ⓘ Banker's lien

Banker's lien

ⓘ Bankers lien

A bankers lien is a legal right arise in many common law jurisdictions of a bank to exercise a lien over any property in the custody of the bank as security for the indebtedness of the customer to the bank.


1. Scope

The precise effect of a bankers lien varies according to the laws of a particular jurisdiction. Under English common law it applies to all property coming into the possession of the bank in the usual course of banking business, subject to the important exception that it does not apply to property which is deposited with the bank for safe custody.

Whilst most common law liens normally only give the lienee a passive right to retain the property, unusually, the bankers lien permits the bank the sell the relevant property.

The lien does not generally extend to intangible rights, including credit balances on accounts. However those credit balances may be subject to the bankers right to combine accounts.

The bankers lien may be modified or abrogated by agreement.

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