The Government needs to make more concessions to the Securities and Futures Bill to get it passed by the Legislative Council, as three candidates running to represent brokers have warned they will block it. The candidates, who are contesting one seat in Sunday's election, vowed in a debate yesterday attended by more than 200 brokers that they would block the controversial bill unless further changes were made. 'The bill has been drafted in a way which is too harsh for brokers,' said Fung Chi-kin, who is seeking to be re-elected to the seat. 'Although the Government and the Securities and Futures Commission have already made some changes, they have not gone far enough.' This view was also expressed by candidates Henry Wu King-cheong and Irene So Wai-yin. The three candidates promised to fight for changes to the bill they said would help make it easier for brokers to operate. Mr Fung said he would also lobby the other political parties to join forces to urge the Government to make more changes to the bill after it is tabled in the Legislative Council in November. The bill will consolidate all 10 SAR securities ordinances into one. The Government wants to have it passed in April and brokers said this tight timetable may force the Government to make more concessions to avoid delay. But a government source said many concessions had already been made. The Government would consider further demands from brokers but any additional changes must not reduce investor protection, the source said. Mr Fung said he wanted the Government to promise to reduce the maximum penalties for administrative offences. The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has already agreed to change the bill to reduce the penalty for administrative non-compliance by brokers, such as failure to return an expired licence of departing staff. But while brokers would no longer be jailed for such an offence following the change, they would still face a fine of up to HK$10 million, Mr Fung said. This was too high and should be lowered to a reasonable level. Mr Fung also demanded a change be made to ensure that at least one broker would be a lay member of the market misconduct tribunal. Mr Wu said if he were elected on Sunday he would meet Government and SFC officials next week to demand changes to the bill. 'Although the SFC has promised to make changes to the bill, there is no details on how the changes are made,' he said. For example, the SFC had said on Monday it would change the bill to reduce the burden on major shareholders to disclose their derivative holdings in companies. However, Mr Wu said the SFC did not say what information would not need to be disclosed. Ms So said she would communicate with all Hong Kong's brokers to see what further changes they wanted to be made to the bill. Securities and Futures Commission chairman Andrew Sheng announced on Monday that a number of changes would be made. After the changes, the burden of proof regarding market misconduct such as insider dealing and market manipulation would fall on the SFC, instead of on the defendants as previously was the case. Ten big international players, including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, have complained that the bill is too harsh, and would discourage international companies and investors from coming to the SAR. Their complaints have been one reason the Government has made concessions.