To ensure operational ease in providing services to their clients, stock brokers have been allowed to retain up to Rs.10,000 in trading accounts of active customers after obtaining their written consent. As per the existing practice, the brokers were supposed to settle the funds and securities in running accounts of their clients on a quarterly or monthly basis, under which they were required to transfer any excess funds from the client’s trading account to his or her bank account. However, the stock exchanges, in consultation with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), have now decided to ease these norms “based on representations received from investors and members (brokers)”. — PTI