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Top 10 best regulated forex brokers in South Africa 2021


We reviewed the top ten best regulated Forex brokers in South Africa to make your choice easy and straightforward. If you are looking for a great broker, this article is an ideal place to start your search.

Top 10 forex brokers in South Africa

Forex Broker Country of Regulation Minimum Deposit
Hotforex South Africa, France, Cyprus, Estonia, UK, and Dubai R500.00
FXTM South Africa, UK, and Cyprus R100.00
XM Australia, Cyprus and UK R50.00
Avatrade South Africa and Australia R1000.00
Tickmill Seychelles R1000.00
Plus500 Australian and UK R1500.00
ICMarkets Australia R10000.00
FXCM South Africa, UK, and Australia R500.00
Think Markets Australia, Bermuda and UK R2500.00
IQ Options Cyprus R100.00
Best forex brokers operating in South Africa

XM

Methodology

We have based our numbering on regulation, years in the industry, deposit and withdrawal ease, deposit required, customer support systems in place, website friendliness and account diversity.

1. HotForex

Hotforex is one of the most valuable Forex brokerages in the world. Registered with FSCA, license number: 46632.  The company trades as HF Markets SA (Pty) Ltd in South Africa. There are many advantages that come with trading with HotForex and for starters, the company is regulated locally meaning whenever you think there is a foul play you can contact the FSCA and the public protector office. HotForex holds licenses in many jurisdictions such as France, Cyprus, Estonia, UK, Dubai and many other European countries.

Account types offered by HotForex

HotForex offer five types of trading accounts for different traders. From accounts with a minimum deposit of $50 to accounts that require a minimum deposit of $1000.

Micro Account

You start trading with a minimum of $50 on this account. Leverage for this account is 1000:1 and the spread start from 1 pip. Unlike the classic Forex accounts with this account you can trade size and deposit less. The bonus is flexible and you also have an account manager dedicated to you. You can have up to 150 simultaneous open orders, something that you don’t see everyday for a micro account.

Premium Account

The account accommodates experienced traders. The premium account uses MT4, MT5 and Webtrader platforms and mobile apps available for the platforms. The account can accommodate up to 300 simultaneous open orders, that’s 2 times the amount allowable compared to the Micro account. Minimum deposit for this account is R1400 which is exactly an upgrade that one would need coming from a micro account. This account is way more feasible.

Zero Spread Account

As the name says this account is a 0 spread account and is suitable for any traders but highly recommended for scalpers and high volume traders. This account is the lowest costing account from HotForex and if you are looking at saving money from trades then you may consider this account. Placing too many orders in a day can be costly but with the Zero Spread account it doesn’t cost you a single cent to place a trade. The minimum deposit required for this account is R2800. Much higher than micro and premium accounts but since there will be more trades placed it is understandable of the hike in the deposit amount.

Auto Account

Auto account is suitable for all traders. This account gives you some advantage of getting free signals and also having an option to buy trading signals from MQL5 community. Minimum deposit for a auto account is R2800 and you can place up to 300 simultaneous trades on this account.

HFcopy Account

This account is available for strategy providers and followers. Strategy providers trade in exchange of a fee from followers that can be as high as 50%. The aim of the strategy provider is to gather as many followers as possible to have these followers copy their trades for a fee. For a strategy provider to join this account you will need a minimum deposit of R4200 and as a follower you will need to deposit a minimum of R1400

HotForex Currency pairs

As a South African trader you can leverage from 49 currency pairs. ZAR only has 4 crosses with are USDZAR, EURZAR, GBPZAR and ZARJPY. Other currency pairs traded are 15 major currency pairs and 34 minor pairs

Regulation

Regulated by FSCA in South Africa Hotforx holds trading licenses in other countries that include Dubai, Seychelles, Dubai, United Kingdom and Cyprus.

Deposit Methods

Maestro, Moneybookers, Neteller, Przelewy, QIWI, Skrill, Sofort, Union Pay, Webmoney, Western Union, Wire Transfer

Withdrawal Options

Credit Card, Cryptocurrencies, FasaPay, iDeal, Maestro, Moneybookers, Neteller, Przelewy, QIWI, and Skrill

Hotforex Advantages

  • Multiple regulations.
  • Commission-free trading accounts available.
  • Zero fees on deposit & withdrawals.
  • 100% Deposit Bonus for new accounts
  • ZAR trading accounts are available
  • Live chat system is reliable
  • Competitive spreads from the live comparison table.
  • Lots of premium MetaTrader tools and indicators such as AutoChartist.

Hotforex Advantages

  • HotForex doesn’t use local banks for deposits and withdrawals such as FNB or Nedbank instead you will need to wait for 2-7days for a wire transfer.
  • They don’t have a telephone line in South Africa but you can contact them on their international line.
  • HotForex St Vincent and Grenadines company is unregulated.

2. FXTM

FXTM also known as Forex Time is one of the fastest-growing Forex brokerages in the world. It has set its mark in a remarkable way in South Africa.

Forex Time is doing most many great things like withdrawals taking a day to 7 days and their best customer support system complement their business model.

FXTM  Account types

It has five account types that traders can open be a demo or a live account. Let us examine each and every account individually.

Cent account

A cent account basically deal with cents. For every dollar that you deposit your account will be credited with 100 cents so from your account the value of your deposit will be expressed in cent terms.

This account is in no way different from the traditional trading account except that your money will be expressed in cents not in dollars as usual. The minimum deposit for this account is $10.

This Forex account is suitable for new traders so that they can gain experience of trading using large sum of number, it prepares them for the next stage of trading.

Standard Account

This account is for every kind of trader be a beginner or a pro trader. Leverage on this account is 1:2000 so you get more leverage than HotForex. Minimum deposit for this account is $100 which is equivalent to R1400.

ECN Account

ECN is an acronym for Electronic Communication Network. It is an automated component of trading since it connects traders to liquidity providers such as banks, brokerages and other traders around the world and eliminates the role of the traditional middleman.

To trade using this account you need a minimum deposit of $500 to begin trading. You can make up to 300 orders on this account

ENC Zero Account

This is a ENC account that charges no commissions unlike the traditional ECN account that charges $8 commission. To begin trading you need to deposit a minimum of $200.

Share Account

With the share account, you get to trade share online from some of the biggest companies in the world. You get live feed from the NASDAQ and NYSE.

This is best suited for those that want to buy and sell shares online and FXTM provides such account. You get divided adjustment plus you get leverage of 1:10 on US shares and 1:3 on European shares. You need to deposit a minimum of $100.

FXTM Pro Account

This account is ideal for institutional traders, professional traders or hedge fund managers. This is FXTM’s most exclusive account and attracts those that are investing lots of money.

The minimum deposit required for this account is $25000 and doesn’t have a maximum deposit so not everyone can afford to trade on this account but a few.

Regulation

FXTM is an internationally regulated Brokerage and it is regulated in the United Kingdom by FCA, in Cyprus by CySEC and in South Africa by FSCA. FXTM South Africa registration number is 46614.

Deposit Methods

Neteller, skrill, wire transfer, and web money

Withdrawal Method

Neteller, Skrill, Wiretransfer, and web money

FXTM Advantages

  • Live chat support is responsive on every trading day for 24 hours
  • The Brokerage is regulated in multiple jurisdictions
  • There is 0 deposit fee and the withdrawals are quick

FXTM Disadvantages

  • The standard account charges high spread and the lowest average spread for EUR/USD is 2pips
  • ECN account charges a high commission of $8

3. XM

This is probably one of the most advertised Forex Brokerage in the world. You might have seen Usain Bolt on an XM advertisement, that just shows how big XM advertising budget is, getting a world record holder on an advert is definitely costly.

XM is not regulated in South Africa but they are regulated elsewhere. It was founded in 2009 and has since been one of the leading Forex brokers in terms of Trading volume. XM uses both the web and mobile platforms and it is available on MT4 and MT5 platforms.

XM Account types

It offers four types of accounts to traders and we will look at each separately.

Micro Account

Micro account is a trading account for all types of traders and offer different leverage for different amounts deposited. For an account with $100k plus the leverage on the account is 1:100, an account with $20001-$100,000.00 has a leverage of 1:200 and an account with $5-$20,000.00 has a leverage of 1:888.

The minimum deposit for this account is $5 and you can have up to 200 pending orders.

Standard Account

The standard account has a higher lot size than the micro account of 1 lot equating to 100,000 while the macro account’s 1 lot equates to 1,000. This account is available to any type of trader. Hedging is available on this account. The minimum required deposit for this account is $5.

Shares Account

This account doesn’t offer any leverage on trades executed and there is no hedging that is allowed. Minimum deposit required is $10,000.00 and can have a maximum orders open of up to 50 orders.

XM ultra low Account

The XM Ultra Low account type is one which is available only to Australian-based traders. This has a spread which starts from 0.6pips and also provides for no commissions on trades. The leverage available is again up to 1:500 or 1:30 for those located within the EU.

Currency pair

XM offer 55 currency pairs. Offer major pairs such as EUR/USD, USD/JPY, GBP/USD, USD/CHF, and USD/CAD.

Regulation

XM is regulated in 3 countries and doesn’t have a registration license in South Africa. XM is regulated in Australia, Cyprus and United Kingdom.

Deposit Methods

Neteller, Moneybookers and all major credit cards (including VISA, VISA Electron, MasterCard, Maestro and China UnionPay

Withdrawal Methods

Neteller, Moneybookers and all major credit cards (including VISA, VISA Electron, MasterCard, Maestro and China UnionPayPros

XM Advantages

  • XM is regulated by FCA (UK), CySEC & ASIC.
  • Very low average EUR/USD spread of 0.8 pips with Ultra Low Account.
  • Quick order execution & zero Re-quotes.
  • Negative Balance protection
  • Zero fees on deposits & withdrawals.
  • Fast & knowledgeable live chat support.

XM Disadvantages

  • XM doesn’t hold a FSCA license yet, however, they have a pending license application with the FSCA.
  • Doesn’t have support offices in South Africa although can be contacted on their international line.

Open a real trading account

4. Avatrade

Avatrade is regulated in South Africa by the FSCA and has its  headquarters in Dublin Ireland. The Forex Brokerage was formed in 2006 and is regulated in different other countries apart from South Africa.

Account types

Avatrade live account

Avatrade only has a single account and there is no need to choose or make a comparison from other accounts. The live account requires a minimum deposit of $100. Should you wish to use a ZAR account you can do so by adding another account.

Regulation

Have licenses in South Africa, Australia and other Countries

Deposit Methods

Visa and Master cards, Neteller, skrill, PayPal, web money and wire transfer

Avatrade Advantages

  • Has local offices and support
  • Registered with FSCA
  • Zero deposit fees

Avatrade Disadvantages

  • Live chart not available
  • High spread
  • Charges inactive fee

5. Tickmill

Account types

Classic Account

This account is suitable for beginners and professional traders. This account has spread added on the normal trading price meaning when placing a trade your trade balance will start from a negative balance. The minimum deposit required is $100.

Pro Account

This account gives you a direct market spread and for some trades 0.0pips for a trade depending on the market. Tickmill adds commissions on trades and for a 100 000 lot trade tickmill will charge you $2. Minimum deposit for this account is $100.

VIP Account

Unlike any other tickmill trading account, the vip account doesn’t have any minimum deposit required, however there is a minimum balance that need to be maintained for this account. The minimum amount that needs to be maintained is $50000. This account is designed for institutional investors and other high stakes traders. Commission on trades for this account is $1 for 100 000 lot traded.

Currency pairs

Tickmill offer over 60 currency pair to Forex trades, some of the pairs include EUR/USD, USD/JPY, GBP/USD, USD/CHF, and USD/CAD.

Regulation

Tickmill Ltd is regulated as a Securities Dealer by the Seychelles Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Deposit Methods

Neteller wiretransfer, and Skrill. All deposits starting from 5,000 USD or equivalent, processed in one transaction by bank wire transfer, are included in the tickmill 0 fees policy.

Tickmill Advantages

  • No fees charged on withdrawals and deposits
  • Tickmill regulated by FSA.
  • Has over 60 major and minor currency pairs available for trading
  • Pro account has low spread
  • Vip account charges less commission

Tickmill Disadvantages

  • It doesn’t allow crypto trading yet.
  • Tickmill is not registered in South Africa but their registration is still in progress
  • No local support for South Africans. Can only use a live chat or call them on their international land-line.

6. Plus500

Plus500 is one of the oldest Forex brokers on our list. Established in 2008 and listed at the London Stock Exchange.

Plus500 has a ZAR currency base for South Africans. Minimum deposit on for a plus500 account is R1500.

Account types

Retail Account

The Plus500 retail account is effectively the Plus500 standard account which will likely be used by the majority of traders.

Within the Plus500 retail account itself, you can look forward to trading more than 70 currency pairs as well as indices, commodities, shares, options, ETFs, and 14 of the most popular cryptos through Plus500 cryptocurrency trading.Plus500 retail account, you can look forward to some of these key features:

  • Negative balance protection.
  • Fee-free trading with the exception of a minimal spread.
  • 4 different stop order types. This includes a guaranteed stop which slightly increases your spread, but protects you from slippage.
  • ICF (Investor Compensation Fund).
  • Access to the proprietary Plus500 trading platform.
  • Professional Account

Professional account allows for all of the same features as a Plus500 retail account, adding a few more. You should note that ICF is not available on these accounts.

You can access a Plus500 professional account if you fulfil 2 of the following 3 requirements:

  • High volume of trading activity within the last 12 months.
  • €500,000 or more to invest.
  • Experience within the financial services field.

Currency pairs

Plus 500 offer 70 major and minor currency pairs.

Regulation

Plus500 is regulated by several international financial authorities, including top-tier ones like the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Deposit Methods

Debit/Credit cards – only Visa or MasterCard debit/credit cards are acceptable (there may be further limitations depending on your region).

Electronic wallets (PayPal or Skrill).

Bank transfer (direct bank to bank funds transfer).

Plus500 Advantages

  • Low trading fees
  • No withdrawal charges
  • Registered with the London stock exchange
  • Low minimum deposit of R1500
  • Debit and credit card facility

Plus500 Disadvantages

  • There is an inactivity fee charged
  • Minimal research tools

7. ICMarkets

ICMarkets is an Australian based Forex Brokerage regulated in Australia. Established as early as 2007 and weathered the 2008 global financial crisis.

Account types

MT4 Standard Account

This is a entry level account from ICMarket. The spread on this account is up to as low as 1 pip. ICMarkets`s standard account offer a 0.3 pips rebate on trades.

MT4 True ECN Account

This account offer lower spread on trade with trade on the EURUSD spread at 0.1 per pip. Suitable for every Forex trader, it requires a minimum of $200 to get started.

cTrader ECN Account

There is no minimum spread on the cTrader platform and spreads on the EUR/USD can often be seen at -0.3 pips during the European and North American trading sessions. The minimum amount required to open this account type is $1000.

Currency pairs

Can trade over 60 currency pairs with ICMarkets with the most traded currencies being EURUSD, GBPUSD, AUDUSD, EURCHF and EURGBP.

Regulation

Regulated in Australia.

Deposit Methods

You can use Bpay, Neteller, Skrill, Bitcoin Wallet, Rapid Transfer, POLi, and wire Transfer.

IC Markets Advantages

  • Free deposits and withdrawals
  • Fast account opening
  • Low no trading fees
  • Low Forex fees

IC Markets Disadvantages

  • No negative balance protection
  • No investor protection

8. FXCM

FXCM has the best no commission forex trading accounts dedicated to South African traders.  

South African residents can enjoy trading on the foreign exchange market with a proprietary trading platform, spreads as low as 1.2 pips on EUR/USD and 57.6 pips on USD/ZAR and leverage as high as 400:1.

The zero-commission trading feature couple with a solid range of trading platforms and enhanced execution speed makes FXCM the best forex broker with no commission. Founded in 1999, FXCM holds multi regulations around the world.

Account types

FXCM Live Account

FXCM offer only one account type which is the FXCM Live account and it is available to anyone that wants to trader with FXCM. The minimum deposit on this account is $50 and has a leverage of 400:1.

Regulation

FXCM is regulated in South Africa by FSCA, in United Kingdom by FCA and in Australia by ASIC.

Deposit Methods

FXCM allow bank wiretransfer and credit and debit card payments.

IC Markets Advantages

  • Get a free practising account
  • Access to free trading and educational tools
  • South Africans get a $20 welcome bonus
  • Regulated by FSCA, FCA and ASIC
  • Has offices in Johannesburg

IC Markets Disadvantages

  • Mini account holders can only trade 21 out of 39 currency pairs available on the platform.
  • The client service is not 24 hours so sometimes you will need to wait until the client desk is open.
  • Charges $50 for inactive accounts
  • There are as many currency pairs on the platform
  • Mt5 not supported

9. ThinkMarkets

Founded in 2010, with headquarters in Melbourne, Australia, and a satellite office in London;

Regulated by ASIC, with additional oversight from the FCA in the UK. The trading platform consists of MetaTrader4 protocols and mobile applications, augmented by a unique package of enhanced trading tools and features. To start trading you need a minimum deposit of $250.

Account types

Think Markets has 3 types of accounts in place namely standard, vip and pro account.

Standard Account

Minimum deposit on this for this account is $250 and the maximum is $1999. This account is suitable for beginners and those who have been trading using a demo account and now want to experience trading using a real account.

Pro Account

Minimum deposit required for this account is $2000 and the maximum required is $24999. This accounting is suitable for professional traders looking for more leverage.

VIP Account

Minimum deposit required for this account is $25000 and there is no limit attached to the account. VIP account is best suited for institutional traders and professional traders because of its level of investment required.

Currency pairs

ThinkMarkets offer 40 currency pairs

Regulation

  • Australia
  • Bermuda
  • United Kingdom

Deposit Methods

Major credit cards and banking wire transfers, Skrill/Moneybookers, Neteller, BPAY and Union Pay.

ThinkMarkets Advantages

  • Spreads are competitive.
  • Regulated in good Jurisdictions
  • Choice of 2 two trading platforms

Think Markets Disadvantages

  • The website is not easy to use.
  • Traders who are used to running their MT4 EA’s or custom indicators will be disappointed if they choose to trade with the ThinkTrader platform.

10. IQ Option

IQ Option is a financial services provider based in Cyprus and managed and owned by IQ Options Europe Ltd.

Account types

Real Account

This is a simple live account for beginners and professionals. There are more than 200 assets that can be traded using a real account.

These assets can be divided into five categories which are binary options, CFDs, Digital Options, Crypto currencies, and Currency pairs.

Allowable minimum trade size allowable for this account is $1 and the minimum deposit required to get started is $10.

VIP Account

This is a premium trading account that comes with many benefits for the account user.

As a VIP account holder, you will get your own personal account manager, take part in any tournament, get free tutorials, get free educational materials, and high profitability rates.

Regulation

Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission (CySEC)

Deposit Methods

Wire Transfer, Capitec Bank, Nedbank, Absa, Discovery, Standard bank, Skrill, Neteller, FNB, WebMoney, perfect Money, AstroPay, and AdvCash

IQ Options Advantages

  • Free demo account
  • Regulated by CySEC
  • Low minimum deposit required
  • Has a variety of Trading options

IQ Options Disadvantages

  • Country restrictions
  • The customer support system does not respond timely

Best bank for forex trading in South Africa

  1. First National Bank (FNB)
  2. Standard Bank
  3. ABSA
  4. Nedbank
  5. Investec
  6. Bidvest Bank

Conclusion

Choosing a Forex Brokerage is difficult but this list will ease the burden of going back and forth looking for the right broker for you.

Don’t compromise on the quality of service that you are getting from a Forex Brokerage because this relationship determines your future relationship.

If you are new you can start by downloading a demo account to check your skills before draining your money on a real account.

Each Forex Brokerage listed has a demo account that you can utilize.

Before opening a live account understand the trading language. Know how spreads, pips, swaps and commission works.

Also know the leverage on the account that you want to open. Risk management is your key to success in trading so don’t gamble know what you are doing.

Last but not least know where your broker is regulated, with this you can research which jurisdiction can enforce policies.

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Lethabo Ntsoane

Lethabo Ntsoane holds a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from the University of South Africa. He is a Financial Product commentator at Rateweb. He is an expect financial product analyst with years of experience in reviewing products and offering commentary. Lethabo majors in financial news, reviews and financial tips. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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