Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Standard Bank Online Share Trading scooped the accolade as the top stockbroker in the country for the third year running at an awards ceremony at the JSE on Tuesday night.

The ranking, launched in 2010, comes at a time of intense competition for brokers, who are facing unprecedented competition for the savings of South Africans, as lenders have been pushing more debt on to consumers than ever before.

At the same time, brokers are competing more fiercely with each other, as new technology has driven down costs.

Standard Bank Online Share Trading, part of the wider Standard Bank group, has established itself as the broker to beat, despite numerous changes to the survey structure and methodology in recent years. It was also the top-rated broker for "client support including research and educational tools".

The survey is conducted by Intellidex for Investors Monthly. It has three components: a major client survey in which 6,380 respondents participated in 2018; a mystery shopping exercise; and a survey of stockbroking firms.

Rand Swiss, formed in 2015, took second place overall. In line with an industry trend, Rand Swiss is integrating stockbroking with other investment and wealth management offerings.

Afrifocus Securities is the top advice broker of the year. Sasfin Securities was second and FNB Securities third in this category, which specifically recognises firms that specialise in face-to-face and telephone-based advice for clients.

Afrifocus recently introduced a wealth management offering via the Allan Gray and Sanlam Glacier platforms.

EasyEquities is the top online broker of the year, followed by IG South Africa and DWT Securities. EasyEquities was lauded for its innovation and efforts to make investing fun.

DWT Securities, a niche derivatives broker that caters mainly to day traders, won the people’s choice award.

This category is determined by client rankings. DWT Securities also won this award in 2016, backed by fiercely loyal clients. Unum Capital was second and Sharenet third.

Unum Capital won the award for top CFD (contract for difference) provider of the year, with Sharenet second and IG South Africa third.

A combination of client feedback, risk and Intellidex’s assessment is used to score this category, and Unum’s clients propelled it into first place.