Vault Markets is a fairly new (founded in 2021) South African-based brokerage platform. They mostly focus on forex trading and offer CFDs on stocks, indices, commodities, and cryptocurrencies.
They report to have over 350,000 clients and offer 200 currency pairs, as well as 5 crypto pairs for trading. Most of its customers come from South Africa, but they also have physical offices and significant customer bases in Namibia and Tanzania.
They clearly state that they do not accept US clients for regulatory and tax reasons, as well as residents of other jurisdictions such as Japan, Canada, or North Korea. It is unclear from their website whether EU clients are accepted or not.
While it may seem similar to other brokers on the surface, there are significant issues regarding Vault Markets. Major red flags concern the light regulation of the parent company, 1st Fintech Capital (Pty) Ltd., especially the complete lack of regulation of their connected companies in Namibia and Cyprus. As such, we do not recommend opening an account with this broker.
We will go through the Vault Markets’ pros and cons in an unbiased fashion. We will especially focus on the platform’s safety, transparency, and reliability since these are major concerns for many of its current and potential future users.
Pros and Cons of Vault Markets
- MT4/MT5 trading platforms
- Low minimum deposit
- Negative balance protection
- Multiple deposit and withdrawal options
- Various educational materials
- Many issues regarding the platform’s regulation and transparency
- The fee structure is unclear
- No demo account
- Poor customer reviews
- Impossible to buy physical stocks (CFD broker only)
- Conflicting information between the website and users' experience
Deposit, Withdrawal and Supported Currencies
Available deposit options include EFT, card, M-PESA, Bitcoin, and Perfect Money. The minimum deposit depends on the account type but is most commonly set at $5 or ZAR10.
It is also possible to open Bitcoin, Astropay, and M-PESA e-wallets inside the platform.
They don’t have a minimum or maximum fund withdrawal amount and the company claims to process withdrawals within hours (this has been disputed by some users). Vault Market claims that no deposit or withdrawal fees are charged in the process, but some customers have also reported being charged a withdrawal fee.
There are 3 main account currencies to choose from: USD, ZAR, and TZS. They also offer trading in USD, EUR, GBP, SGD, and PLN base currencies through the MT4 and MT5 trading platforms.
Supported Products and Fees
When starting with Vault Markets, there are 12 different account types, including an Islamic (swap-free) account. There is also a 13th account type announced for the future (50% bonus account).
Many different account types have the advantage of better fitting different traders, but they could also be too much to choose from for beginner investors. You can learn more about the characteristics of different account types here.
Financial products on offer include forex, CFDs on stocks, indices, commodities, and cryptocurrencies. It is safe to say that the platform’s major focus is on forex trading, with a reported 200 currency pairs to choose from, along with 5 crypto pairs. However, some users reported that the actual number of currency pairs is much lower.
Most account types offer a 1:500 leverage, with only the 1:1000 Leverage Account offering the amount of leverage in line with its name.
The fee structure lacks transparency, as their official website has no dedicated section regarding fees. Spreads start at 0 pips for some account types and at 1 pips for others, but it is hard to get exact information for spreads of a particular currency pair.
It is also unclear what the terms and conditions regarding the deposit bonuses (which range from 50% to 200% of the deposited sum) are.
Their investment platform is available in both web and mobile versions. The web application is the primary application, with the mobile version limited in some features. Modern MT4 and MT5 trading platforms are available by using the web app. Both are focused on forex trading and support futures, indices, equities, and CFDs.
MT5 offers some of the more advanced features, such as enhanced trading processing times, advanced technical analysis, creation of trading strategies, and more.
It is important to mention the lack of a demo account. This is usually a good way for beginners to learn about the platform and trading with virtual funds, but unfortunately, it’s not available on Vault Markets. However, you can choose one of the “micro” account types to start trading with lower sums.
Their mobile app features a simple design and allows account opening, making deposits and withdrawals, and more. However, it does not enable trading. The app is currently available for Android and Apple, with the Huawei app reportedly coming in the future.
They also offer a VIP service (Vault VIP Club) for deposits over ZAR 250k. Some of the club’s benefits include reduced spread, dedicated customer service representatives, customised merchandise, and marketing.
Customer Support and Education
Vault Markets offers various educational materials to choose from, with most available on their Upgrade Your Trade page. These include The Trading Vault podcast, free e-books, and a live YouTube show about the markets.
You can also find instructional videos on making deposits, withdrawals, and more in their FAQ.
Customer support is available 24/7, which may be a big plus for some traders. However, its quality has been severely criticised by a large number of users (more on that in the next section).
Safety and Reliability
Some of the major concerns regarding Vault Markets are the topics of safety, reliability, and transparency. Although this broker claims to be regulated by the FSCA in South Africa, that is not the full story.
Vaultmarkets (Pty) Ltd. is a product of another company: 1st Fintech Capital (Pty) Ltd., a company that has only been operating since 2021. A clear connection between the two is difficult to establish, which is a major reason for concern in itself. You can find more regulatory information about the 1st Fintech Capital (Pty) company on FSCA’s website.
There are two more companies that Vault Markets claims to be connected to: Karibu FX Financial Consultant Service Pty Ltd (Namibia) for the issue of derivatives and Neo Brokers International Ltd (Cyprus) for payment processing. Neither can be found in their countries’ top financial regulators’ registries (NAMFISA and CySEC).
The customer reviews on independent websites such as Trustpilot have also been less than stellar, to say the least. Although the sample size is small, the vast majority of their reviews on Trustpilot are 1-star reviews. The most commonly cited complaints are poor customer service, funds withdrawal issues, and trading problems.
There is also a lot of conflicting information between the website’s claims and users’ actual experience regarding the actual number of available currency pairs, availability of the MT4/MT5 platforms, hidden fees, and more.