We tested 30+ brokers & then selected the 10 best Forex brokers for South Africans that are regulated with FSCA, FCA or CySEC.
There are over 50+ Forex Brokers that accept South African traders. Most of these brokers claim to offer more or less the same features & trading environment.
So how do you decide which broker is best for you?
At Forexbrokers.co.za, we did the full research for you so that you don’t have to.
10 Best Forex brokers in South Africa for 2019
First we narrowed down the list & selected only the regulated & credible brokers that work in the South African market.
Then we signed up with each broker & analysed multiple factors including: minimum deposit, trading fees (average spread, commissions & even fees on deposits/withdrawals), maximum leverage, convenience of trading platform (mobile & desktop), ease of withdrawals, technical support. We even put in consideration the actual user reviews and ratings of real traders.
Now without further waiting…
Here’s our complete list of 10 best performing forex brokers in South Africa. We have compared their regulation, fees (spread & non-trading fees), time taken during deposits & withdrawals, trading execution time & support offered (last 4 months):
Hotforex is our recommend choice for low cost forex broker in South Africa. We consider them to be safe as they are regulated in South Africa with FSCA (FSP No 46632) since 2016 & with FCA in UK (HF Markets (UK) Limited with Reference number: 801701) since 2019. They offer one of the lowest trading fees among the regulated brokers that we have compared & listed so far.
Hotforex, or HF Markets a 100% STP forex broker in South Africa. They were founded in 2010 & have been regulated by FSCA as HF MARKETS SA (PTY) LTD since 2016.
In terms of trading fees, Hotforex has the lowest spread with their Zero account & there is no fees on deposits/withdrawals. Their average EUR/USD spread is around 1.2 (it may vary according to market conditions) with Premium account, and it is normally around 0.3 pips with Zero account. Hotforex is solid for low fees!
Hotforex offers ZAR accounts for South African traders, this is optional & you can choose USD or EUR base currency account as well. They offer 12 trading platforms Including the latest MT5, and the MetaTrader for Android, iPhone and desktop. Their trading instruments on offer are very wide: forex, cryptos, shares, bond & commodities.
They also have an attractive 100% deposit bonus for new customers in South Africa and have great loyalty programs for existing clients.
The funding & withdrawal options at Hotforex are also very good, with zero fees, but they don’t offer local SA bank options for deposit & withdrawals. In terms of support, they have a quick Live chat support, but on the negative side they don’t have a local phone number in South Africa for support.
XM Trading is another good forex broker for South African traders. They are not regulated with FSCA, but they have international regulations with ASIC (Australia), CySEC (Cyprus) & IFSC. We like their fast order execution, low spread with Ultra Low Account and zero fees on deposits/withdrawals. We highly recommend them to new traders.
XM Group is a part of Trading Point of Financial Instruments Ltd that was founded in 2009. They are now one of the leading forex broker in terms of daily trading volume. Trading Point of Financial Instruments Ltd is regulated by CySEC & ASIC (Trading Point of Financial Instruments Pty Ltd since 2015), so we consider them to be safe.
They offer the one of the fastest trade execution out of all the forex brokers that we have reviewed, with almost zero re-quotes & zero rejection. Their fees with their Ultra Low Account is one of the lowest of all the brokers that we have compared. And they even have negative balance protection.
XM has both web & mobile trading, available on MT4 & MT5 platforms. Plus, they have wide range of trading instruments including currencies, Cryptos & CFDs. Their trading environment is quite good.
Their support is also really fast in resolving issues, especially their live chat which also available during the week. Another plus, is that they don’t charge any fees on deposits & withdrawals.
Exness is our 3rd ranked forex broker for South Africans. They are FCA regulated so we find them to be very safe, but on the downside they are not regulated with FSCA. We like them because they offer really low spread, good support & instant withdrawal methods.
Exness was founded in 2008 & they are now one of the largest broker globally in terms of daily trading volume. They are highly regulated with FCA, CySEC so we consider trading with them to be safe for South African traders.
Their spread is extremely competitive, on average it is 1.1 pips for EUR/USD even with their Mini account, and it is as low as 0 pips with their ECN account. We found them to be one of the lowest spread broker.
Exness offers the latest MT5 platform also, which we consider to be a pro. Moreover, they have really good account offerings including standard accounts & even ECN accounts.
Their funding & withdrawal methods are very convenient for South African traders. They even have local bank transfer option, and some instant withdrawal methods. They is one of its kind.
We really like their customer support. Exness’s chat is available 24 hours for 5 days in a week, and they are really knowledgeable, friendly & quick in answering all questions. But they don’t have a local phone number in South Africa.
FXTM is our #4 forex broker in South Africa. They are regulated with FSCA, FCA & CySEC, so we consider them to be safe. Plus, they offer instant order execution with Standard accounts & very good support.
FXTM was founded in 2011 & it got regulated with South Africa’s FSCA in 2016. We consider them to be safe since they are regulated with multiple top-tier regulators globally.
They offer competitive spread for majors including EUR/USD (0.4 pips + commissions per lot) with their ECN MT5 account. But the spread is quite high with their Standard accounts (2.4 pips with Micro account & 2.0 pips with Standard account). In terms of their trading fees, we recommend them for ECN accounts only.
They have wide range of trading instruments, 57 major, minor & exotic currency pairs, Cyrptocurrencies, CFDs, as well as stocks. The trading platforms offered by FXTM are MetaTrader 4 & 5, with mobile trading app compatible with Android and iOS.
They have very convenient funding methods with zero fees on deposits. But they offer some fees on withdrawals, but the withdrawals are quick.
Their customer support is very active, with quick & knowledgeable live chat available 24*5. Besides this, they provide free education to new traders in the form of webinars, articles & seminars.
Avatrade is a European brokers that is also regulated with FSCA in South Africa. We recommend them to traders looking to trade crytocurrencies through a regulated broker.
Avatrade is an European forex broker that was founded in 2006. They are regulated with FSCA since 2015 with the company name ‘Ava Capital Markets Pty Ltd’.
In terms of fees, Avatrade’s trading fees & non-trading charges are higher than other brokers that we have compared. They offer fixed spread accounts, with EUR/USD spread being 1.3 pips with Retail account. Moreover, they charge an inactivity fees (for non-trading for 3 months) of $50, and an Administration fee of $100 for 12 months of inactivity in an account.
Avatrade offer MT4, MT5 platforms for web & mobile, along with their proprietary app. Like all the other brokers, they offer Forex, Cryptocurreinces, Stocks & bond trading.
Their deposit and withdrawal options include credit cards, wire transfer, and wallets. On the plus side, they don’t charge any fees on deposits & withdrawals.
Avatrade’s customer support is not the best, as their phone & chat support is not available 24/5. It is only available during the company’s business hours.
FXCM is a UK based broker that is also regulated with FSCA in South Africa as FXCM South Africa (PTY) LTD with FSP number 46534. They are one of the oldest regulated broker, so we recommend them.
FXCM was founded in 1999. We consider them to be safe as they are regulated with FSCA since 2016, with FCA (UK), and with ASIC in Australia.
In terms of fees, FXCM only charges variable spread for every trade. Their typical EUR/USD spread is 1.2, which is highly competitive when compared with other South African regulated brokers. Plus, they charge $50 inactivity fees, if you don’t operate the account for 1 year.
FXCM offers MetaTrader 4 (MT4), Ninjatrader, ZuluTrade, and their own propitiatory Trading station platforms. Their Metatrader platform has support for desktop, web & mobile. But they don’t offer the MT5 version yet. Their trading instruments are limited to forex, commodities & cryptocurrencies.
They offer wide deposit and withdrawal options: credit/debit cards, bank wire transfer, and wallets (Skrill & Neteller). They don’t charge any fees on deposits, but they charge $40 fees on withdrawals via bank wire. Credit card withdrawals are free with no fees.
FXCM has local phone support & office in South Africa. But we found their Live chat support to be slow in answering questions.
FxPro is a UK based forex broker that is also regulated with FSCA in South Africa since 2015. They are a safe broker as they are regulated with top regulatory authorities locally & globally.
Fxpro was founded in 2006, and they are a regulated forex broker. This makes them a safe broker for traders & they also offer Rand accounts with ZAR base currency.
They have competitive spread of 1.5 pips for EUR/USD with their Metatrader accounts, and as 0.4 pips (plus $4.5 commission per standard lot) with their cTrader account.
Their accounts have many features including negative balance protection, ZAR base currency, choice between instant order execution or market execution based on account types, and lots more.
Another good thing is that FxPro doesn’t charge any fees on funding or on withdrawals. Plus, their chat support is very good as well. But they don’t have any local phone number in South Africa.
Tickmill is a No Dealing Desk (NDD) broker that is regulated with FCA & CySEC. Their regulation with South African regulator FSCA is currently under processing status.
Tickmill was established in 2014, and we consider them to be a safe broker as they are regulated with top tier regulators i.e. FCA(UK) & CySEC(Cyprus).
Tickmill have average spread, starting from 1.6 pips for EUR/USD with Classic account & 0.4 pips with their Razor account. Their spread is one of the lowest with Pro account. Also, Tickmill doesn’t charge any fees on deposits or withdrawals.
Their platforms are very limited as they only offer MT4 & Webtrader platforms (their platforms have support for multi devices). Their currency offering is wide, but their trading instruments are limited to FX, CFDs on stock indices, CFDs on gold & silver. They don’t offer trading on Cryptocurrencies, and their CFDs are also very limited.
Another bad side is that Tickmill doesn’t have any local phone support in South Africa. However, their chat support & email support is available from Monday to Friday from 7AM – 10PM (GMT).
Regulation matters because it ensures the safety of your funds & protects you in case of any bad practice like fraud or manipulation by the broker.
Any good broker will be compliant with major Regulators & will not have complaints (in the past) against them.
If the broker is regulated & registered with any or most of these Regulatory authorities (without any complaint against them) then we consider them to be safe for trading.
For this, you should search for your broker’s name or their regulation number, on search on Regulator’s (FSCA, FCA or ASIC) websites, as most of them have public search available. Below example is the image of what FSCA’s FAIS Financial Service provider search interface looks like.
So next time before choosing any broker, properly do your research if the broker is regulated or not. If it’s regulated, then it’s also best to search the name of the broker on the websites of the Regulatory authorities: fsca.co.za (FSCA’s website) & fca.org.uk (FCA’s website) to see if there is any complaints against the broker that you are about to choose.
If the broker that you are about to trade with is not regulated or has a valid complaint against it, then its best to stay away from that broker. Also as another rule, never choose a broker that is not regulated with atleast 1 top regulator i.e. FSCA, FCA. CySEC or ASIC.
Forex brokers charge fees through their spreads, commissions on trades (in some cases) & rollover (for overnight open positions). Some brokers also charge extra fees during deposits & withdrawals, but don’t actually show it as their fees.
Tracking the fees charged by a broker & then comparing it with other brokers is not easy, but we are here to help you with this.
Here’s a breakdown of the 4 types of fees forex brokers charge:
Before signing up with any broker, you should look for the broker’s contract specification page as it normally has information on their spread. Like below is the screenshot from the XM’s forex spread overview page.
To save your time, we have already calculated & compared the fees of all the brokers for you in our comparison.
In the table below, we have compared the typical spread (in pips) of 4 top South African brokers with their standard accounts:
|Currency Pair||Hotforex (Premium Account)||XM Trading (Ultra Low Account)||Exness||FXTM (Standard account)|
Note: All 4 brokers offer variable spread so the actual spread may be higher than the value listed in the above comparison table. The actual live spread will fluctuate based on the market conditions.
Based on our comparison of the standard accounts offered by different brokers, typically XM broker & Exness had the lowest spread for most currency pairs. Also overall, Hotforex had very competitive spread for most FX instruments with Premium account. All 4 brokers listed in above comparison table have variable spread, so it may be lower or higher than their typical spread based on the actual Live market conditions.
For ECN brokers, Hotforex is very competitive with their spread. In general, Hotforex has much lower spread (plus $7 commission per 1 lot) with Zero account. FXTM also has really tight spread & low commissions with their MT5 ECN account.
Another factor to consider is if the broker offers quick execution speed. Fast execution eliminates slippage & re-quotes.
If you are a trader that opens/closes many positions daily, then it should be even more important for you to opt for a broker with the best trade execution speed.
But, there is no method to test the execution speed other than actually placing trades on the broker’s live platform. Some brokers will offer good execution on demo, but won’t offer the same speed during live trading. So if you are about to choose a broker then, you should actually their live platform trading conditions with minimum funding & low position size.
During our trading execution tests, 2 brokers XM Forex & FXTM had the best market execution (as both offer instant execution in most cases).
Most of the good brokers have a page on their website regarding their execution policy. You should check the broker’s execution policy, and look for terms like no re-quotes, real-time execution etc.
Adding funds & making withdrawals with a broker should be fast & easy. You would agree, right?
Most brokers transparently show their funding/withdrawal time & methods on their websites. You should always check that first & compare which methods suit you.
You should also carefully look into the withdrawal fees, because some brokers offer zero fees on deposits but charge high fees during withdrawals.
Some brokers like Exness even offer local bank transfer deposit & withdrawal options in South Africa. If you prefer local bank deposits, then we recommend Exness. But if you prefer card & other wallet methods, then XM & Hotforex are very good as well.
Overall, we find XM & Exness to offer the fastest deposit & withdrawals and both charge zero fees on funding & even on withdrawals. FXTM is also quick in processing payments, but they lack in the fees as they charge “Fees/Commission” with most of the withdrawal methods that are suitable for South Africans.
The forex broker’s customer support is a really important factor in our comparison. We tracked the support of every broker that we have listed here.
We especially liked XM’s support as they are quite responsive & knowledgeable.
A good broker would offer 24 hours support during the week via Live Chat, local phone number & Email. But not all brokers offer 24/7 support. For ex: Avatrade offers customer support during their business hours only, so there may be high waiting time with them for support related issues.
Overall, we found XM, Hotforex & FXTM had the best support. All these 3 brokers had quick chat support that is available 24/5 & are very quick in answering most queries.
|Forex Broker||Regulation||Spread (EUR/USD)||Leverage||Account minimum||Forex Trading Platform(s)||Start Trading|
|Hotforex||FSCA (South Africa), FCA, CySEC||As low as 0.3 pips with Zero Account||up to 1:1000||$5 (~R76)||MT4 & MT5 for web, mobile devices,||get started|
|XM Trading||FCA (UK), ASIC (Australia), CySEC||0.8 pips with XM’s Ultra Low Account||1:888||$5 (~R76)||MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 for web & mobile||get started|
|Exness||FCA, CySEC||On Average 1.1 pips even with Mini Account||up to 1:2000||$1||MT4 & MT5 for web, mobile devices,||get started|
|FXTM||FSCA, FCA, Cysec||0.4 pips(plus $0.4 fees per 10,000 units) with ECN. And on average 2.2 pips with Standard accounts||1:1000||$10||MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, Webtrader, iOS, Android apps||get started|
|Avatrade||FSCA, Bank of Ireland, ASIC (Australia)||Fixed 1.3 pips||1:1000||$100||MetaTrader 4 for web & mobile||get started|
|FXCM||FSCA, FCA, ASIC||N/A||1:400||$50||MT4, Ninjatrader & Zulutrader.||get started|
|FxPro||FSCA, FCA||Floating, on average 1.5 pips with MT accounts. And 0.4 pips (plus $0.45 fees per 10,000 units traded) with cTrader account.||1:500||$500||MT4, MT5, cTrader.||get started|
|Tickmill||FCA, ASIC, FSCA(currently pending)||Floating spread, from 1.6 pips with Classic account. And spread from 0.2 pips (plus $4 commission per 100,000 units) with Pro account.||1:500||$200||MT4, MT5, cTrader.||get started|
Hotforex is the #1 SA BrokerVisit