INFORMATION group Swift has signed 10 brokerages and four fund managers in Hong Kong for its electronic brokerage settlements system. The group plans to establish its network as the standard used by brokerages in the territory to settle transactions, said Swift regional director Michael King. The system is used by most banks around the world to settle inter-bank transactions, but the service has only recently been extended to brokerages and fund managers. Swift eliminates the paperwork associated with the sale and transfer of shares by handling the information electronically. A growing band of subscribers in Hong Kong, including Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley and HSBC Asset Management have started using the service. Most share trading in the territory is still carried out by fax and telex, which are cumbersome and prone to errors. One of the main advantages of the system, said Mr King, was that it eliminated human error. ''It's very easy to drop a telex on the floor and miss a transaction. With Swift, we guarantee every message and will pay for any mistakes made by the system. ''The system also incorporates an encrypting device, which ensures the confidentiality of messages and eliminates fraud.'' GT Management director Bleddyn Gambold said the system was a convenient and safe way to transmit financial information. He said almost every major bank was on the system, so it was a fast and easy way to communicate important information. The system also saved staff time, because once something was keyed in it could be sent to many end-users rather than having to be keyed in many times. ''Because everything is electronically recorded, it will save us a huge amount of time,'' he said.