Lien

A banker’s equivalent of ‘possession is 9/10ths of the law’. For some short term credit facilities a bank may ask that a life policy, or shares, or similar, are deposited with the bank. The bank establishes what is known as an equitable lien – a form of security – over the object deposited. The bank does not, however, have any power of sale.

This is a form of security interest to secure the payment of a debt or performance of some other obligation. The owner of the property, who grants the lien, is referred to as the lienor and the person who has the benefit of the lien is referred to as the lienee. When possession of the property is lost, the lien is released.

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