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Dictionary of banking; a concise encyclopædia of banking law and practice online

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DICTIONARY OF
BANKING

A CONCISE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF
RANKING LAW AND PRACTICE



BY

WILLIAM THOMSON

BANK INSPECTOR



LONDON

SIR ISAAC PITMAN & SONS, LTD., 1 AMEN CORNER, E.C.

BATH AND NEW YORK



«^.s^



FROM THE SAME PUBLISHERS

Bank Organisation, Management, and
Accounts. By J. F. Davis, D.Lit.,
M.A., LL.B. (Lond.), Lecturer in
Banking and Finance at the City of
London College. In demy 8vo, cloth
gilt, 5s. net.

" An admirably lucid and comprehensive
text-book." — Vide Press.



Printiid by Sir Isaac Pitman

& Sons, Ltd., London, Bath

AND New York



PREFACE

The Dictionary of Banking has been compiled in order to provide, in one vohmie,
the means of obtaining information, with the minimum of trouble, upon any
subject connected with the business of banking.

Hitherto it has been a matter of continual difficulty with many bank officials
to know exactly where to turn for information upon certain subjects ; but it is
hoped and believed that the present volume will meet this difficulty, and that
it will enable anyone to hnd in its pages a ready and reliable reference whenever
the occasion arises.

The following pages include, as far as possible, a reference to all the various
terms and matters which come udthin the scope of a banker's ordinary duties,
as well as to other matters which arise out of, or are associated with, the business
of banking, such as bankruptcy, company regulations, partnerships, stamp duties,
stock exchange, winding up, etc.

The book is furnished with many cross-references, and at the end of each
leading subject, e.g., Accouxts, Bankruptcy, Bill of Exchange, Cheque,
Companies, Insurance, Mortgage, Stamp Duties, Stock Exchange, Title
Deeds, will be found a list of the principal articles connected with that subject,
which should facilitate the discovery of any particular point.

The whole of the Bills of Exchange Act, 1882, is given, the sections being
distributed under the appropriate headings. Under the title Bills of Exchange
Act, 1882, references are supplied to the various articles in which the different
sections have been placed.

]Many sections from other Acts, which are useful and interesting to bankers,
are also included under the proper headings. For example, if information is
required respecting the registration of a charge given by a company, the actual
words of the Companies (Consohdation) Act, 1908, on that subject are quoted
under Registration of Mortgages and Charges ; and respecting the registra-
tion of a mortgage of a ship, the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894,
are set forth under Ship-Mortgage, etc., and so in many other cases, an endeavour
ha^•ing been made, wherever practicable and necessary, to quote the sections
of the Acts relating to matters of importance.

There is probably no subject of greater interest to branch managers and

221045



PREFACE

senior clerks than that of securities for advances, and consequently all matters
connected with the examination of title deeds and the investigation of titles
have been treated in the Dictionary in accordance with their importance.

In addition to the article on Title Deeds, dealing with the matter in a
general way, there is an article on Title Deeds — Notes re Title, wherein is
set out a number of the principal points which it is thought will prove useful
in indicating what a banker should attend to when examining a parcel of deeds
of freehold, leasehold, or copyhold property. If further information should
be required on any of the points raised, the subject can be referred to in its
alphabetical order in the book. A few questions relating to the value of a
property which is offered as security are added to that article, and additional hints
as to valuations, particularly for the benefit of younger managers, may be
found under Advanxes, F.a.rm Stock, Licensed Property, Ship — Valuation
OF, Valuation.

With regard to securities other than title deeds, articles such as the following
may be referred to : — American Railroad Certificates, Bearer Bonds
Bill of Lading, Bill of Sale, Bond of Credit, Certificate, Debenture,
Debts — i\ssiGNMENT of, Dock Warrant, Guarantee, Inscribed Stock,
Life Policy, Negotiable Instruments, Shares, etc.

A list of many of the abbreviations which are used in bank offices is supplied
under Abbreviations. The article Bankrupt Person contains separate
headings relating to a bankrupt drawer, partner, payee, surety, etc. ; and under
Statute of Limitations the various sub-headings show how the statute affects
the different matters with which a banker is concerned, such as a bank note,
a bill of exchange, the drawer of a cheque, a guarantee, memorandum of deposit,
promissory note, etc. A series of articles is supphed dealing with the position
upon a death, e.g., Death of Acceptor, Administrator, Dr.\wer, Guarantor,
Joint Customer, Partner, Shareholder, Trustee, etc.

Specimens of indorsements which are usually accepted, as well as examples
of those which are not, as a rule, passed by a banker, are given in tabular form
under Indorsement.

The Report of the Gold Reserves Committee in 1909 is given imder Gold
Reserves ; and under Unification of Laws of Bills of Exchange the
various rules recommended by the conference of the National Law Association
at Budapest in 1908 and at London in 1910 are set forth for the consideration
of those who are interested.

The results of law cases have been given, wherever necessary, and in many



PREFACE



instances the words of the judges are quoted. References are added to the
various cases, and the abbreviations in the quotation of reports are explained
on page vii.

To facilitate reference being made to law reports other than those that
are quoted in the text, the date of the decision has been given in every
instance.

The following books amongst others have been consulted in the preparation
of the present volume : — •

Grant's Law of Banking

The Law of Banking ....

The Law of Banking ....

The Practice of Banking (4 Vols.)

Banking and Negotiable Instruments

Pitman's Bills, Cheques, and Notes

English Practical Banking

The Country Banker

Lombard Street ....

Pitman's Business Man's Guide

Present-Day Banking

Banking and Currency

My Banker and I . . .

The Country Banker's Handbook

History, Principles, and Practice of

Money Market Primer

The Elements of Banking .

Handbook on Joint Stock Companies



Banking Law .....

Questions on Banking Practice
Journal of the Institute of Bankers
Bankers' Magazine
Banking Almanac



Heber Hart, LL.D. (Lond.)
Sir John R. Paget, Bart, K.C.
John Hutchison
Frank Tillyard, M.A.

T. B. Moxon

George Rae

Walter Bagehot

J. A. Slater, B.A., LL.B. (Lond.)

F. E. Steele

Ernest Sykes, B.A.

J. G. Kiddy

J. W. Gilbart

George Clare

H. D. Macleod, M.A.

F. Gore-Browne, M.A., K.C,

and W. Jordan
W. Wallace, M.A. and A. McNeil



I have to express my deep indebtedness to the many friends who have been
kind enough to supply most useful information and to read and correct the
sheets as they have passed through the press, and I desire especially to
acknowledge the valuable assistance which I have received from Mr. J. A. Slater
of the Middle Temple, Barrister-at-Law, in checking the points referring to
banking law.

W. THOMSON.



Nf,\vcastle-on-Ty:
January, 19U.



PREFACE

senior clerks than that of securities for advances, and consequently all matters
connected with the examination of title deeds and the investigation of titles
have been treated in the Dictionary in accordance with their importance.

In addition to the article on Title Deeds, dealing with the matter in a
general way, there is an article on Title Deeds — Notes re Title, wherein is
set out a mimber of the principal points which it is thought will prove useful
in indicating what a banker should attend to when examining a parcel of deeds
of freehold, leasehold, or copyhold property. If further information should
be required on any of the points raised, the subject can be referred to in its
alphabetical order in the book. A few questions relating to the value of a
property which is offered as security are added to that article, and additional hints
as to valuations, particularly for the benefit of j'ounger managers, may be
found under Advances, Farm Stock, Licensed Property, Ship — Valuation
OF, Valuation.

With regard to securities other than title deeds, articles such as the following
may be referred to : — American Railroad Certificates, Bearer Bonds
Bill of Lading, Bill of Sale, Bond of Credit, Certificate, Debenture,
Debts — Assignment of. Dock Warrant, Guarantee, Inscribed Stock,
Life Policy, Negotiable Instruments, Shares, etc.

A list of many of the abbreviations which are used in bank offices is supplied
under Abbreviations. The article Bankrupt Person contains separate
headings relating to a bankrupt drawer, partner, payee, surety, etc. ; and under
Statute of Limitations the various sub-headings show how the statute affects
the different matters with which a banker is concerned, such as a bank note,
a biU of exchange, the drawer of a cheque, a guarantee, memorandum of deposit,
promissory note, etc. A series of articles is supplied dealing with the position
upon a death, e.g., Death of Acceptor, Administr.ator, Drawer, Guarantor,
Joint Customer, Partner, Shareholder, Trustee, etc.

Specimens of indorsements which are usually accepted, as well as examples
of those which are not, as a rule, passed by a banker, are gi\-en in tabidar form
under Indorsement.

The Report of the Gold Reserves Committee in 1909 is given under Gold
Reserves ; and under Unification of Laws of Bills of Exchange the
various rules recommended by the conference of the National Law Association
at Budapest in 1908 and at London in 1910 are set forth for the consideration
of those who are interested.

The results of law cases have been given, wherever necessary, and in nian\-



\^ PREFACE

instances the words of the judges are quoted. References are added to the
various cases, and the abbreviations in the quotation of reports are explairied
on page vii.

To facihtate reference being made to law reports other than those that
are quoted in the text, the date of the decision has been given in every
instance.

The following books amongst others have been consulted in the preparation
of the present volume : —

Grant's Law of Banking

The Law of Banking ...... Heber Hart, LL.D. (Lond.)

The Law of Banking ...... Sir John R. Paget, Bart, K.C.

The Practice of Banking (4 Vols.) . . . John Hutchison

Banking and Negotiable Instruments . . Fr,a.nk Tillyard, M.A.

Pitman's Bills, Cheques, and Notes

English Practical Banking . . . . T. B. Moxon

The Country Banker ..... George Rae

Lombard Street ....... Walter Bagehot

Pitman's Business Man's Guide . . . J. A. Slater, B.A., LL.B. (Lond.)

Present-Day Banking . . . . . F. E. Steele

Banking and Currency ..... Ernest Sykes, B.A.

My Banker and I . . . . . . J. G. Kiddy

The Country Banker's Handbook ...

History, Principles, and Practice of Banking . J. W. Gilbart

Money Market Primer ..... George Clare

The Elements of Banking . . . . . H. D. Macleod, M.A.

Handbook on Joint Stock Companies . . F. Gore-Browne, M.A., K.C,

and W. Jordan

Banking Law ....... W. Wallace, M.A. and A. McNeil

Questions on Banking Practice
Journal of the Institute of Bankers
Bankers' Magazine
Banking Almanac

I have to express my deep indebtedness to the many friends who have been
kind enough to supply most useful information and to read and correct the
sheets as they have passed through the press, and I desire especially to
acknowledge the valuable assistance which I have received from Mr. J. A. Slater
of the Middle Temple, Barrister-at-Law, in checking the points referring to
banking law.

W. THO:\ISON.

Newcastle-on-Tyne.
January, 1911.



ABBREVIATIONS USED IN THIS BOOK WHEN
REFERRING TO LAW CASES



AC. 1

or -Appeal Cases, Law Reports.

App. Gas. •'

B. & Ad., Barnewall & Adolphus.
B. & C, Barnewall & Cresswell.
Burr., Burrows.
Be., Beavan.
C.B., Common Bench.
C.B.N.S., „ ,, New Series.
C.P.D., Common Pleas Division, Law

Reports.
Ch., Chancery, Law Reports.
Ch.D., Chancery Division, Law Reports.
CI. & Fin., Clark & Finelly.
Cox C.C., Cox's Criminal Cases.
E. & B., Ellis & Blackburne.
Eq., Equity Cases, Law Reports.
H.L.C, Clark's House of Lords' Reports.

Ir R C L I ^"^^ Common Law Reports.



I.R., Irish Reports.
J. & H., Johnson & Hemming.
K.B., King's Bench, Law Reports.
L.J., C.P., Law Journal, Common Pleas.
L.J., Ch., ,, ,, Chancery.

L.J., Q.B., ,, ,, Queen's Bench.

L.R.. Ex., Law Reports, Exchequer.
L.R., Ch., „ „ Chancery.

L.R., Q.B., ,, ,, Queen's Bench.

L.T., Law Times Reports.
M. & S., Maule & Sehvyn.
Macq. H.L.R., Macqueen's Appeal Cases
(Scotch).

Mer., Merivale.

Q.B., Queen's Bench Cases.

Q.B.D., ,, ,, Division.

Sol. J., Solicitors' Journal.

T.L.R., Times Law Reports.

T.R., Terms Reports.

W.R., Weekly Reporter.



Dictionary of Banking



ABBREVIATIONS]

@, At.

A/C, Account.

A/C, Account Current.

A/D., After Date.

A/o., Account of.

A/S., After Sight.

Acce., Acceptance.

Agt., .Agreement.

Assigt., Assignment.

B.B., Branch Bill.

B/C, Bills for Collection.

B.D., Bill Discounted.

B/E., Bill of Exchange.

B.L., Bill Lodged.

B/L., Bill of Lading.

Bs'L., Bills of Lading.

B.N., Bank Xote.

B.O.. Branch Office.

B/P., Bills Payable.

B.P.B., Bank Post Bill.

B/R., Bills Receivable.

B/S., Bill of Sale.

C, Copper.

C, Country.

C/-, Coupon.

C.A., Credit Account.

C«c. C/A., Current Account.

C.B., Country Bill.

C/B., Cash Book.

C.C, Cash Credit.

C.C., Country Cheque.

C.C, Country Clearing.

CD., Cum Dividend.

C.H., Clearing House.

C.N., Country Note.

CO., Cash Order.

C. of B., Confirmation of Balance.

C.O.D.. Cash on Delivery.

C.P., Charter Party.

Cf. (Lat. confir). Compare.

Chq., Cheque.

Ck., Cheque.

Cp., Compare.

Com., Commission.

Contra, Against.

Cr., Creditor, Credit.

Cum D., With Dividend.

Cur., Curt., Current.



;: ABBREVIATIONS

D., a penny. D is the first letter in denarius

(Latin).
D., Deeds.

D.A., Deposit .\ccount.
D/.-\., Days after .Acceptance.
D/B., Day Book.
D/D., Days after Date.
D.P.B., Deposit Pass Book.
D/R., Deposit Receipt.
Deb., Debenture.
Dft., Draft.
Dis., Disct., Discount.
Div., Dividend.
Dols., Dollars.
Dr., Debtor.
D/S., Days after Sight.

E.E., Errors Excepted.

e.g. (Lat., exempli gratia). For example.

E/L, Endorsement Irregular.

E. & O.E., Errors and Omissions E.xcepted.

et seq. (Lat., et sequentes), And the following.

Ex. Cp. or x/cp.. Ex Coupon.

Ex D. or x/d.. Ex Dividend.

Ex. Int., Ex Interest.

Exch., Exchange.

Exct., Exec, Executor.

Execx., Executrix.

Exor., Executor.

F., Franc.

F.A.S., Free Alongside Ship.

F.O.B., Free on Board.

F/P., Fire Policy.

F.p., Fully Paid.

Fi. Fa., Fieri Facias, [q.v.]

Fo., FoL, Folio.

G., Gold.

G., Guarantee.

H.M.C, His Majesty's Customs.

H.M.S., His Majesty's Service.

H.O., Head Office.

lb., Ibid. (Lat., ibidem). In the same place.

Id. (Lat., idem), The same.

I/L, Indorsement Irregular.

Ins., Insurance.

Inst., Instant, Of the Present :\Ionth.

Int., Interest.



DICTIONARY OF BANKING



[ABB



Inv., Invoice.
Irr., Irredeemable.

J/A., Joint Account.
Jour., Journal.
Jr., Junr., Junior.
L/A., Letter of Authority.
L.C., London Cheque.
L/C, Letter of Credit.
£E., Pounds, Egyptian.
L O., London Office.

i:^-,£?,!::^r.,./0, Place of th^Se^^

l..s.d.(l^a.t.. Librae, solidi. denarii). Pounds
Shillings, Pence.

^T., Pounds, Turkish.

Led., Ledger.

Ltd., Limited.

M. (Lat., Mille). Thousand.

M., Metropolitan.

M/C, Marginal Credit.

M/D., Months after Date.

M/D., Memorandum of Deposit.

M.O., Money Order.

M/P., Memorandum of Partnership.

MS., Manuscript.

M/S., Months after Sight.

MSS., Manuscripts.

N.A., New Account.

N/A., No Advice, No Account.

N/A., Non-acceptance.

N.B. (Lat., Nota bene). Take notice.

N/E., No Effects.

N/F., No Funds.

N/N., Not to be Noted.

N/O., No Orders.

No., Number.

N.P., Notary Public.

N.P.F., Not Provided For.

N.S., New Style.

N/S.. Not Sufficient.

N.S.F., Not Sufficient Funds.

°. Degree.

O.A., Old Account.

O/A., On Account.

O/D., On Demand.

O/D., Overdraft.

O.K., All correct.

O N., Own Notes.

% (Lat., Per centum). By the Hundred.

O O. Own Occupation.

o/oo (Lat., Per mille), By the Thousand.

O.R., Official Receiver.

O.S., Old Style.

O/s., o/sg.. Outstanding.



P/A., Power of Attorney.

P.A. (Lat., Per annum). Yearly.

P.B., Pass Book.

P/C, Price Current.

P.O. (Lat., Per centum). By the Hundred.

P. & L., Profit and Loss.

P/N., Pro. Note., Promissory Note.

P.O., Postal Order.

P.O.O., Post Office Order.

P.P., Per Procuration.

P.S.'(Lat., Post scriptum). Postscript.

Payt., Pavment.

Per an. (Lat., Per annum). Yearly.

Per ct. (Lat., Per centum). By the Hundred.

Per pro., Per procuration.

Pm., Premium.

Pro, For. ^ ^^ ^.

Pro tem. (Lat., Pro tempore). For the time
being.

Prox. (Lat., Proximo), Next.

Or., Quarter.

Q.v. (Lat., Quod vide). Which see.

Qy., Query.



R., Rupee.

R/A., Refer to Acceptor.

R.A.P., Rupees, Annas, Pies.

R/D., Refer to Drawer.

R/E., Repayable to either.

Recpt., Receipt.

Reg., Regd., Registered.

Rev. a/c. Revenue Account.

Rs., Rupees.

Rx.. Ten Rupees.

S., Silver.

$, Dollars.

S.B., Special Bargain.

S.B., Sub Branch.

S.B., Short Bill.

S.C, Safe Custody.

S.O., Sub Office.

S.P..A., Sundry Pcl•.■^ons' Account.

S.P., Supra Protest.

S.S., Special Settlement.

S.S., Steamship.

S/V Surrender \'alue.

St., Stet (Lat., Stet). Let it stand.

Ster., Stg., Sterhng.

Stk., Stock.

Sy. Crs., Sundrv Creditors.

Sv. Drs., Sundrv Debtors



T., Town.
T/o., Turnovc



ABOj



DICTIONARY OF BANKING



[ACC



T.Q., Tel Quel {q.v.). '
T.T., Telegraphic Transfer.
Tfr., Transfer.

U.V., Uncollected Vouchers.

Ult. (Lat., Ultimo). Of the Last ^Nlonth.

V. (Lat., versus), Against.

Via, By the way of.

Viz. {Lat., Videlicet), Nameh-.

W.W., Warehouse Warrant.
Wt., Warrant.

X.C, Ex Coupon.
X.D., Ex Dividend.
X.In., Ex Interest.

ABOVE PAR. {Pay, Latin, equal.)
When the market price of bonds, stocks, or
shares is above the nominal or face value,
they are said to be above par.

Equivalent phrases to " above par "
and "below par" are respectively "at
a premium " and " at a discount." (See
Par.)

ABRASION OF COINS. The loss of
weight which occurs in coins which are in
circulation through their constant use. After
a certain time many coins become so much
worn as to be below the minimum weight
allowed by law ; but so long as the impres-
sions are discernible upon coins, the general
public do not concern themselves very much
with their weight. Anyone who has a coin
tendered which is below the standard weight
may, by law, cut or deface it. (See Coinage,
Light Gold.)

ABSOLUTE TITLE. Land may be regis-
tered under the Land Transfer Acts with
Absolute Title ; that is, the Registry ex-
amines the proprietor's title and confers on
him an absolute right to the property,
guaranteed by the Government against all
the world. (See L.-^nd Registry.)

ABSTRACT OF TITLE. The Abstract of
Title is not a part of the title, but is a
document prepared by the vendor's solicitor
to enable the purchaser to see how his title
is derived. The purchaser of freehold pro-
perty has the right to require an abstract
tracing the title for the last forty years, or
longer if necessary, to obtain a satisfactory
commencement. The cominencing deed is
called the "root of title" {q.v.). It may,
however, be agreed between the vendor and
the purchaser to accept a shorter title than
forty years, and twenty years are often taken
as sufficient.



1 Commencing with the " root," the
abstract should give in strict order of
date a brief summary of the material
parts of all deeds and documents which are
necessary to show how the purchaser's title
is obtained. It should show by whom the
deeds are signed and witnessed, the amounts
for which they are stamped, particulars of
registration (if the property is situated in
Yorkshire or Middlesex), and information
regarding the probates of wills, etc.

An abstract of title usually accompanies
most parcels of deeds. When a banker
receives a bundle of deeds for security, he
can look at the abstract, when there is a
recent one. and see at once the various
links in the chain of title. The deeds
which are noted in the abstract may all be
held b)' the banker, but very often the
abstract will be found to give particulars
of many deeds and documents which are not
in the banker's hands. In fact, the banker
may, perhaps, hold only one deed, say the
conveyance to his customer, John Brown,
from John Jonss. In that case there
should be an acknowledgment of the right
to the production of the deeds necessary to
show the title of John Jones.

If the property is leasehold, the abstract
should commence with the lease or under-
lease. (See Le.^sehgld.)

In the case of copyhold land which has
been converted into freehold by enfranchise-
ment, a purchaser " shall not have the right
to call for the title to make the enfranchise-
ment " (Conveyancing .\ct, 1881, Section 3,
s.s. 2.) But though the lord's title cannot be
inquired into, the purchaser should still
require the forty years' copyhold title. (See
Title Deeds.)

ACCEPTANCE. This word is commonly
used as meaning a biU of exchange, that is,
the actual bill itself, but an acceptance is
really the writing across the face of a bill by
which the drawee agrees to the order of the
drawer. The drawee is the person to whom
a bill is addressed by the drawer, and who
is required to pay on demand, or at a fixed
or determinable future time, a sum certam
in money to or to the order of a specified
person, or to bearer. If the drawee agrees
to the drawer's order he signifies his assent
by accepting the bill. When the drawee
has accepted a bill he is called the
acceptor.

An acceptance is defined by Section 17 of
the Bills of Exchange Act, 1882, as follows



ACC]



DICTIONARY OF BANKING



[ACC



" (1) The acceptance of a bill is the signi-
fication by the drawee of his assent
to the order of the drawer.
" (2) An acceptance is invalid unless it
complies with the following con-
ditions, namely :
" (a) It must be written on the bill
and be signed by the drawee.
The mere signature of the
drawee without additional
words is sufficient.
" [b) It must not express that the
drawee will perform his
promise by any other means
than the payment of money. ' '
As a rule a drawee accepts a bill after it
has been fully completed and signed by the
drawer ; but by Section 18, " A bill may
be accepted : —

" (1) Before it has been signed by the
drawer, or while othenvise incom-
plete :
" (2) When it is overdue, or after it has
been dishonoured by a previous
refusal to accept, or by non-
payment :
" (3) When a bill payable after sight is
dishonoured by non-acceptance , and
the drawee subsequently accepts
it, the holder, in the absence of
any different agreement, is entitled
to have the bill accepted as of the
date of first presentment to the
drawee for acceptance."
There are two kinds of acceptances :

(1) General acceptance. (See Accept-

ance, General.)

(2) Qualified acceptance. (See Accept-

ance, Qualified.)

" A general acceptance assents without
qualification to the order of the drawer. A
qualified acceptance in express terms varies
the effect of the bill as drawn." (Section 19,
s.s. 2.)

An acceptance is usually upon the face of
the bill, but the drawee's signature placed
upon the back of it is regarded as sufficient.
In such a case it is usual to make a reference
on the front of the bill to the fact that the
acceptance is on the back. A drawee may
accept a bill by merely writing his name
across it, without any further words, but it
is customary for the word " accepted " to be
used. When the bill is domiciled, the name
of the bank where it is payable follows the
word " accepted," and then the acceptor
signs his name. The commonest form
of acceptance (a general acceptance) is : —



" Accepted, payable at the X & Y Bank-
ing C03'., Ltd., London, John Brown."

If the bill is payable at so many days after
sight, the drawee must add the date of sight-
ing to his acceptance. (See Sighting a
Bill.)



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