Financial Service Board (FSB) Brokers 2024

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Written By
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Written By
Tobias Robinson
Tobias is a partner at DayTrading.com, director of a UK limited company and active trader. He has over 25 years of experience in the financial industry and contributed via CySec to the regulatory response to digital options and CFD trading in Europe. Toby’s expertise and dedication to financial education make him a trusted voice in the industry, including a BBC investigation into digital options.
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Fact Checked By
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William Berg
William contributes to several investment websites, leveraging his experience as a consultant for IPOs in the Nordic market and background providing localization for forex trading software. William has worked as a writer and fact-checker for a long row of financial publications.
Updated

FSB South Africa

Brokers regulated by the Financial Service Board (FSB) in South Africa must comply with certain registration procedures and insurance requirements, to ensure fair practices in the non-banking financial market. This guide evaluates the FSB’s structure, responsibilities and how these affect traders.

 

The Financial Service Board (FSB) is now the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA).

This independent regulatory body oversees brokers in South Africa, ensuring certain operating requirements are met to protect local traders.

See our list of the best FSCA-authorized brokers.

What is the FSB?

Firstly, FSB stands for the Financial Services Board. The regulatory agency is an independent body. From its headquarters in Pretoria, South Africa, the FSB regulates the largest stock exchange in Africa, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. However, they also launch investigations into a whole host of other general markets, from insurance services and brokers to the latest cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin.

You may have noticed when you search for a prospective broker, the FSB logo often appears. This is because the agency issues broker licenses for those that meet compliance requirements. Details of that process and its importance can be found below.

Purpose

The primary aim of the FSB group is “To promote and maintain a sound financial investment environment in South Africa”. This entails enforcing regulations to prevent market manipulation, among other functions. This objective is also why the body must conduct checks on licensed brokers and registered companies.

On top of the supervision of their regulated brokers’ list, the board also has other strategic objectives, including:

FSB Brokers

Click a broker for details
  1. 1
    FOREX.com
    Active Trader Program With A 15% Reduction In Costs

    Ratings
    4.9 / 5
    4 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.6 / 5
    4.6 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.8 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    3.6 / 5
    3.8 / 5

    $100
    0.01 Lots
    1:50
    NFA, CFTC
    Forex, Stocks, Futures, Futures Options
    MT4, MT5, TradingView, eSignal, AutoChartist, TradingCentral
    Wire Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card, Visa, Mastercard, Skrill, Neteller, ACH Transfer
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, CHF, PLN
  2. 2
    NinjaTrader

    Ratings
    4.3 / 5
    2.8 / 5
    2.9 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    4 / 5
    4 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    3 / 5
    3.2 / 5

    $0
    0.01 Lots
    1:50
    NFA, CFTC
    Forex, Stocks, Options, Commodities, Futures, Crypto
    NinjaTrader Desktop, Web & Mobile, eSignal
    ACH Transfer, Debit Card, Wire Transfer
    USD
  3. 3
    eToro USA
    Invest $100 and get $10
    https://www.daytrading.com/ is not an affiliate and may be compensated if you access certain products or services offered by the MSB and/or the BD.

    Ratings
    4.3 / 5
    3 / 5
    3.9 / 5
    3.4 / 5
    4 / 5
    3 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4 / 5

    $10
    $10
    SEC, FINRA
    Stocks, Options, ETFs, Crypto
    eToro Trading Platform & CopyTrader
    ACH Transfer, Debit Card, PayPal, Wire Transfer
    USD
  4. 4
    OANDA US
    CFDs are not available to residents in the United States.

    Ratings
    4.5 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    2.8 / 5
    4 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    3.8 / 5
    4.7 / 5
    3.7 / 5

    $0
    0.01 Lots
    1:50
    NFA, CFTC
    Forex, Crypto with Paxos (Cryptocurrencies are offered through Paxos. Paxos is a separate legal entity from OANDA)
    OANDA Trade, MT4, TradingView, AutoChartist
    Wire Transfer, Visa, Mastercard, Debit Card, ACH Transfer
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, CHF, HKD, SGD
  5. 5
    DNA Markets

    Ratings
    3 / 5
    4 / 5
    4 / 5
    3.9 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    3.6 / 5
    1.8 / 5
    1.6 / 5
    4.8 / 5
    4.4 / 5

    $100
    0.01 Lots
    1:500
    ASIC
    CFDs, Forex, Indices, Commodities, Stocks, Crypto
    MT4, MT5
    Credit Card, Debit Card, Wire Transfer, BPAY, Skrill, Neteller, Bitcoin Payments, Bitwallet, AstroPay, Mastercard
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, NZD, SGD
  6. 6
    IG
    Forex trading involves risk. Losses can exceed deposits.

    Ratings
    4.9 / 5
    4 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    4.8 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    4.9 / 5
    5 / 5
    4.6 / 5
    4 / 5

    $0
    0.01 Lots
    1:30 (Retail), 1:250 (Pro)
    FCA, ASIC, NFA, CFTC, DFSA, BaFin, MAS, FSCA, FINMA, CONSOB
    CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Futures, Options, Crypto, Spread Betting
    Web, ProRealTime, L2 Dealer, MT4, AutoChartist, TradingCentral
    PayPal, Wire Transfer, Mastercard, Credit Card, Visa, Debit Card
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, ZAR, SEK, DKK, CHF, HKD, SGD
  7. 7
    Pocket Option
    50% Deposit Bonus

    Ratings
    2 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    2.5 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    3.3 / 5
    3.3 / 5
    3 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    4 / 5
    4.2 / 5

    $50
    $1
    MISA
    Binary Options, Currencies, Commodities, Stocks, Indices, Cryptos
    Web, MT4, MT5
    Wire Transfer, Credit Card, Bitcoin Payments, Volet, Perfect Money, Visa, Mastercard, Debit Card, WebMoney, FasaPay, Ethereum Payments, Maestro, JetonCash
    USD
  8. 8
    IQCent
    20% to 200% Deposit Bonus

    Ratings
    2.5 / 5
    3.3 / 5
    2.4 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    3.8 / 5
    2.5 / 5
    3 / 5
    2 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.1 / 5

    $250
    $0.01
    1:500
    IFMRRC
    Binary Options, CFDs, Forex, Indices, Commodities, Crypto
    Online Platform, TradingView
    Credit Card, Debit Card, Wire Transfer, Bitcoin Payments, Ethereum Payments, Visa, Mastercard
    USD, EUR
  9. 9
    RedMars

    Ratings
    3.3 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    3.8 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    3.8 / 5
    4 / 5
    2.8 / 5
    3 / 5
    4.7 / 5
    4.6 / 5

    €250
    0.01 Lots
    1:30 (Retail), 1:500 (Pro)
    CySEC
    CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Cryptos
    MT5
    Credit Card, Wire Transfer, Debit Card, Sticpay, FasaPay, Bitcoin Payments, Trustly, PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, Klarna, Mastercard, Visa
    USD, EUR
  10. 10
    Interactive Brokers

    Ratings
    4.5 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    3.3 / 5
    3 / 5
    4.4 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.5 / 5

    $0
    $100
    1:50
    FCA, SEC, FINRA, CFTC, CBI, CIRO, SFC, MAS, MNB, FINMA
    Stocks, Options, Futures, Forex, Funds, Bonds, ETFs, Mutual Funds, CFDs, Cryptocurrencies
    Trader Workstation (TWS), IBKR Desktop, GlobalTrader, Mobile, Client Portal, AlgoTrader, OmniTrader, eSignal, TradingCentral
    Cheque, ACH Transfer, Wire Transfer, Automated Customer Account Transfer Service, TransferWise, Debit Card
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, INR, JPY, SEK, NOK, DKK, CHF, AED, HUF

Here is a short overview of each broker's pros and cons

  1. FOREX.com - Founded in 1999, FOREX.com is now part of StoneX, a financial services organization serving over one million customers worldwide. Regulated in the US, UK, EU, Australia and beyond, the broker offers thousands of markets, not just forex, and provides excellent pricing on cutting-edge platforms.
  2. NinjaTrader - NinjaTrader is a US-headquartered and regulated brokerage that specializes in futures trading. There are three pricing plans to suit different needs and budgets, as well as ultra-low margins on popular contracts. The brand's award-winning charting software and trading platform also offers a high-degree of customization and superb technical analysis features.
  3. eToro USA - eToro is a social investing platform that offers short-term and long-term trading on stocks, ETFs, options and crypto. The broker is well-known for its user-friendly community-centred platform and competitive fees. With FINRA and SIPC oversight and millions of users across the world, eToro is still one of the most respected brands in the industry. eToro securities trading is offered by eToro USA Securities, Inc.
  4. OANDA US - OANDA is a popular brand offering exceptional execution, low deposit requirements and advanced charting and trading platform features. The top-rated brand has over 25 years of experience and is regulated by trusted agencies, including the NFA/CFTC. Around the clock support is available for short-term traders, alongside flexible contract sizes and automated trade executions.
  5. DNA Markets - DNA Markets is a forex and CFD broker established in 2020. The broker operates two entities in Australia and the offshore jurisdiction, St Vincent and the Grenadines. Traders can access 800+ markets, with a Standard account for beginners and a Raw account for experienced traders. The reliable MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms are available, alongside Signal Start.
  6. IG - Founded in 1974, IG is part of IG Group Holdings Plc, a publicly traded (LSE: IGG) brokerage. The brand-US offers spread betting, CFD and forex trading across an almost unrivalled selection of 17,000+ markets, with a range of user-friendly platforms and investing apps. For 50 years, IG has maintained its position as an industry leader, excelling in all key areas for traders.
  7. Pocket Option - Established in 2017, Pocket Option is a binary options broker offering high/low contracts on forex, stocks, indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies. With over 100,000 active users and a global reach, the platform continues to prove popular with budding traders.
  8. IQCent - IQCent is an offshore binary options and CFD broker based in the Marshall Islands. The brand continues to offer a range of unique account types with bonuses and perks, including payout boosts, TradeBacks and free rollovers. With 100+ assets, around-the-clock trading and 98% payouts, the firm is popular with aspiring short-term traders.
  9. RedMars - Launched in 2020, Cyprus-based RedMars offers competitive spreads on more than 300 instruments and leverage up to 1:500. Three accounts are available - Standard, Pro and VIP - serving a range of budgets and experience levels, with a fast and fully digital account opening process.
  10. Interactive Brokers - Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is a premier brokerage, providing access to 150 markets in 33 countries, along with a suite of comprehensive investment services. With over 40 years of experience, this Nasdaq-listed firm adheres to stringent regulations by the SEC, FCA, CIRO, and SFC, amongst others, and is one of the most trusted brokers for trading around the globe.

FOREX.com

"FOREX.com remains a best-in-class brokerage for active forex traders of all experience levels, with over 80 currency pairs, tight spreads from 0.0 pips and low commissions. The powerful charting platforms collectively offer over 100 technical indicators, as well as extensive research tools."

Christian Harris, Reviewer

FOREX.com Quick Facts

Bonus OfferActive Trader Program With A 15% Reduction In Costs
Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsForex, Stocks, Futures, Futures Options
RegulatorNFA, CFTC
PlatformsMT4, MT5, TradingView, eSignal, AutoChartist, TradingCentral
Minimum Deposit$100
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:50
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, CHF, PLN

Pros

  • There’s a wealth of educational resources including tutorials, webinars, and a stacked YouTube channel to help you get educated in the financial markets.
  • FOREX.com offers industry-leading forex pricing starting from 0.0 pips, alongside competitive cashback rebates of up to 15% for serious day traders.
  • With over 20 years of experience, excellent regulatory oversight, and multiple accolades including runner-up in our 'Best Forex Broker' awards, FOREX.com boasts a global reputation as a trusted brokerage.

Cons

  • FOREX.com's MT4 platform offers approximately 600 instruments, significantly fewer than the over 5,500 available on its non-MetaTrader platforms.
  • Demo accounts are frustratingly time-limited to 90 days, which doesn’t give you enough time to test day trading strategies effectively.
  • Despite increasing its range of instruments, FOREX.com's product portfolio is still limited to forex and CFDs, so there are no options to invest in real stocks, real ETFs or real cryptocurrencies.

NinjaTrader

"NinjaTrader continues to meet the demands of active futures traders looking for low fees and premium analysis tools. The platform hosts top-rate charting features including hundreds of indicators and 10+ chart types."

Tobias Robinson, Reviewer

NinjaTrader Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsForex, Stocks, Options, Commodities, Futures, Crypto
RegulatorNFA, CFTC
PlatformsNinjaTrader Desktop, Web & Mobile, eSignal
Minimum Deposit$0
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:50
Account CurrenciesUSD

Pros

  • NinjaTrader is a widely respected and award-winning futures broker and is heavily authorized by the NFA and CFTC
  • Low fees are offered, with $50 day trading margins & commissions from $.09 per micro contract
  • You can get thousands of add-ons and applications from developers in 150+ countries

Cons

  • There is a withdrawal fee on some funding methods
  • The premium platform tools come with an extra charge
  • Non forex and futures trading requires signing up with partner brokers

eToro USA

"eToro remains a top pick for traders looking for leading social investing and copy trading services. With a low deposit, zero commissions and an intuitive platform, the broker will meet the needs of newer day traders."

Jemma Grist, Reviewer

eToro USA Quick Facts

Bonus OfferInvest $100 and get $10
Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsStocks, Options, ETFs, Crypto
RegulatorSEC, FINRA
PlatformseToro Trading Platform & CopyTrader
Minimum Deposit$10
Minimum Trade$10
Account CurrenciesUSD

Pros

  • eToro USA Securities is a trustworthy, SEC-regulated broker that is a member of FINRA and SIPC
  • The online broker offers an intuitive social investment network with straightforward copy trading on cryptos
  • Investors can access Smart Portfolios for a more hands-off approach, covering a range of sectors and markets such as renewable energy and artificial intelligence

Cons

  • Average fees may cut into the profit margins of day traders
  • There's no MetaTrader 4 platform integration for traders who are accustomed to using third-party charting tools
  • There's a narrower range of day trading instruments available compared to competitors, with only stocks, ETFs and cryptos

OANDA US

"OANDA remains an excellent broker for US day traders seeking a user-friendly platform with premium analysis tools and a straightforward joining process. OANDA is also heavily regulated with a very high trust score."

Jemma Grist, Reviewer

OANDA US Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsForex, Crypto with Paxos (Cryptocurrencies are offered through Paxos. Paxos is a separate legal entity from OANDA)
RegulatorNFA, CFTC
PlatformsOANDA Trade, MT4, TradingView, AutoChartist
Minimum Deposit$0
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:50
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, CHF, HKD, SGD

Pros

  • There's a strong selection of 68 currency pairs for dedicated short-term forex traders
  • The proprietary OANDA web platform continues to deliver a highly competitive charting environment, including 65+ technical indicators powered by TradingView
  • OANDA is a reliable, trustworthy and secure brand with authorization from tier-one regulators including the CFTC

Cons

  • There's only a small range of payment methods available, with no e-wallets supported
  • The range of day trading markets is limited to forex and cryptos only
  • It's a shame that customer support is not available on weekends

DNA Markets

"DNA Markets is an excellent choice for short-term traders familiar with the MetaTrader platforms. The smooth sign-up process also makes it easy to get started while the $100 minimum deposit is accessible. That said, DNA Markets trails the top brokers in education, research and mobile trading. "

Jemma Grist, Reviewer

DNA Markets Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsCFDs, Forex, Indices, Commodities, Stocks, Crypto
RegulatorASIC
PlatformsMT4, MT5
Minimum Deposit$100
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:500
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, NZD, SGD

Pros

  • DNA Markets offers top-rate platforms and charting tools for day traders with access to MT4 and MT5
  • You can access low trading fees with spreads from 0.0 pips in the Raw account and zero non-trading fees
  • Short-term trading strategies are permitted including scalping and automated trading using Expert Advisors (EAs)

Cons

  • Although it continues to strengthen its client base and reputation, DNA Markets lacks the track record of top brokers like Vantage
  • Despite access to MT4 and MT5, there is no proprietary trading app for seamless account management whilst on the go
  • Unlike many alternatives, there are limited educational and research tools for traders seeking an all-in-one solution

IG

"IG continues to provide a comprehensive package with an intuitive web platform and best-in-class education for beginners, plus advanced charting tools, real-time data, and fast execution speeds for experienced day traders."

Christian Harris, Reviewer

IG Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsCFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Futures, Options, Crypto, Spread Betting
RegulatorFCA, ASIC, NFA, CFTC, DFSA, BaFin, MAS, FSCA, FINMA, CONSOB
PlatformsWeb, ProRealTime, L2 Dealer, MT4, AutoChartist, TradingCentral
Minimum Deposit$0
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:30 (Retail), 1:250 (Pro)
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, ZAR, SEK, DKK, CHF, HKD, SGD

Pros

  • IG offers an extensive collection of professional and engaging educational resources, including webinars, articles, and analysis
  • IG is amongst the best in terms of its range of instruments, which includes stocks, forex, indices, commodities, and cryptocurrencies, providing ample diversification opportunities
  • The ProRealTime advanced charting platform is free as long as certain modest monthly trading activity requirements are met

Cons

  • IG applies an inactivity fee of $12 per month after 2 years, deterring casual investors
  • While there is negative balance protection in the UK and EU, there is no account protection or guaranteed stop losses for US clients
  • Beginners might find IG’s fee structure complex, with various fees for different types of trades or services, potentially leading to confusion or unexpected charges

Pocket Option

"Pocket Option excels for its easy-to-use web platform which provides a best-in-class user experience for short-term binary traders. The $50 minimum deposit is also accessible for beginners while opening an account is really easy. Looking at the negatives, Pocket Option still trails alternatives in its market offering and regulatory credentials."

Jemma Grist, Reviewer

Pocket Option Quick Facts

Bonus Offer50% Deposit Bonus
Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsBinary Options, Currencies, Commodities, Stocks, Indices, Cryptos
RegulatorMISA
PlatformsWeb, MT4, MT5
Minimum Deposit$50
Minimum Trade$1
Account CurrenciesUSD

Pros

  • Extremely fast and smooth sign-up process that takes less than 2 minutes
  • Well-funded traders who deposit $1000+ can qualify for a 2%+ payout boost, more tradable assets and exclusive perks
  • The MetaTrader platforms offer integrated analysis with helpful technical summaries for short-term traders

Cons

  • You need to deposit $1000 to access the extended list of 250+ assets, otherwise just 130+ assets are available
  • The maximum binary contract length of 4 hours is restrictive for longer-term trading strategies. Alternatives like Videforex offer binaries up to 1 month
  • Pocket Option offers a slimmed down iteration of the MT4 and MT5 that doesn't provide the full charting package for advanced traders

IQCent

"IQCent will appeal to day traders looking for a straightforward binary options and CFD trading platform with low fees, a range of accounts, and copy trading. Getting started takes less than 1 minute and a $250 deposit. "

Jemma Grist, Reviewer

IQCent Quick Facts

Bonus Offer20% to 200% Deposit Bonus
Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsBinary Options, CFDs, Forex, Indices, Commodities, Crypto
RegulatorIFMRRC
PlatformsOnline Platform, TradingView
Minimum Deposit$250
Minimum Trade$0.01
Leverage1:500
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR

Pros

  • The proprietary terminal offers TradingView-powered charts which deliver dozens of technical indicators and studies
  • Keen traders can take part in trading contests with cash prizes
  • IQCent is one of the few binary options brokers that also offers a copy trading service for hands-off traders

Cons

  • There's no automated trading support for algo traders
  • The market analysis is very basic with limited technical summaries and insights from analysts
  • IQCent charges a punitive $10 monthly inactivity fee if you fail to place at least 1 trade per month

RedMars

"RedMars is the best fit for experienced day traders familiar with the MetaTrader 5 platform and based in the EU, where the broker is authorized by the CySEC. However, the threadbare education and research tools make it unsuitable for beginners."

Christian Harris, Reviewer

RedMars Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsCFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Cryptos
RegulatorCySEC
PlatformsMT5
Minimum Deposit€250
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:30 (Retail), 1:500 (Pro)
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR

Pros

  • RedMars offers one of the best platforms for day trading, MT5, hosting 21 timeframes, dozens of analytical tools, flexible templates and algo trading
  • Clients in the EU, in particular, can trade with peace of mind knowing RedMars is authorized by the CySEC with up to €20K compensation available through the ICF in the event of bankruptcy
  • The broker is one of a limited number of firms to offer an account specially designed for VIPs with premium support and invites to exclusive events

Cons

  • The no-frills trading environment offers little beyond the basics, with no Islamic account, PAMM account or copy trading.
  • RedMars falls short for newer traders, with little in the way of education, no beginner-friendly platform, a steep minimum deposit, and inadequate support during testing
  • With just 300 instruments, RedMars offers a narrow trading environment, particularly compared to category leaders like BlackBull Markets which offers 26,000 assets

Interactive Brokers

"Interactive Brokers is one of the best brokers for advanced day traders, providing powerful charting platforms, real-time data, and customizable layouts, notably through the new IBKR Desktop application. Its superb pricing and advanced order options also make it highly attractive for day traders, while its diverse range of equities is still among the best in the industry."

Christian Harris, Reviewer

Interactive Brokers Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsStocks, Options, Futures, Forex, Funds, Bonds, ETFs, Mutual Funds, CFDs, Cryptocurrencies
RegulatorFCA, SEC, FINRA, CFTC, CBI, CIRO, SFC, MAS, MNB, FINMA
PlatformsTrader Workstation (TWS), IBKR Desktop, GlobalTrader, Mobile, Client Portal, AlgoTrader, OmniTrader, eSignal, TradingCentral
Minimum Deposit$0
Minimum Trade$100
Leverage1:50
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, INR, JPY, SEK, NOK, DKK, CHF, AED, HUF

Pros

  • There's a vast library of free or paid third-party research subscriptions catering to all types of traders, plus you can enjoy commission reimbursements from IBKR if you subscribe to Toggle AI.
  • IBKR continues to deliver unmatched access to global stocks with tens of thousands of equities available from 100+ market centres in 24 countries.
  • With low commissions, tight spreads and a transparent fee structure, IBKR delivers a cost-effective environment for short-term traders.

Cons

  • IBKR provides a wide range of research tools, but their distribution across trading platforms and the web-based 'Account Management' page lacks consistency, leading to a confusing user experience.
  • TWS’s learning curve is steep, and beginners may find it challenging to navigate the platform and understand all the features. Plus500's web platform is much better suited to new traders.
  • Support can be slow and frustrating based on tests, so you might find it challenging to reach customer service representatives promptly or encounter delays in resolving issues.

History

The FSB came to life in 1991, following the recommendations of the Van Der Host Committee. Their findings called for an independent agency capable of regulating the non-banking financial services industry.

FSB offices and departments have since expanded along with their mandate. For example, in September of 2004, the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act (FAIS) gave the FSB extra powers to monitor market conduct in the banking industry.

The Financial Intelligence Centre Act in 2001 then gave the FSB head office the additional responsibility of tackling money laundering. Other expansions have led to an increase in the numbers of compliance officers and reporting requirements.

Overall, from their home address in Pretoria, the FSB has become a reputable body, bringing stability to the industry. It is unsurprising then that their scope has extended, allowing it to better protect consumers of financial products through regulations.

Structure

As the official website details, the FSB is made up of various committees. However, it is the board, made up of key individuals, that supervises operations. It is also the board members that appoint the Executive Officer, who leads the FSB on a day-to-day basis. The Executive Officer is also the Registrar of Non-banking Financial Institutions.

The four Deputy Executive Officers oversee the:

The regulatory agency receives all funding from license fees and other costs levied on the industry. Those funds are used to pay for everything from staff training to annual reports. In addition, the body funds both the ‘Office of the FAIS Ombud’ and the ‘Office of the PFA’. However, both offices are independent of the FSB and tackle the complaints of financial consumers.

Powers & Responsibilities

FSB responsibilities include:

Within those responsibilities is ensuring compliance with current legislation and regulations. This can include requirements around:

The FSB also has an enforcement committee. That committee has enforcement powers to tackle breaches of regulations through unlimited penalties and compensation orders.

The database of registered forex brokers and other financial providers is extensive. As a result, all orders carry significant weight. In fact, an FSB order has the same enforcement validity as a judgement from the Supreme Court of South Africa.

Additional powers include the verification of license categories for financial institutions. Other responsibilities include analysing the markets for potential risks. Hence the FSB will release short-term insurance and risk reports.

It’s also worth noting the body has some discretion around regulations. It can hand out exemptions and has actually come under fire in the past for showing leniency towards certain companies.

Customer Complaints

With so many documents and guidance notes for companies to comply with, financial providers often fall short. As a result, there is often a large number of disgruntled firms. So on top of a customer complaints service, there is an appeals board for those who disagree with FSB regulations and decisions.

The board is independent of the FSB and approved nominees come directly from the Minister of Finance. You also cannot join the board if you are an active member of the financial industry.

The aim is that all of the above powers and responsibilities help ensure the functionality of financial entities, thereby protecting investors.

Criticisms of the FSB

Despite the benefits of the FSB, the agency also faces criticism. In particular, the body frequently features in the news following questions about corruption. For example, the Office of the Public Prosecutor is looking into claims of extortion, fraud, bullying, intimidation and mismanagement by the head of the FSB, Dude Tshidi.

In 2017, Julius Malema, president of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), accused Tshidi of “gross misconduct, abuse of power and perjury”. Malema then went further to say, “We have seen substantial documented evidence indicating that for years he has been responsible for gross misconduct, material abuse of the powers of the FSB, perjury, withholding information and ongoing efforts to cover up wrongdoing, intimidation of members and corporate institutions, and breaches of his fiduciary duties”.

These complaints originate from a relationship between lawyer Anthony Mostert and Tshidi regarding 10 pension funds. It has been said Tshidi made Mostert curator of all 10 funds, who then brought in his law firm to advise in a blatant conflict of interest. Furthermore, it is claimed Mostert then charged inflated curatorship contingency fees.

Despite press releases from the FSB to refute these claims, these enquiries remain a serious test for the regulatory agency. It also highlights that the FSB still has a long way to go to cement its position as a reputable, impartial body, such as the UK’s FCA.

Recent Performance

Quarterly reports show the FSB are active in carrying out enforcement actions. Within the first three months of 2018, the agency handed out R350,000 in administrative penalties. In the last quarter of 2017, the body gave out nearly R1.5 million in fines.

Large fines have helped ensure brokers and other institutions rigorously stick to application processes and regulations. If the FSB continues to hold institutions to account, consumer confidence and protection will only increase.

Note you can view recent regulatory actions by heading to their official website. You can also find their email address and telephone number in their Contact Us section. Representatives should be able to help you with licence checks, give information on application progress, plus a whole load more.

Final Thoughts on the FSB

Despite a relatively short lifespan, the FSB has grown into an effective, active regulatory agency. Having said that, the company still has some way to go to overcome accusations of corruption and mismanagement.

Before you sign up and login to your trading account, you must check for regulatory oversight. Conducting an online broker search and browsing reviews are easier now than ever before. In fact, this is one of the most important steps you can take to keep your investments relatively secure.