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JSE tool helps users verify legitimacy of brokers

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 20 May 2024
Protecting investors and entrenching financial literacy is key for the JSE.
Protecting investors and entrenching financial literacy is key for the JSE.

With scams on the rise, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) has launched a user-friendly, free tool that allows people looking to invest their money to check whether the financial professionals they deal with are credible, before making investment decisions.

‘Verify a Broker’ is an online portal designed to help people confirm if the stockbrokers and financial service providers they deal with are genuine.

The tool supports anyone who wants to make safer investment choices by ensuring they deal only with legitimate professionals and companies.

By running a search, using the organisation’s name or financial services provider number against this database, the tool ensures the financial professionals an investor is working with are officially recognised and meet all regulatory standards.

This, as SA sees a significant rise in the number of scammers targeting people who are looking to invest and grow their money.

These fraudsters often promise big profits with little or no risk, misleading people into putting their money into schemes that are too good to be true, notes JSE.

"The tool is easy to use and helps everyone – from grandparents investing for their grandchildren, to young professionals inspired by finance influencers on social media – to make sure their financial professionals are credible,” says Nongcali Rubushe, head of retail and business enablement at the JSE.

“We want South Africans to feel confident and informed when making investment decisions with their hard-earned money. This tool makes the investment process more transparent and safer."

According to the JSE, the ‘Verify a Broker’ tool provides a consolidated view of the JSE’s stockbroker database from the database managed by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), the regulatory body that oversees financial professionals and organisations in SA.

Every financial services provider, including stockbrokers, must be registered with the FSCA to operate legally.

The JSE or any of its representatives will never call to get a client’s personal information or ask them to invest money over the phone. The only way to trade directly on the JSE is through an authorised stockbroker, it warns.

“If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Research any investment opportunity independently of what any salesperson or website provides you. Never rush into an investment opportunity. If you are rushed or told not to discuss it with others, it’s likely you’re being scammed. There is no such thing as a guaranteed return on an investment,” adds Rubushe.

“Protecting investors and entrenching financial literacy is key for us at the JSE. As the largest exchange in Africa, we are acutely aware of the role we play in uplifting our society and equipping people from all walks of life with the tools and information that enables them to protect their financial interests."