minimum Deposit

Who FBS is for: With a wide range of accounts, FBS will appeal to both experienced traders looking for high leverage and low fees or beginners looking for low minimum deposits and cryptocurrency trading

Why we like FBS: FBS’ strength is in its range of accounts, with trading conditions for all types of traders. Beginners will focus on its Cent Account with its 1 USD minimum deposit or the Micro Account with a 5 USD minimum deposit, more experienced traders will be interested in the ECN account with a 1000 USD minimum deposit, raw spreads, and a 6 USD commission. Other accounts include a Standard Account with 100 USD minimum deposit and Zero Spread Account with a 500 USD minimum deposit. Experienced traders will appreciate the high leverage available, with all accounts except the ECN account offering leverage of 3000:1. Beginners will also like the low trading fees on the entry-level accounts, with Cent Account spreads starting at 0.8 pips on the EUR/USD. Cryptocurrency trading is also a big draw here, with 37 cryptocurrencies available to trade, many more than most other brokers.

FBS drawbacks: As most traders will know, high leverage is a double-edged sword. While it can greatly increase profitability, it also greatly increases risk. An FBS trading account with only a few dollars in it but 3000:1 leverage can be wiped out in an instant. And while FBS lets clients use both the MT4 and MT5 trading platforms, its cryptocurrency products can only be traded using the FBS Trader mobile app. As many people already use their phones to trade this isn’t the end of the world, but the FBS Trader app is currently only available on Android devices, not iPhones.

Pros
  • Tight spreads
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Excellent education
  • Excellent market analysis
Cons
  • Limited range of assets
  • Extreme leverage
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.70 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 3000:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. FBS is regulated by CySEC, ASIC, FSCA, and the IFSC.

What is the Foreign Exchange Market?

The foreign exchange market, also known as the forex (or even more simply, the FX market), is the largest financial market in the world. Every day, trillions of dollars of global currencies are traded in what are called “pairs”, i.e. the exchange of one currency for another, such as rand for dollars, euros for Japanese yen, etc. These transactions are carried out five days a week, 24 hours a day around the globe and determine the value of every currency on the planet second by second, based on supply and demand. So, if the pound is in demand, its value against, for example, the dollar will rise and vice versa.

Given its scale and breadth, forex trading is easily accessible by individual investors, who can open an account with a few hundred pounds and begin trading immediately. But it is easy to lose money, especially if you are a beginner. Trading successfully requires effort, discipline and a determination to learn as much as you can about the market before you start. You also need to understand the regulations governing the market, the costs of trading and which brokers to use. Most importantly, you should understand the risks and disadvantages before deciding whether forex trading is for you.

Why does the Forex Market Exist?

There are many reasons why people trade currencies. South African companies may need to buy dollars to pay for American imports, or they may need euros to pay for the acquisition of a company based in Europe. Central banks, such as the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), can intervene in FX markets, buying and selling currency to manipulate its value for reasons of economic policy. Speculators also drive a very large part of the market, trading with the aim of generating a profit.

Large financial institutions, multinational corporations and hedge funds dominate the forex market, which reached a value of US$6.6 trillion per day in April 2019, according to the latest statistics. That size means it is a hugely liquid market, i.e. it is very easy to buy and sell currencies because there are so many buyers and sellers in the market for most currencies.

What Drives the Forex Market?

The rand is a free-floating currency. In other words, the value of the rand in the FX markets is determined by supply and demand. This is the case for the currencies of most advanced economies. By contrast, some currencies, such as the Chinese renminbi (RMB), have a fixed exchange rate. The Chinese authorities determine the value of the RMB against the dollar and keep the link until they decide to alter the exchange rate. Clearly, there is no potential for individual traders to profit from trading currencies with a fixed exchange rate.

The value of a floating currency such as the South African rand, however, is constantly moving up and down against other currencies. Often these movements are relatively small, so the rand may begin the trading day at 14.50 rand to the dollar and end a little higher or lower, or even back at its opening level. But dramatic economic or political news can spark much greater volatility. For example, the rand fell by around 30% at the start of the Covid pandemic, back in March 2020. Traders, fearing a prolonged period of economic uncertainty, sold the rand as quickly as they could.

Economic developments are also a key influence. New data suggesting the South African economy is growing slower than anticipated might spark concerns that SARB could lower interest rates to stimulate growth. Lower interest rates reduce the appeal of holding a currency since you are getting less return on your money. That outlook consequently dampens demand for the rand and its value falls. Similarly, if South Africa’s economic outlook brightens and traders anticipate SARB will raise interest rates, they will buy the rand, increasing its value against other currencies.

That is why FX traders follow economic, financial and political news so closely, looking for any hint of information that could sway the value of currencies. They are hoping to react before other traders spot the development. Or they may take bets on a likely development, believing they have some insight that other traders lack. So, for example, on the day before South Africa locked down in December 2020, before President Ramaphosa announced the changes, the rand weakened in value because many traders were convinced that the government would introduce new restrictions.

Why is Forex Trading Popular?

Forex trading is the largest and most easily accessible market in the world. The costs involved are relatively low compared with other markets, there are lots of brokers to choose from in South Africa, and it is relatively easy to understand the ways in which you can trade the market. There are many freely floating currencies and since they can all be traded against each other there are a huge number of currency pairs to trade in. A vast amount of information is available to would-be traders, ranging from how to get started to outlining potentially profitable trading strategies.

You can trade from your living room using a fairly basic computer if you download the appropriate trading software, and it is relatively easy to set up an account with a broker. Unlike other financial markets, you can also exploit the concept of “leverage”, where you make use of borrowed money to increase your potential profits (and your losses). To explain what this means, currency pairs are traded in specific amounts called lots. They tend to be in 100,000 units of a currency, so, for example, if you are trading in the pound sterling against the US dollar, you would buy or sell £100,000 at a time. Since most people don’t have £100,000 available to trade, the broker effectively offers to lend you money. So, they may allow you to trade in a lot of £100,000 by opening an account with £1,000 and lend you the remainder. The initial £1,000 is known as the margin and your leverage, in this case, would amount to 100 to one (100:1).

As we mentioned, as well as increasing potential profits, leverage can dramatically increase risk. There are methods you can use to contain risk, but that is a topic for another article.

The Disadvantages of Forex Trading

Forex trading requires a considerable commitment. It takes time to learn how to trade profitably, and when you start to trade you may have to spend many hours per day on your computer screen following and researching what is happening in the market – and why – in preparation for your trading day. When that day is finished, you will need to analyse what happened and why your trading activities succeeded or failed, so that you can apply the lessons learnt to the next day’s trading. There could be days when you lose money and it is easy to become disheartened. There is certainly no guarantee of success. FX trading can be risky and you can lose money or you may find that it is simply not something you like or have the temperament for. You have to be patient, for example, waiting for opportunities to arise, and the market can experience bouts of extreme volatility that you may find highly stressful.

Is Forex Trading Legal in South Africa?

Yes, Forex trading is legal in South Africa and South African brokers are regulated by the Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA). South African residents can legally trade with any Forex broker in the world, though many brokers based overseas are not licenced by the FSCA.

Overview of Forex Trading in South Africa

Over the last ten years, mobile phone use in South Africa has exploded. Most South Africans are now connected to the internet everywhere they go and whenever they want. At the same time, employment opportunities for young people have dried up as the economy slowed. Young South Africans looking for new ways to make money are at the forefront of a boom in Forex trading, made all the easier because:

  • All Forex brokers now have mobile apps that allow traders to deposit and withdraw funds, check market news and make trades from their phones. 
  • Many brokers in South Africa have very low deposit requirements, some as low as 1 US dollar. 
  • Many brokers offer rand trading accounts, so South Africans do not have to convert their money into dollars first

Because it is so easy to get started Forex trading, the number of Forex scams and bad brokers has also increased as criminals attempt to profit from the boom. Recent media scrutiny and better enforcement by the authorities has led to a healthier local trading environment, but Forex scams are still frequent. Most Forex scams in South Africa start on social media and are conducted by unlicensed individuals.

Forex Regulation in South Africa

In South Africa, Forex brokers are regulated by the Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA). The FSCA’s role is to ensure that all companies offering a financial service in South Africa hold an active FSP (financial service provider) licence and that they comply with the terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act.

The FAIS Act requires that only qualified persons with no criminal background can work for a  Forex broker. It also ensures that Forex brokers are responsible for the conduct and actions of their representatives. Finally, it also requires that Forex brokers are honest about their services and products with their clients and treat them fairly.

If a broker breaks these rules, South African traders can complain to the registrar at the FSCA who will launch an investigation. If the FSCA finds that the broker has intentionally deceived or defrauded their clients it can:

  • Freeze the broker’s accounts
  • Return all funds to the broker’s clients
  • Shut the broker down, and
  • Take the broker’s owners to court

In 2020, JP Markets, once one of South Africa’s largest brokers, was shut down and its accounts frozen after an FSCA investigation found that it had been cheating its customers. No criminal charges have been filed yet, but the maximum sentence for breaking the terms of the FAIS Act is 10 years imprisonment.

New Regulations in South Africa: ODP Licence

The FSCA is a powerful authority, but Forex trading in South Africa is still troubled by scams and bad Forex brokers deceiving their clients. The FAIS Act and the FSP licencing system have obviously not been working well enough. In response, the FSCA has introduced a separate licencing regime specifically for Forex brokers and other derivative providers. This licence is called the ODP (Over-the-counter Derivative Provider).

From 2020, all Forex brokers with offices in South Africa must apply for an ODP licence. The terms of the ODP licence requires brokers to:

  1. Ensure their clients fully understand the risks before they trade Forex or other CFDs
  2. Have enough money in the bank to avoid bankruptcy. The FSCA recommends at least R50 million, plus an “appropriate buffer” to cover any potential losses. 
  3. Provide transaction data to the FSCA so it can monitor all trades that occur in South Africa. 
  4. Have an independent board of directors to ensure responsible governance. 

The goal is that ODP licencing will clear out the bad brokers from the South African Forex industry. Ensuring that their clients understand the risks should prevent brokers from preying on under-educated traders and with the FSCA monitoring all transactions any price manipulation or fraudulent behaviour will be discovered. 

Advantages of Trading with an FSCA-regulated Broker

The main advantage of trading with an FSCA-regulated broker in South Africa is the local protection of your trading account. While the FSCA does not require brokers to sign up to a compensation scheme, local protection from the FSCA means:

  • Segregated accounts: All trader’s funds are kept separate from a broker’s own operational funds: If a broker goes bankrupt, they will still be able to return all client funds.
  • Financial Audits: Brokers have to submit regular audits to the FSCA, proving that they are following financial laws.
  • Local Trading Accounts: Trading accounts are kept at South African banks. If a broker goes bankrupt, South African traders can walk into the bank where their trading account is kept and withdraw their funds.
  • Local Offices and Banking: That brokers have a South African office and keep their operational funds in South Africa. If a broker is suspected of wrongdoing, the FSCA can easily freeze its accounts in South African banks. The FSCA has no power to freeze bank accounts overseas.

Other common advantages of trading with an FSCA-regulated broker are:

  • Rand (ZAR) Trading Accounts: Most, but not all, FSCA-regulated brokers will offer ZAR trading accounts. This means no conversion fees when depositing or withdrawing to/from South African bank accounts.
  • Fast and Free Deposits and Withdrawals: Most, but not all, FSCA-regulated brokers will offer free same-day deposits and withdrawals to/from South African bank accounts. Most will also offer support for South African eWallets such as Ozow or PayFast, allowing instant deposits and withdrawals from South African banks.

Disadvantages of Trading with an FSCA-regulated Broker

Yes, there are disadvantages when trading with an FSCA-regulated broker. The FSCA is a good regulator but does not protect traders as well as regulators in the UK, Europe or Australia. The main disadvantages of trading with FSCA-regulated brokers are:

  • No negative balance protection: FSCA-regulated brokers are not required to prevent traders from losing more money than they have in their trading accounts. It’s rare, but this does mean that traders in South Africa may end up owing their broker money.
  • No financial compensation scheme: FSCA-regulated brokers are not required to provide compensation to traders in the event of bankruptcy or closure.
  • Leverage limits: Leverage is an essential part of Forex trading, but high leverage levels are risky. In South Africa, there is no limit to the leverage a broker can offer. Some FSCA-regulated brokers will offer leverage of 1000:1 or higher. A small loss with this amount of leverage can easily wipe out a small trading account. 

How do I Know that a Broker is Regulated by the FSCA?

It’s easy to say that South African traders should use FSCA-regulated brokers, but how do you verify that a broker has an FSP licence? Fortunately, checking if a South African Forex broker is regulated by the FSCA is easy. The FSCA offers a search tool for all authorised brokers here: https://www.fsca.co.za/Fais/Search_FSP.htm.

This is what the search window looks like:

FSCA Search

The best way to use this search function is to input the broker’s FSP number, which they are legally required to display on their website.

For instance, here is KhweziTrade’s FSP notice and number at the bottom of its webpage:

KhweziTrade FSP

You will notice that Khwezi Trade is not the name of the Financial Services Provider regulated by the FSCA, but is actually Khwezi Financial Services. This is quite common as Forex brokers are often part of a larger financial company. It does mean that searching by broker name using the FSCA’s search tool can be quite tricky, so use the FSP number if you can.

Using this information from Khwezi Trade’s website we can then search the FSCA database. Here we can see that Khwezi Financial Services is an authorised FSP:

Forex Scams and Bad Brokers in South Africa and How to Avoid Them

As part of our work at TradeForexSA, we ask traders who have been scammed or defrauded by Forex brokers – or people claiming to be Forex “experts” – to let us know about their experience (you can find the details here). 

Forex Scams

According to our latest research, we found that Facebook and Instagram were the sources of more than 50% of Forex scams in South Africa. Both companies have a poor record of stopping criminals, even after official complaints have been made. We also found that many victims paid the people who scammed them in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies and that almost half of the complaints people made were against individual scammers, not brokers.

Both social media and cryptocurrency are great tools for criminals who want to disguise themselves. People can use whatever name they want on social media, and cryptocurrency is almost untraceable. Once someone pays a scammer they met on social media with cryptocurrency, it’s impossible to get their money back. 

Other telltale signs of a Forex scam are promises of guaranteed returns and the use of complex jargon. Forex trading is high-risk speculation and even professional traders cannot guarantee returns. And while there is Forex-specific jargon, trading can be explained in simple terms.

Any individual who offers to perform a financial service without an FSP licence in South Africa is breaking the law. So always ask for an FSP licence number and verify it with the FSCA before handing over money.

Bad Brokers

Avoiding individual scammers is relatively easy compared to avoiding bad brokers. Even JP Markets was FSCA-regulated before it was shut down, and its closure was only after years of complaints. So what can South African traders do to avoid bad brokers? There are a few telltale signs that a broker is not treating its clients fairly:

  • Unpublished spreads: The spread is the broker’s fee for connecting traders to the Forex market. If a broker doesn’t want to say how much this fee is, it’s probably charging too much.
  • High deposit and withdrawal fees: Deposits should always be free of charge and withdrawals should be low-cost. Be wary of high fees or unexplained charges
  • Delayed withdrawals: Withdrawals should take a few days at the most. If a broker ignores withdrawal requests or delays for more than a week it is cheating its customers.
  • Missing Deposits: Bad brokers will sometimes claim to have not received a deposit after it has been made. Always request proof of payment when depositing. 
  • Unresponsive Customer Service: In many cases, the customer service team at bad brokers will ignore complaints or requests for assistance – especially when dealing with any of the problems listed above. 
  • Paywalled/Limited Demo Accounts: Demo accounts are the best educational tool beginner Forex traders have. Brokers that require new traders to open a live account before they can open a demo account, or close demo accounts after a short time period, are trying to force beginners to start trading before they are ready.

If you have experienced any of the issues listed above and the broker has an FSP licence from the FSCA, you can always submit a complaint via the FSCA’s complaints form here.

How to Compare Forex Brokers in South Africa

Though Forex brokers might appear to be similar, they are quite different once you dig a little deeper, and account conditions will vary for South African residents. These are some of the most common questions traders will have when comparing Forex brokers.

Forex Brokers for Beginners

Forex Broker Fees and Trading Costs: 

Other Trading Options

Forex Broker Regulation

Forex Broker Customer Support:

Forex Trading Platforms:

Do I Need a Broker to Trade Forex?

Yes, you will need a broker to trade Forex. Connecting traders to the Forex market is an expensive and technically complex business. It’s important to choose a regulated Forex broker with low costs and a history of treating its clients fairly. 

Which is the Best Broker in South Africa?

The best broker in South Africa is AvaTrade. Avatrade is regulated by the FSCA and has a dedicated South African customer service team. Fees are low, with a 100 USD minimum deposit and tight spreads. AvaTrade clients can trade Forex, cryptocurrencies, commodities, indices, stocks, bonds, vanilla options, and ETFs and have a choice of trading platforms and useful trading tools. Finally, the AvaTradeGo mobile app is one of the best-designed trading apps in the world; it’s easy for beginners to learn but with the functionality required by experienced traders.

Which is the Best Broker for Beginners?

IG Markets is the best broker for beginners in South Africa. FSCA-regulated and with no minimum deposit requirement, IG Markets also has very low trading costs and negative balance protection as standard, making it an excellent low-risk option for new traders. Award-winning customer support from IG’s South African office is available 24/5 via email, live chat, and telephone.  IG Markets also has a great education section, with articles, video tutorials, frequent webinars, advanced trading strategies, and chart analysis.

If you are looking for a reliable FSCA-regulated broker for beginners, some other good options are:

Scroll for more detailsPreviousNext
Broker
Overall Rating
Beginner Friendly
FSP #
Beginner Course
Experienced Course
Negative Balance Protection (Default)
Webinars
Printable Ebook
Unlimited Demo
Support Hours
Min. Deposit
Compare
IG Markets
4.69 /5
Read Review
Excellent
41393
24/5
USD 250
HotForex
4.49 /5
Read Review
Excellent
46632
24/5
ZAR 70
AvaTrade
4.48 /5
Read Review
Excellent
45984
24/5
ZAR 1500
Tickmill
4.48 /5
Read Review
Excellent
49464
24/5
USD 100
FXTM
4.33 /5
Read Review
Excellent
46614
24/7
USD 10

Which Broker has the Best Demo Trading Account?

HotForex also has the best demo trading account in South Africa. The HotForex demo account never expires and comes with 100,000 USD preloaded on either the MT4 or MT5 trading platform. 

Some other brokers with great demo accounts and FSCA regulation are:

Scroll for more detailsPreviousNext
Broker
Overall Rating
Unlimited Demo
FSP #
All Regulators
Beginner Friendly
Beginner Course
Experienced Course
Beginner Videos
Advanced Videos
Webinars
No. of FX Pairs
Compare
IG Markets
4.69 /5
Read Review
41393
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht
Dubai Financial Services Authority
Commodity Futures Trading Association
Excellent
80
HotForex
4.49 /5
Read Review
46632
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
CySEC Regulated Brokers
FCA Regulated Brokers
Financial Services Commission
Excellent
53
Markets.com
4.49 /5
Read Review
43906
FCA Regulated Brokers
CySEC Regulated Brokers
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
Excellent
67
Tickmill
4.48 /5
Read Review
49464
CySEC Regulated Brokers
FCA Regulated Brokers
Labuan Financial Services Authority
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
Excellent
62
Blackstone Futures
4.30 /5
Read Review
49846
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
FCA Regulated Brokers
Securities Commission of the Bahamas
Excellent
32

Are Forex brokers in South Africa reliable?

Yes, most Forex brokers in South Africa are reliable and trustworthy. The most reliable brokers in South Africa are regulated by the FSCA and have a history of treating South African traders fairly. If you are unsure about the reliability of your Forex broker, you can check our list of brokers to avoid.

How do I Choose a Forex Broker?

When choosing a Forex broker there are three things to consider:

  1. Regulation: Make sure you choose a broker regulated by the FSCA in South Africa or one of the other major regulators like CySEC (Europe), ASIC (Australia) or the FCA (UK). Regulated brokers have better security and will treat their traders fairly
  2. Cost: Look for a broker with a low minimum deposit and low fees. Broker fees will include the spread, commission and deposit and withdrawal fees. 
  3. Education: If you’re a beginner you will want a broker with good educational content. All of the brokers on our Best Brokers for Beginners page have high-quality education for beginners.

How do Forex Brokers Make Money?

Some brokers (called market makers) only make money from the spread – the difference between the buying and selling price of the currency pair. These brokers will be the counterparty to any trade, so they make money when clients lose trades. 

Other brokers (called ECNs) have tight spreads but make money from commissions, which are charged every time a trade is opened or closed. This type of broker makes money whether a client wins or loses.

Which Broker has the Lowest Fees?

Tickmill is the broker with the lowest fees, with the total trading cost on its Pro Account equalling 0.4 pips on the EUR/USD, this includes a 0 pip minimum spread and a round turn commission of 4 USD per 100,000 traded. 

Other brokers with low trading costs are:

Scroll for more detailsPreviousNext
Broker
Overall Rating
Cost of Trading
Regulators
Min. Deposit
Max. Leverage
EUR/USD
USD/JPY
GBP/USD
Negative Balance Protection (Default)
Account Types
Trading Commission
Compare
Tickmill
4.48 /5
Read Review
USD 4
CySEC Regulated Brokers
FCA Regulated Brokers
Labuan Financial Services Authority
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
USD 100
500:1
0.10 pips
0.10 pips
0.30 pips
STP
4 USD / lot - Pro Account
Admirals
4.24 /5
Read Review
USD 5
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
CySEC Regulated Brokers
FCA Regulated Brokers
USD 25
500:1
0.10 pips
0.30 pips
0.60 pips
STP
1.8 - 3 USD per lot
IG Markets
4.69 /5
Read Review
USD 6
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht
Dubai Financial Services Authority
Commodity Futures Trading Association
USD 250
200:1
0.85 pips
0.94 pips
1.40 pips
Market Maker
Fees Included in Spread
Capital.com
4.68 /5
Read Review
USD 6
FCA Regulated Brokers
CySEC Regulated Brokers
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
USD 20
200:1
0.60 pips
0.80 pips
1.30 pips
Market Maker
Fees Included in Spread
Blackstone Futures
4.30 /5
Read Review
USD 6
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
FCA Regulated Brokers
Securities Commission of the Bahamas
ZAR 1000
400:1
0.60 pips
1.00 pips
0.80 pips
STP
Fees Included in Spread

Broker fees are split into the trading costs, which is the total of the spread and commission, and non-trading fees such as deposit and withdrawal fees. 

The spread is the difference between the buy and sell price of a Forex pair and is measured in pips, the smaller or “tighter” the spread the less money you spend when you make a trade. Commission is charged by some brokers every time a trade is opened or closed. 

How do I make a Deposit with a Broker?

Making a deposit with a broker is a simple process. Once you have signed up and opened a  live account you will be given a few options. Most brokers in South Africa will accept local bank transfers, credit cards, online payment solutions like Ozow and Payfast, and eWallets like Neteller and Skrill. Bank transfers usually take 1-2 days to process and may have a fee attached but all other deposit methods are usually instant and free. 

How do I make a Withdrawal from a Broker?

To make a withdrawal from a broker you must have enough money in your trading account after deducting the margin needed to keep any trades open. Once you know how much you can withdraw, you can make a withdrawal request via your account dashboard. To prevent money laundering, South African brokers will only let you withdraw the same amount as your initial deposit back to your credit card or eWallet. Anything more than this will have to be withdrawn to a bank account in your name. 

Which Broker has the Lowest Minimum Deposit?

Exness is the broker with the lowest minimum deposit. Regulated by the FSCA since 2020, Exness has three standard accounts which are advertised as having no required minimum deposit. This is not entirely true as the minimum deposit Exness accepts from South African credit cards or bank accounts is 3 US dollars. Other FSCA regulated brokers in South Africa with low minimum deposits are:

Scroll for more detailsPreviousNext
Broker
Overall Rating
Min. Deposit
FSP #
Regulators
Max. Leverage
Cost of Trading
Negative Balance Protection (Default)
EUR/USD
USD/JPY
GBP/USD
Compare
FBS
4.23 /5
Read Review
USD 1
50885
CySEC Regulated Brokers
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
International Financial Services Commission
3000:1
USD 7
0.80 pips
1.30 pips
1.20 pips
Exness
4.12 /5
Read Review
USD 1
51024
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
The Seychelles Financial Services Authority
2000:1
USD 7
0 pips
0 pips
0.10 pips
ThinkMarkets
4.18 /5
Read Review
USD 5
49835
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
FCA Regulated Brokers
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
Bermuda Monetary Authority
500:1
USD 12
0.00 pips
0.00 pips
0.00 pips
BKFX
3.69 /5
Read Review
USD 5
49288
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
2000:1
USD 18
1.50 pips
1.60 pips
1.70 pips
Global GT
3.64 /5
Read Review
USD 5
48896
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
The Seychelles Financial Services Authority
1000:1
USD 14
1.60 pips
1.60 pips
2.20 pips

With most brokers, larger deposits usually unlock lower trading costs and other perks. What level of minimum deposit you are comfortable with depends on your financial situation.  

How do I Calculate Trading Costs?

When trading Forex, the total trading cost is the spread on the currency pair you are trading plus any commission your broker may charge. If you keep a trade open overnight you will also be charged a rollover (or “swap”) fee, which will be deducted automatically from your account. Major pairs, such as the EUR/USD or USD/JPY have tighter spreads and are cheaper to trade.

Which Broker has the Highest Leverage?

FBS offers the highest leverage of any Forex broker in South Africa. On three of their five accounts, leverage of 1:3000 is available. Other brokers in South Africa with high levels are leverage are:

Scroll for more detailsPreviousNext
Broker
Overall Rating
Max. Leverage
Min. Deposit
FSP #
Negative Balance Protection (Default)
Cost of Trading
EUR/USD
USD/JPY
GBP/USD
Compare
FBS
4.23 /5
Read Review
3000:1
USD 1
50885
USD 7
0.80 pips
1.30 pips
1.20 pips
FXTM
4.33 /5
Read Review
2000:1
USD 10
46614
USD 15
0.00 pips
0.00 pips
0.20 pips
Exness
4.12 /5
Read Review
2000:1
USD 1
51024
USD 7
0 pips
0 pips
0.10 pips
BKFX
3.69 /5
Read Review
2000:1
USD 5
49288
USD 18
1.50 pips
1.60 pips
1.70 pips
HotForex
4.49 /5
Read Review
1000:1
ZAR 70
46632
USD 10
0.10 pips
0.30 pips
0.50 pips

Leverage is money borrowed from your Forex broker to increase the size of a Forex trade. Leverage is essential in Forex trading because the movements of the market are too small to make a decent profit unless you place thousands of dollars on each trade. Leverage can be used to make large profits with a little of your own money, but you can also quickly lose more than your original investment.

Which Brokers in South Africa have ZAR Trading Accounts?

There are a number of international and South African brokers who offer trading from ZAR trading accounts. The top five are:

Scroll for more detailsPreviousNext
Broker
Overall Rating
ZAR Account
Min. Deposit
Max. Leverage (Forex)
Negative Balance Protection (Default)
Regulators
Trading Cost (Standard Account)
EUR/USD
USD/JPY
GBP/USD
Account Types
Trading Commission
Compare
Markets.com
4.49 /5
Read Review
ZAR 2500
300:1
FCA Regulated Brokers
CySEC Regulated Brokers
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
USD 7
0.60 pips
0.70 pips
0.90 pips
Market Maker
Fees Included in Spread
HotForex
4.49 /5
Read Review
ZAR 70
1000:1
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
CySEC Regulated Brokers
FCA Regulated Brokers
Financial Services Commission
USD 10
0.10 pips
0.30 pips
0.50 pips
STP
6 USD / lot - Zero Account
AvaTrade
4.48 /5
Read Review
ZAR 1500
400:1
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission
CySEC Regulated Brokers
Central Bank of Ireland
USD 9
0.90 pips
1.10 pips
1.60 pips
Market Maker
Fees Included in Spread
Blackstone Futures
4.30 /5
Read Review
ZAR 1000
400:1
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
FCA Regulated Brokers
Securities Commission of the Bahamas
USD 6
0.60 pips
1.00 pips
0.80 pips
STP
Fees Included in Spread
FxPro
4.29 /5
Read Review
USD 100
200:1
FCA Regulated Brokers
CySEC Regulated Brokers
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
Dubai Financial Services Authority
USD 14
0.40 pips
0.60 pips
1.00 pips
Market Maker NDD
9 USD / lot

The advantages of having ZAR as a base currency in South Africa are:

  • Traders will not have to pay any broker conversion fees when sending money from their South African bank account.
  • Traders will not have to pay any conversion fees that your bank or credit card may charge when making a fund transfer or withdrawal.
  • Brokers with ZAR accounts will most likely use South African bank accounts, so withdrawals and deposits are much faster and often happen instantly.

For a complete list of brokers with ZAR trading accounts check our dedicated page on the best brokers with ZAR trading accounts

Which Broker Has the Most CFDs?

IG Markets is the broker with the most CFDs to trade. IG Markets offers trading on over 17,000 instruments, including Forex, indices, share CFDs, commodities, cryptocurrencies, digital 100s, options, ETFs, bonds, and interest rates.

Other brokers with a wide range of instruments to trade are:

Scroll for more detailsPreviousNext
Broker
Overall Rating
Total # CFDs
# FX Pairs
Regulators
Min. Deposit
Max. Leverage
Cost of Trading
Negative Balance Protection (Default)
Trading Commission
Compare
MultiBank
3.93 /5
Read Review
20093
41
Financial Services Commission
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
USD 50
500:1
USD 14
3 USD / lot
IG Markets
4.69 /5
Read Review
19295
80
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht
Dubai Financial Services Authority
Commodity Futures Trading Association
USD 250
200:1
USD 6
Fees Included in Spread
FP Markets
4.28 /5
Read Review
10099
60
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
CySEC Regulated Brokers
USD 100
500:1
USD 7
6 USD / lot - RAW Accounts
FIBO Group
3.50 /5
Read Review
8079
48
CySEC Regulated Brokers
Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht
British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission
Financial Services Commission
USD 0
1000:1
USD 6
6 USD / lot
ETX Capital
4.07 /5
Read Review
5135
62
FCA Regulated Brokers
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
CySEC Regulated Brokers
GBP 100
300:1
USD 6
Fees Included in Spread

Which Broker has the Most Currency Pairs?

Swissquote is the Broker with the most currency pairs, with over 130 currency crosses to trade. As part of a larger banking group, Swissquote is very well regulated and is one of the most secure brokers in the world. Swissquote targets professional traders and minimum deposits are high, starting at 1000 USD on its entry-level account.

Other Forex brokers with a larger than usual selection of currency pairs to trade are:

Scroll for more detailsPreviousNext
Broker
Overall Rating
Forex Pairs
Crypto Pairs
Regulators
Min. Deposit
Max. Forex Leverage
Cost of Trading
Negative Balance Protection (Default)
EUR/USD
USD/JPY
GBP/USD
Compare
Capital.com
4.68 /5
Read Review
137
220
FCA Regulated Brokers
CySEC Regulated Brokers
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
USD 20
200:1
USD 6
0.60 pips
0.80 pips
1.30 pips
Swissquote
3.90 /5
Read Review
130
5
FCA Regulated Brokers
Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht
Finansinspektionen
USD 1000
100:1
USD 17
1.70 pips
1.60 pips
2.00 pips
InstaForex
3.32 /5
Read Review
110
11
CySEC Regulated Brokers
British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission
USD 1
1000:1
USD 30
3.00 pips
3.00 pips
3.00 pips
easyMarkets
3.98 /5
Read Review
103
12
CySEC Regulated Brokers
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
The Seychelles Financial Services Authority
USD 25
400:1
USD 20
0.70 pips
1.00 pips
1.30 pips
Exness
4.12 /5
Read Review
100
3
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
The Seychelles Financial Services Authority
USD 1
2000:1
USD 7
0 pips
0 pips
0.10 pips

Which Broker is the Best for Professional Traders?

Pepperstone is the best broker for professional traders. An ECN broker with extensive liquidity streams, Pepperstone supports all three major trading platforms (MT4, MT5 and cTrader) and has some of the tightest spreads in the industry (0.09 pips EUR/USD spread on its Razor Account). 

Commissions are low and there are no minimum deposit requirements. Commissions can be further reduced by becoming a member of Pepperstone’s Active Trader Program. The Active Trader Program has a number of other advantages for high-volume traders, including a free VPS service and priority customer support.

What are Managed Forex Accounts?

Some brokers will operate a managed account for you, but this is rare. There are independent money managers who can manage your account while they are trading for themselves. It is vital that you read our article on managed accounts and understand the minimum deposit requirements and additional risks involved when trading CFDs.

If you have any questions after reading through this guide, please get in touch with us in the comments at the bottom of the page.

How do I Know if a Forex Broker is Regulated?

All regulated brokers are required to display their licence number and the authority they received it from on their website. These licence numbers can be easily verified on the regulatory authority’s website. Some scam brokers will use similar names to legitimate businesses, so make sure the name of the licence holder on the regulator’s website matches the broker’s details.

How do I check if a Forex broker is licenced by the FSCA?

All Forex brokers that are regulated by the FSCA are required to publish their Financial Service Provider (FSP) licence number on their website. Once you have the FSP number of a broker you can go use the FSCA’s search page to enter the FSP and verify that the broker is indeed licenced.

How Can I Report Scam brokers?

If you believe you have been scammed by your broker, the first thing to do is warn others and tell your story. You can contact the FSCA’s complaints department here and ask them to investigate. We also have a report a scam broker form which we use to gather information so that we get the word out.  If you have been scammed, please complete the form.

Which Broker has the Best Customer Support in South Africa?

KhweziTrade is the South African broker with the Best Customer Support. KhweziTrade’s client support team is knowledgeable and helpful and all requests are answered quickly and efficiently. South African traders are offered a personalised experience, with all traders receiving a personal account manager. Support, both technical and administrative, is available in English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Sotho, and Xhosa.

Which Forex Broker has the Best Platform?

Marketsx is a trading platform from Markets.com, which has been FSCA-regulated since 2016 and offers ZAR trading accounts for South African traders. Traders can use the Marketsx platform to trade over 2,200 financial instruments. The platform also offers advanced charting, making it easier to spot trends and identify new trading opportunities. Marketsx also allows traders to use five types of indicators once, overlay multiple assets, or compare up to eight instruments side-by-side. Marketsx is available on mobile devices and via the markets.com website. 

Which is the Best Platform for Forex?

Currently, MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is the best platform for trading Forex. MT4 has been around since 2005 but is supported by most Forex brokers and used by millions of traders around the world. MT4 is resource-efficient, fast, and can run on older hardware without any issue. It’s also fully customisable and can handle multiple trading accounts from different brokers with a single installation.

MT4 is particularly valued for its automated trading facilities. Traders can create or buy algorithmic trading robots and install them on their version of MT4 to automate trading or assist in decision making. It’s also possible to copy other traders through the MT4 trading signals facility. 

Forex Risk Disclaimer

Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors as it carries a high degree of risk to your capital: 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. 

Forex and CFD transactions involve high risk due to the following factors: Over-leveraging, unpredictable market volatility, slippage arising from a lack of liquidity, inadequate trading knowledge or experience, and a lack of regulatory protection for clients.

Traders should not deposit any money that is not disposable. Regardless of how much research you have done, or how confident you are in your trade, there is always a substantial risk of loss. (Learn more from the FCA or from ASIC)

Our Rating & Review Methodology

Our State of the Market Report and Directory of CFD Brokers to Avoid are the result of extensive research on over 300 Forex brokers. The explicit goal of these resources is to help traders find the best Forex brokers – and steer them away from the worst ones – with the benefit of accurate and up-to-date information.

With over 150 data points on each broker and over 3000 hours of research and review writing, we believe we have succeeded in our goal. 

In a world where trading conditions and customer support can vary based on where you live, our broker reviews focus on the local trader and give you information about these brokers from your perspective.

All research has been conducted by our in-house team of researchers and writers, gathering information from various company representatives, websites and sifting through the fine print. Learn more about how we rank brokers

References

These documents were used in the inspiration, research and data collection for this article.

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Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors and comes with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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