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FBK Markets Review: Is it a Scam? 2024 Review

Toni Nasr, CFA, FRM| Updated: January 8, 2024

Founded in 2020, FBK Markets is a South African-based CFD broker that offers a diverse range of trading instruments, including Forex and CFDs on indices, commodities, and bonds, primarily utilising the MT4 trading platform. 

FBK Markets has faced scrutiny and concern regarding its legitimacy. These concerns primarily arise from regulatory compliance, licensing, and transparency issues. Various reports and user reviews have pointed out significant red flags such as questionable authorisation, difficulties in withdrawing funds, and poor customer service response.

In this article, we will delve into the primary reasons behind our recommendation to avoid opening an account with FBK Markets. We believe paying close attention to several warning signs associated with this broker is imperative, which we will examine comprehensively in our review.

What is FBK Markets?

FBK Markets operates as a brokerage platform, granting its clients access to Forex and Contracts for Difference (CFD) products on indices, commodities, and bonds. The broker provides a variety of account types, each designed to meet different trading preferences and strategies. These account options include Micro, ECN, Bonus 100, Zero Spread, and Standard accounts, which vary in commissions, minimum deposit requirements, and spread sizes.

FBK Markets Homepage

FBK Markets Homepage (Source: fbkmarkets.com)

FBK Markets offers several leverage options, reaching a maximum of 1:1000. They offer variable spreads that start as low as 0 pips and offer a commission structure that ranges from $0 to $9 per standard lot, depending on the account type. FBK Markets utilises the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) platform for its trading interface, which is widely recognised for its intuitive user interface, advanced charting tools, and comprehensive trading functionalities.

FBK Markets Review: Is it a Scam? 2024 Review 1

FBK Markets account types (Source: fbkmarkets.com)

Is FBK Markets regulated?

FBK Markets as an entity lacks regulation and is not recognised by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), South Africa’s authoritative body for market conduct regulation and supervision.

However, on their website, FBK Markets states it is the legal Juristic Representative of RocketX (Pty) Ltd, a South African incorporated company. Yet, their claims are inconsistent and controversial; on one page, they assert representation for RCG MARKETS (Pty) Ltd, while in the footnote, they claim affiliation with RocketX (Pty) Ltd. This discrepancy in their claims of representation is concerning and flags potential regulatory and service representation issues.

FBK Markets regulation page

FBK Markets regulation page (Source: fbkmarkets.com)

Dealing with an unregulated broker can pose significant risks to your assets and wealth. It is generally safer and more prudent to engage with a broker that is independently regulated, rather than one claiming to represent another regulated entity.

FBK Markets Offering

In comparison to other CFD trading platforms in South Africa, FBK Markets offers a more limited offering than the broader spectrum of instruments provided by other brokers. Here is a brief comparison of their offerings compared to those of other well-known CFD brokers:

Broker FBK Markets IG Plus500 XTB
Products available Forex, Commodities, Bonds, and Indices Shares, Indices, Forex, Commodities, and  Cryptocurrencies Shares, Indices, Commodities, Forex, ETFs, Options, Cryptocurrencies Shares, Indices, Commodities, Forex, Cryptocurrencies
Nº of CFDs Not disclosed 17,000+ 2,800+ 2,200+
Minimum deposit           R100 $0 $100 $0
Deposit Method Debit/credit cards, Ozow and Skrill Bank transfer, credit/debit cards, PayPal Bank transfer, credit/debit cards, PayPal, Skrill,  and other electronic wallets Bank transfer, credit/debit cards, PayPal, Skrill,  and other electronic wallets
Maximum leverage Up to 1:1,000 Up to 1:200 1:30 (for retail)

1:300 (for professional)

Up to 1:500

A notable aspect of FBK Markets is their offer of high leverage of up to 1000x, a feature that is somewhat facilitated by their lack of regulation from top-to-mid tier authorities like the FCA, ASIC, or CySEC. It’s important to note that while higher leverage can potentially amplify gains, it also significantly increases the risk of substantial losses. Therefore, traders should cautiously approach high-leverage options  and clearly understand the associated risks.

FBK Markets education

While FBK Markets has a section dedicated to education, their videos are short and give you general guidance on opening an account, get verified, and a few general knowledge points about Forex. Conversely, other brokers like IG or XTB provide extensive education materials that help you start your trading journey.

FBK Markets Review: Is it a Scam? 2024 Review 2

FBK Markets Education Section (Source: fbkmarkets.com)

Opening a FBK Markets Trading Account

Opening an account with FBK Markets is a straightforward process that can be completed within minutes. The procedure involves following the account opening instructions, which include providing essential personal information such as name, email, and phone number.

After verifying your email, you’ll be required to upload the necessary documentation. Additionally, there’s an electronic quiz to confirm your trading experience, a step that helps verify your account. Usually, they state that your account will get full verification within 48 hours.

A significant limitation of FBK Markets is the lack of a demo account. Consequently, potential users are unable to try the platform’s services without initially investing real funds. This is a significant drawback compared to other Forex brokers in South Africa, where a demo account is a standard feature, allowing for a risk-free way to become familiar with their services and platform functionality.

FBK Markets Review: Is it a Scam? 2024 Review 3

FBK Markets Dashboard (Source: fbkmarkets.com)

FBK Markets deposit and withdrawal

FBK Markets provides various options for depositing funds, including electronic wallet payment methods like Ozow and Skrill, as well as conventional payment networks such as Visa and MasterCard. The platform sets a minimum deposit limit of R100 for all these methods. You can open an account in ZAR, USD, and GBP.

Regarding withdrawals, FBK Markets has established specific conditions to maintain security and regulatory compliance. All user documents must be up-to-date and in line with regulatory requirements before they process any withdrawal requests executed through Electronic Funds Transfer. Typically, these withdrawals are processed within a timeframe of 48 working hours; however, several users mentioned that they encountered difficulty withdrawing their money from FBK Markets.

FBK users deposits and withdrawal complaints - Trustpilot and Twitter

FBK users deposits and withdrawal complaints (Source: Trustpilot and Twitter)

Customer Support

On their website, FBK Markets advertises around-the-clock support assistance through various channels, including email, phone, and WhatsApp. Nonetheless, an attempt to contact them via WhatsApp resulted in a delay; over 48 hours passed without any response from their team. This experience aligns with reports from some clients who have also indicated experiencing a lack of response from FBK Markets’ support team when it comes to regulation and withdrawals.

FBK Markets Customer Reviews

The customer reviews of FBK Markets present both positive aspects and significant concerns about the platform. For example, on Trustpilot, FBK Markets has an overall rating of 3.1 out of 5 stars based on 53 reviews, indicating mixed feedback.

Positive reviews include users expressing satisfaction with their trading experiences. For example, one trader who progressed from a Micro to an ECN account highlighted the reasonable spreads, commissions, and effectiveness of the MetaTrader 4 platform. Another trader appreciated the welcome bonus and the low trading costs associated with their account.

Conversely, a significant number of users have reported negative experiences. Common issues cited include challenges in withdrawing funds, with some alleging that their money was withheld or misappropriated. Instances of unresponsiveness and lack of support from the broker have also been mentioned.

FBK Markets on Trustpilot

FBK Markets reviews on Trustpilot (Source: Truspilot)

FBK Markets on Social Media

We began our assessment of FBK Markets with LinkedIn, a platform widely known for its reliability in providing information about company employees and corporate structures. FBK Markets’ LinkedIn presence is notably limited, with their page having fewer than 100 followers and displaying minimal activity. The page lists only 13 associated members and lacks profiles for key executives such as the CEO and CFO, which is often a vital aspect of corporate transparency.

FBK Markets Linkedin Page

FBK Markets Linkedin Page (Source: Linkedin)

In contrast, FBK Markets’ social media presence on Facebook is significantly more robust. Their Facebook page has over 100,000 followers with daily posts. This suggests a focused effort on Facebook to connect with and grow their audience. Similarly, their Instagram account also demonstrates active engagement, with over 40,000 followers.

So, is FBK Markets a scam or legit?

At Investing in the Web, our recommendations are reserved for platforms that are reliable, investor-friendly, and stringently regulated. While FBK Markets may not directly qualify as a scam by strict definitions, the numerous issues in its operations cannot be ignored.

We reiterate our strong warning against investing in platforms with so many red flags despite their attractive promotional offerings. Our guidance leans towards choosing well-regulated brokers with a track record of positive reviews.

Regulated Online Brokers (Our Recommendations)

When choosing a regulated online broker, prioritise those adhering to strict regulatory standards and meeting your specific trading needs. Our recommended brokers are regulated by reputable financial authorities, guaranteeing investor protection and transparency. These platforms offer a wide array of trading instruments, user-friendly interfaces, advanced charting tools, and educational resources for traders at all levels. Additionally, they provide competitive fees, reliable customer support, and robust security measures to protect your investments and personal data.

Given that a significant portion of FBK Markets’ user base is located in South Africa, we have tailored our recommendations to focus on the top regulated brokers within this region that also operate globally.

FBK Markets Review: Is it a Scam? 2024 Review 4

#1 Best for intermediate and advanced investors

Min. deposit of €/$0
Excellent reputation (founded in 1978)
Offers interest on uninvested cash balances
View BrokerFBK Markets Review: Is it a Scam? 2024 Review 5Read review
Interactive Brokers summary
IBKR is a leading global online broker that provides an advanced trading platform, a large selection of tradable securities, and low fees. It also launched IBKR GlobalTrader.
Supported countriesWorldwideRegulatorsSEC, FINRA, SIPC, CFTC, IIROC, FCA, CBI, AFSL, SFC, SEBI, MAS, MNB
Products offered4Stocks, ETFs, Options, Futures, Forex, Commodities, Bonds and Funds.Interest on uninvested cash4.83% in USD, 3.314% in EUR, 4.655% in GBP
Spreads starting at0.1 pip (subject to commission)Demo accountYes
FBK Markets Review: Is it a Scam? 2024 Review 6

#2 Best for Forex and CFDs

Min. deposit of €/$0
Low spreads from 0.1 pips
$0 for stocks and ETFs
View BrokerFBK Markets Review: Is it a Scam? 2024 Review 5Read review
XTB summary
XTB is a reputable online broker known for its xStation 5 trading platform, available on the web, desktop, and mobile. It provides an intuitive interface with access to advanced tools and customisation options.
Supported countriesWorldwide (exceptions apply)RegulatorsFCA, KNF, CySEC and FSC
Products offeredStocks, ETFs, CFDs on Stocks, ETFs, Forex, Indices, Commodities, and CryptocurrenciesSpreads starting at0.9 pips (standard account), 0 (pro account)
Maximum leverage1:500Demo accountYes

77% of retail CFD account lose money.

FBK Markets Review: Is it a Scam? 2024 Review 8

#3 Best for demos and education resources

17,000+ products available
Demo account
Excellent education materials
View BrokerFBK Markets Review: Is it a Scam? 2024 Review 5
IG summary
IG is a well-known CFD offering a wide range of trading instruments, including over 17,000 markets with various trading platforms. They are also recognised for their high-quality research and educational resources.
Supported countriesWorldwide (exceptions apply)RegulatorsFDCA, ASIC, FCA, NFA, MAS, FINMA, FMA
Products offeredCFDs on Shares, Indices, Forex, Commodities, and CryptocurrenciesSpreads starting at0.6 pips
Maximum leverage1:200Demo accountYes

75% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

FBK Markets Review: Is it a Scam? 2024 Review 10

#4 Best for MetaTrader4 (MT4) and MetaTrader5 (MT5)

Many trading platforms available
Demo account
Copy trading
View BrokerFBK Markets Review: Is it a Scam? 2024 Review 5
Pepperstone summary
Pepperstone is a popular broker that offers several trading platforms like TradingView, MetaTrader4 (MT4), MetaTrader5 (MT5), and cTrader, which are well-suited for social trading and copy trading features.
Supported countriesWorldwide (exceptions apply)RegulatorsASIC, SCB, CMA, CySEC, FCA, BaFin, and DFSA
Products offeredCFDs on Shares, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Currency index CFDsSpreads starting at1 pip
Maximum leverage1:400Demo accountYes

74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

FBK Markets Review: Is it a Scam? 2024 Review 12

#5 Ideal for low Forex fees and free withdrawals

Minimum deposit of €/$100
Zero-commission trading
Demo account
View BrokerFBK Markets Review: Is it a Scam? 2024 Review 5Read review
Plus500 summary
Plus500 is a CFD broker that provides access to over 2,800 tradable CFDs, including Forex, Shares, Commodities, Indices, ETFs & Options. Their platform features competitive spreads and no commissions.
Supported countriesWorldwide, (exceptions apply)RegulatorsFCA, CySEC, MAS, ASIC, FMA
Products offeredReal Shares (Plus500 Invest) and CFDs on Indices, Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrencies, Shares, Options and ETFs.Maximum leverage1:300
Spreads starting at0.8 pipsDemo accountYes

82% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

If you’re searching for a specific broker type, we’ve compiled numerous lists dedicated to brokers in South Africa. These lists cover a range of categories, including the best Forex brokers, top trading platforms, leading CFD brokers, best stock trading apps, and the best options trading brokers in South Africa. Each of these articles is tailored to meet specific trading needs and preferences. We highly recommend exploring these resources to find a broker that aligns with your specific requirements.

Conclusion

In conclusion, when considering opening an account with a broker, it’s crucial to verify various factors:

  • Regulatory Compliance: Ensuring the broker adheres to legal standards and offers investor protection.
  • Security Measures: Checking the safeguards in place for your personal and financial data.
  • Fees and Spreads: Understanding the cost implications of your trading activities.
  • Range of Instruments and Markets: Ensuring the broker provides access to the financial products and markets relevant to your investment goals.
  • Trading Platform Usability: Evaluating the ease of use, features, and technological reliability of the platform.
  • Customer Service: Assessing the quality, responsiveness, and support channels available for assistance.

While some traders have had satisfactory experiences with FBK Markets, there are significant and serious concerns regarding its operational practices, particularly those related to withdrawals, customer service, and regulatory compliance. Potential traders should approach this platform with caution, considering these mixed reviews and the red flags raised.

Whether you are a new investor or a seasoned professional, we hope this article helped answer a few of your concerns. To ensure you select the right trading platform, we suggest setting up a demo account first to test its features. This can greatly inform your final decision. Please let us know in the comments section if you have any feedback.

Other FAQs

Is online trading legal in South Africa?

Yes, online trading is legal in South Africa, and the Financial Services Conduct Authority supervises the financial markets. Moreover, South African traders can use both local and international brokers for online trading.

What is the minimum balance required to start trading in South Africa?

Many brokers in South Africa have no minimum balance requirement, allowing you to begin trading with amounts as low as $1.

What is a CFD broker?

A CFD broker provides services for trading Contracts-for-Difference (CFDs), enabling traders to speculate on the price movements of various assets without owning the underlying asset.

How to trade Forex in South Africa?

To trade Forex in South Africa, start by opening an account with a Forex broker. Then, use fundamental or technical analysis to understand market trends and make informed trades based on your strategy. We encourage you to check our dedicated article on the best Forex brokers in South Africa to get more insights.

Toni Nasr, CFA, FRM
Fintech Analyst

Toni is a Fintech Analyst with over 8 years of experience in the financial industry where he worked as a financial control analyst at a regional bank and later conducted independent investment research analysis.

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