Over-the-Counter (OTC) Derivatives Providers Laws & Regulations

Over the Counter OTC Derivatives Providers

Over-the-Counter (OTC) Derivative Providers

All brokers offering CFDs on forex, commodities, and indices in South Africa are obligated to be regulated by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA).

The FSCA has implemented a new regulation affecting providers who issue Over-the-Counter (OTC) derivatives, namely CFDs. It is a criminal offense to operate in South Africa without being regulated by the FSCA. 

All CFD brokers providing derivatives or an intermediary service in South Africa must obtain a Category 1 operating licence with category 1.13 from the FSCA and must also apply for an OTC licence to qualify as an Over-the-Counter Derivative Provider.

To check if your broker is regulated and licensed on the FSCA website: FSCA

over-the-counter (otc) derivatives FSCA licensed broker search

Over-the-Counter Derivative Providers

The ODP regulation requires brokers to perform enhanced due diligence on their clients, as trading speculative financial products is high risk. Another important point to note is that it enforces strict capital adequacy measures. It also puts the onus on the broker to submit end-of-day transaction reports to a central repository. The transaction details report provides the FSCA with transparency and ensures that all forex trading clients are treated fairly and that the broker is operating responsibly. 

In addition to the Category 1 requirement, brokers are now obliged to comply with a new regulatory regime. The FSCA has publicly confirmed that all CFD brokers must apply for an Over-the-Counter (OTC) licence. Applications have been submitted and pending, with no brokers having been issued an ODP licence at this date.

A broker cannot operate or offer intermediary services in South Africa without having an FSP licence and a submitted ODP application pending FSCA approval.

To check which brokers have applied for the OTC licence on the FSCA website: List of regulated entities and persons

What are over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives? 

An Over-The-Counter derivative or OTC for short is an unlisted privately negotiated derivative instrument and excludes foreign exchange spot contracts and physically settled commodity derivatives. OTC trading, therefore, refers to a trade that is not made on a formal exchange, but rather a trade between two parties and handled through a dealer network.

The Regulations of the Financial Markets Act, define an OTC derivative provider (ODP) as a person who as a regular feature of its business, and transacting as principal originates, issues, sells or makes a market in OTC derivatives.

OTC dealers often communicate their bid- and ask-price quotes through their trading platform and therefore offer their clients the ability to transact on the OTC market. 

What are CFDs?

CFDs are contracts-for-difference, which is an agreement between an investor or trader and a CFD broker to exchange the difference in the value of a financial product between the time the contract opens and closes.

Safer OTC derivatives trading

The new OTC regulation is a great step forward for the online trading industry making it more transparent. The FSCA ensures that trading conditions are safer and superior in a regulated market.