Hongkong Clearing will introduce several services next Monday to enhance the internal control systems of brokers and custodians in relation to how their staff handle clients' share transfers. This will allow brokers to better prevent staff illegally transferring clients' shares from investors' accounts. 'The functions provide additional options for participants to enhance their management and internal control capabilities,' clearing house chief executive Stewart Shing Shin-cheung said. Hongkong Clearing introduced investor account services in May which allow investors to deposit shares in their accounts rather than brokers' accounts. Since the waiver of the minimum monthly fee on July 8, there has been a sharp increase in applications to join the Investor Account Service. As at August 26, 1,383 applications had been received to open an account in the clearing system. The new services include user profiles and counterparty list functions for broker accounts, and maker-checker and transaction limit functions for corporate investor participants. Separate user profiles allow brokers and custodians to use different staff to perform the input and authorisation functions on settlement instructions and investor settlement instructions. The counterparty list function allows brokers to restrict staff to transferring shares between brokers' accounts and specified investors accounts. This should prevent staff illegally transferring shares from investors' accounts into accounts created by a staff member. The maker-checker facility allows corporate investor participants to designate specific staff members to input or affirm instructions with another employee authorising these instructions.