CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Between 54-87% of retail CFD accounts lose money. Based on 69 brokers who display this data. *Availability subject to regulation.
The Financial Services Conducta Authority (FSCA) is the regulatory agency of the financial markets and its operators in South Africa. With offices in Johannesburg, South Africa, the FSCA operates as an independent institution that regulates the non-banking financial services segment of the South African market. The FSCA has carried out this function for more than 20 years (previously as the FSB).
The financial services industry in South Africa is divided into the banking and non-banking services. While the Reserve Bank of South Africa oversees the banking segment of the market, the FSCA oversees the non-banking segment. The services that constitute the non-banking financial services include the following:
The FSB was founded in 1996. The constitution of the FSB management team is comprised of a board of 10 members and a team of 7 Executive members. In 2018, the FSB merged with the FSCA.
The FSCA carries out its functions through the various departments within it. These departments are:
Some of these units are directly involved in the core regulatory function of the FSCA, working to protect investors from deceptive investments and impropriety on the part of companies servicing the non-banking financial services industry.
The FSCA has four core mandates which can be summarized below.
The starting point for any company or entity that wants to operate in the South African financial services industry is registration and licensing. FAIS maintains an e-portal where new license applications are made. Applications can therefore be made to the FSCA directly using this portal, or through a recognized representative body.
New license applications follow a process of payment of requisite fees and approval. The schedule of fees is shown below:
As part of the supervisory functions of the FSCA, the agency requires all companies that it licenses to submit periodic compliance reports as well as submit to auditing of their financial statements. These statements are to be submitted electronically. Failure of a financial service provider to submit these statements attract financial penalties of up to R1,000 per extra day, calculated from the deadline until when the statement eventually gets to the Registrar. Companies that flout this rule or refuse to pay the penalties could risk losing their FSP licensing.
The FSCA routinely withdraws the licenses of companies that fail to meet its regulatory requirements. Cases are usually reviewed when the companies in default address the reasons for their license suspensions. The FSCA maintains a list of companies whose licenses have been provisionally or fully withdrawn, provisionally suspended or reinstated. These lists are available from the FSCA’s website and can be viewed by the general public.
The FSCA through its FAIS Unit, also performs enforcement of its decisions. Where a financial service provider’s license has been withdrawn, forceful closure of the business premises of the affected provider can be undertaken.
The Financial Services Board has put in place certain competency requirements which financial service providers in South Africa must fulfill before they are licensed to carry out business in South Africa. These competency requirements border on:
The various categories of financial service providers and their company representatives regulated by the FSCA carry different experience level requirements. The table below shows the experience level requirements for FSPs operating in the core investment business of forex trading, bonds, securities and money market instruments.
There are minimum qualification requirements for the management level and regular staff which each financial service provider must maintain.
The FSCA administers a regulatory examination as part of the requirements of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 37 of 2002. The FAIS Act was passed primarily to achieve consumer protection on one hand, and to ensure that the financial services industry in South Africa is professionalized. Consequently, all financial advisors, intermediaries and their representatives are required to achieve certain standard of competency, which is measured by the FSB Level 1 Regulatory examinations. The exams, rated RE1 to RE5, are administered in English and Afrikaans.
The FSCA’s role is to maintain the integrity of the South African financial services industry. Consumers of financial products, therefore, can have peace mind when it comes to protection of their interests in the South African financial services industry.