Jargon Buster for All Your Money Advice

Welcome to Progressive Financial Services’ Jargon page. We endeavor to update this as much as possible when we come across words we’ve missed. Feel free to send words our way to make it more complete.

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A professional dealing with the assessment and management of risk for financial investments, insurance policies, and any other ventures involving a measure of uncertainty. They compute premium rates, dividends, risk and other financial results according to probabilities and statistical recoprds.


Acronym: Annual Equivalent Rate

What your interest rate would be if the interest on savings was paid and added to your balance at the end of each year.

Annuity – Pension

Product sold by financial institutions in return for pension lump sums, that provide a steady stream of income usually until the death of the policy holder. Annuities can also be created to turn a substantial lump sum into a steady cash flow, such as for winners of large cash settlements from a lawsuit or the lottery.

Annuity – Mortgage

A Capital and Interest Mortgage repayment loan.


Acronym: Annual Percentage Rate:

APR tells you the cost of a loan, taking into account the interest you pay, any other charges, and when the payments fall due. You can use the APR to compare the cost of one loan with another, for example, a loan with an APR of 15% is more expensive that one with an APR of 11%.

Approval in Principal (AIP)

Document from the mortgage provided that indicates how much you can borrow, so you can make an offer on properties. The AIP is usually subject to a few conditions such as seeing the valuation of the property.


Acronym: Approved Retirement Fund & Approved Minimum Retirement Fund

When you reach retirement you can convert your pension savings into a retirement vehicle that allows you to draw it down; two options being the ARF and AMRF. You are subject to tax on all of your earnings in retirement including your pension drawings so its important to manage your drawings in a tax efficient manner.

With an ARF you can draw as little or as much as you need at any time, but are subject to tax on a minimum withdrawal of 4% per year for those under age 70 (called an imputed distribution). You must have a guaranteed income of €12,700 to avail of the ARF option.

If you don’t have the minimum guaranteed income, you must invest a minimum of €63,500 into an AMRF or purchase annuity, and the rest can go into invest the remainder into an ARF.

If you pass away the capital remaining in your ARF & AMRFs will pass to your estate.


Anything that is owned, valuable and can be resold. For example, a house, land, a car, jeweler, etc. An asset can be given as security on a loan.


A public sale in which goods or property are sold to the highest bidder.

Authorised Advisor

A specific type of investment business firm that can provide investment advice on retail investment instruments, i.e. those investment instruments set out in Section 25 and 26 (1)(a) of the Investment Intermediaries Act 1995, without the necessity to hold a letter of appointment. It can also act as a deposit agent or deposit broker. In addition, it can receive and transmit orders to a product producer from which it holds a letter of appointment. An Authorised Advisor is obliged to recommend the most suitable investment product available in the market, regardless of whether or not it holds an appointment from the relevant product producer.

Base Rate

Set by the European Central Bank, the interest rate which tracker or variable rates usually follow. For example, your interest rate might be base rate + 2%.

Benefit in Kind

A perk of a job, such as a company car, gym membership or health insurance, that a company gives to its employees or directors and that may be taxed as income in the hands of the employee.

BIC (Bank Identifier Code)

A unique number that identifies a specific bank or bank branch involved in a financial transaction.

Bonds – Government Bond or Corporate Bond

A bond is a debt investment in which an investor loans money to an entity (typically corporate or governmental) which borrows the funds for a defined period of time at a variable or fixed interest rate. Bonds are used by companies, municipalities, states and sovereign governments to raise money and finance a variety of projects and activities. Owners of bonds are debtholders, or creditors, of the issuer.
Breakage Cost

If you are in a fixed rate loan, there are normally penalties for paying a lump sum off the mortgage or loan early. The cost varies depending on your agreement with the lender.

Bridging Loan

Sum of money lent by a bank to cover the time between the sale of your existing home and the purchase of your new home.


A person you can hire to shop around for the best financial product available. Brokers can be paid a commission by the company they link you with or charge you a set fee (or a combination of both). Brokers are regulated by the Financial Regulator and the Consumer Protection Code requires brokers to tell their clients of all commissions/fees they receive. See www.financialregulator.ie for further information and a list of authorised brokers. You may also want to see the Professional Insurance Brokers Association at www.piba.ie.

Buy to Let

The purchase of a property specifically to rent it out, rather than it being your principal private residence.


The original amount you borrowed in a loan.

Capital Gains Tax

A government tax that must be paid on any profits you make up to a certain amount. In 2016 Capital Gains tax is levied at 33%.


Usually refers to the fees and interest you must pay, for example when you borrow money or take out a pension plan. Under the Consumer Protection Code, banks and businesses have to give you information about all of the costs of their products and services.


Enforcing a life insurance, Serious Illness, or Income Protection policy in the event of death, diagnosis of serious illness, or inability to work, or a combination of the above. For example, loss of income can be because of an accident or injury that keeps you from working and so you may have grounds for a compensation claim if you have income protection in place.
Conversion Option

The ability of a policy holder to change a life insurance policy with no medical underwriting required.


A payment that a financial services company gives to a broker or financial advisor in exchange for selling their financial product.

Consumer Credit Act

The legislation put in place to protect Consumers.


Legal process of buying and selling a property; completed by a solicitor.

Cooling-off Period

A period of time after a person signs a contract, but before the contract becomes binding. In this period of time, you can change your mind about the contract without any penalty. Details of the time limit are usually explained in the terms and conditions of a contract and can vary depending on the type of agreement.


Money that a bank, building society or a credit card company has lent a person to buy goods or services.

Credit Bureau


Critical Illness Insurance

See Serious Illness

Data Protection

An area of law concerning your right to the privacy of your personal information/data. Personal data” means data relating to a living individual who is or can be identified either from the data or from the data in conjunction with other information that is in, or is likely to come into, the possession of the data controller.

In principle, it covers any information that relates to an identifiable, living individual. However, it needs to be borne in mind that data may become personal from information that could likely come into the possession of a data controller.


Money that is taken out of an account

Defined Benefit Pension

A defined-benefit plan is an employer-sponsored retirement plan where employee benefits are payed out based on a formula using factors such as salary history and duration of employment. Investment risk and portfolio management are entirely under the control of the company.

This fund is different from many pension funds where payouts are somewhat dependent on the return of the invested funds. Therefore, employers will need to dip into the company’s earnings in the event that the returns from the investments devoted to funding the employee’s retirement result in a funding shortfall. The payouts made to retiring employees participating in defined-benefit plans are determined by more personalized factors, like length of employment.

Defined Contribution Pension

A defined-contribution plan is a retirement plan in which a certain amount or percentage of money is set aside each year by a company for the benefit of each of its employees. The defined-contribution plan places restrictions that control when and how each employee can withdraw these funds without penalties. Employees usually also contribute to the plan, and the overall pot of money is dependent on investment returns.


A person who depends on another person for financial support, such as a child or an elderly relative. In preparing a budget or a standard financial statement as part of dealing with your financial affairs, it is important to include details of all dependents who rely on your income.


The initial amount of money that a person pays to get something (for example, a house or a car bought on hire purchase). It can also mean paying money into an account, for instance a bank or building society account.

Deposit Account

A savings account which may pay interest.

Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT)

A tax paid by a bank or building society on the interest a person gets from their savings. The rate of DIRT in 2016 is 41%.

Deposit Agent

Deposit Agent means any person who holds an appointment in writing from a single credit institution enabling him to receive deposits on behalf of that institution and prohibiting him from acting in a similar capacity on behalf of another credit institution. The deposit agent may accept cash in respect of the deposit agency business. Only investment business firms Authorised under the Investment Intermediaries Act 1995 (i.e. Multi-Agency Intermediaries or Authorised Advisors or Full Section 10 investment firms) may act as deposit agents.

Deposit Broker

Deposit Broker means any person who brings together with credit institutions persons seeking to make deposits in return for a fee, commission or other reward. A deposit broker may act for one or a number of credit institutions. The deposit broker may not accept cash. All cheques must be made payable to the relevant credit institution.

Discounted Rate Mortgage

A type of mortgage usually offered to new customers in which the interest rate is reduced for a set period of time.

Disability Insurance

See Income Protection

Disposable Income

Income left over after you pay your taxes, debts and after you pay for basic necessities (such as groceries and utility bills). This is generally used to make a payment plan with creditors when your debts are due.


Money that a company pays to its shareholders (people who own part of the organisation) from its profits. This term is also used by credit unions and refers to the amount paid to members at the end of the financial year


Acronym for: European Central Bank

Endowment Policy

A form of life insurance involving payment of a fixed sum to the insured person on a specified date, or to their estate should they die before this date.


The difference between the current value of the property and what is owed.

Equity Release

A way of using any value in a property to get a cash sum. For example, your home might be worth €250,000, and €50,000 is drawn out by an equity release to do renovations. This would be a form of loan, usually by way of mortgage.


Acronym for European Securities and Markets Authority

ESME Rating

Scale of 1-7 for risk profiles, based on the guidelines provided by ESMA. The scale of 1-7 is then translated into the volatility the client is therefore willing to take on. The higher the volatility, the less stable the fund price and therefore the higher the risk.

The methodology used to calculate the fund risk profiles is based on the

Safety First
Very Adventurous

The assets, including money and property, of a deceased person. See also Probate.

Exchange Rate

The value of one nation’s currency for the purpose of conversion to another.


A person named in a will or appointed by a court to carry out the instructions in a will. An executor is not usually paid for providing this service unless provisions have been made in the will for the payment of an executor, or if they are a professional executor (such as a solicitor).


A sum of money that a person pays for a service, such as getting a loan or taking out an insurance policy. Under the Consumer Protection Code, firms must not charge you a fee for an optional extra product or service unless you tell them that you want to buy it. Firms providing a product or giving you advice must also give you all the relevant information about the product or service before you buy it. This information must include the terms and conditions and details of any fees or charges that apply. All printed information must be clear and in a font large enough to read.

Financial Adviser

An individual or firm that can assess your financial needs, recommend suitable products and help you buy or invest in these products. Financial advisors are authorised by the Financial Regulator, and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Financial Report

A summary of all of your financial products and accounts, including investment strategy, costs, and charges.

Financial Statement

A formal account of income and spending including loans, debts, assets and savings. A financial statement can present a full financial snapshot to show how much of their debts a person can pay. It can also be used in court.

Fixed Interest Rate

An interest rate that stays the same for a fixed time no matter how much other interest rates may go up or down. To change from a variable interest rate to a fixed interest rate is likely to come with a fee.

Fixed Rate Mortgage

A type of mortgage where a person pays a fixed interest rate (usually a little higher than other interest rates), no matter how interest rates go up or down. To change from a fixed interest rate is likely to come with a fee.


Gilt-edged securities are high-grade bonds that are issued by a government or firm. This type of security originally boasted gilded edges, thus the name. In the case of a firm, a gilt-edged security is a stock or bond issued by a company that has a strong record of consistent earnings and can be relied on to cover dividends and interest.

A total amount before fees and/or taxes are taken off.

Gross Interest

The total interest on savings before any tax is taken off. See DIRT.

Gross Pay

Total pay before income tax, PRSI, levies or pension payments are taken off.

Guaranteed Premium

A premium that someone can be sure will not change during the life of the policy

Guarantor – on a mortgage or a loan

A third party that guarantees that payments will be remade if the borrower does not fulfill their obligations. The Guarantor is not normally on title of the house and has no claim over it.

Home Insurance

Protects your home in the event of fire and theft.


Money coming in, from regular employment for example.

Income Protection

Formerly known as permanent health insurance (PHI), long-term income protection is an insurance policy that pays out if you’re unable to work due to injury or illness.

Income Protection usually pays out until retirement, death or your return to work, although short-term IP policies are now available at a lower cost. IP doesn’t usually pay out if you’re made redundant, but will often provide ‘back to work’ help if you’re off sick.

Income Tax

A tax on personal or business income. There are two tax rates in Ireland, 20% and 40%. The rate that applies to an individual depends on their income and their civil status. See more at www.revenue.ie

Interest Only Mortgage

A loan for a house where you only pay the interest and do not pay down the capital. These loans are usually sold off at the end with the sale of the property, or convert into an annuity mortgage (capital and interest) after a specified period of time.


Acronym: Independent Financial Advisor. Someone who advises people on financial products, life insurance, pension plans and investments


Linking the price of a financial product (such as a pension) to the Consumer Price Index so that the value of the product keeps up with inflation.


A way of changing the value of savings and the cost of goods and services to compensate for the effects of inflation.


The rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services is rising and, consequently, the purchasing power purchasing power of currency is falling.

Insurance Intermediary

A person who, for remuneration, undertakes or purports to undertake insurance mediation.

Insurance Mediation

Means any activity involved in proposing or conducting work for entering into insurance contracts, or of assisting in the administration and performance of insurance contracts that have been entered into (including dealing with claims under insurance contracts).

Investment Firm (MiFID)

Means, other than a tied agent which person’s regular occupation or business is the provision of one or more investments services to third parties on a professional basis, or the activity of dealing on own account on a professional basis, but does not include a natural person unless:

his or her legal status ensures a level of protection for third parties’ interests equivalent to that afforded by legal persons;

he or she is subject to equivalent prudential supervision appropriate to his or her legal status; and
if paragraph 3 of the European Communities (Markets in Financial Instruments) Regulations 2007 is applicable, he or she ensures that the conditions set out in that paragraph are fulfilled.
Interest A kind of fee you receive if you save money, or pay if you borrow money. It is usually shown as a percentage of the savings or the loan. Interest Charged The money you pay back on top of the money you borrowed in a loan or credit agreement. Interest Earned The money you get added to your savings when you keep your money in a bank or building society for a set period of time.

Interest-Only Mortgage

A mortgage where a person pays only the interest to the lender for a set period of time.

Intermediary (also known as Broker)

Someone who introduces possible clients to financial services providers, who may then advise the client about their financial or insurance needs and help them to choose the most appropriate products.


Financial products that typically involve some risk of losing your money, but also give you the opportunity of earning more than you would from leaving your money in savings. For example, instead of putting your money into a savings account and getting the interest, you could buy market-based investments (such as stocks, bonds, shares or trusts).

Irish Credit Bureau

The bureau is an electronic library or database that contains information on the performance of credit agreements between financial institutions and borrowers. A credit agreement can include a mortgage, car loan, personal loan, leasing agreement or hire purchase agreement. Credit card details are included in the ICB library. Overdraft agreements, with the exception of overdraft agreements that are the subject of legal proceedings, are not reported by the ICB.

You should keep your payments up to date, or your credit institutions could report you to the ICB, which would affect getting future loans.

Joint Account

A bank account held by more than one person, usually by a married couple or by partners. On the death of one person, the other is automatically entitled to the balance of the account.

Life Insurance/Assurance

See Whole of Life


A charge that is added to the cost of insurance because of a specific factor, such as being overweight, having a serious health condition or whether a person is a smoker.

Loan Offer

The formal loan offer from your mortgage provided setting out terms and conditions.


A percentage that represents the amount of a loan compared to the value of the asset given as security for it. For example, if you buy a house worth €500,000 but only borrow €400,000 the Loan to Value would be 80%.

Lump Sum

A once-off payment that a person receives from an investment (such as a pension) or from an insurance policy (for example, if they had a serious accident and cannot work).

Managed Fund

A fund overseen by a professional fund manager, which is made up of investments in shares, bonds or cash from which investors receive .


An instruction by a customer to a bank to operate their account in a certain way. The most common mandate is a direct debit.

Market Capitalisation

The value of a company when the number of its issued ordinary shares is multiplied by the shares


When an investment (such as a term deposit) or a life insurance policy comes to an end. Under the Consumer Protection Code, regulated firms must let you know that your account will mature at least 10 days before the maturity date.


A loan to buy property.

Multi-Agency Intermediary

A specific type of investment business firm that may receive and transmit orders in retail investment instruments, i.e. those investment instruments set out in Section 25 and 26 (1)(a) of the Investment Intermediaries Act 1995, and provide advice on retail investment instruments only on behalf of product producers from whom it holds an appointment in writing. It can act as a deposit agent or deposit broker.

Mortgage Advisor/Intermediary/Broker

A person who advises others on the best type of mortgage to choose. Mortgage intermediaries that intend to provide services to Irish consumers must be authorised in accordance with Section 116 of the Consumer Credit Act 1995 (as amended). A mortgage intermediary is someone (other than a mortgage lender or credit institution) who for commission or some other form of payment

a) arranges, or offers to arrange, for a mortgage lender to provide a consumer with a housing loan; or

b) introduces a consumer to an intermediary who arranges, or offers to arrange, for a mortgage lender to provide the consumer with such a loan

Mortgage Interest – Tax Relief at Source

A tax relief on the interest portion of your mortgage instalment for your home. It is not given through the tax system but is instead granted.

Mortgage Protection

A form of life cover that clears your mortgage on the event of death. This is a legal requirement on your home loan, unless the cost is deemed prohibitive or you cannot get cover due to health reasons.

Negative Equity

Where a mortgage is higher than the value of the property.


An amount that is left over after other amounts (such as taxes) have been deducted. Net Book Value The value of an asset after depreciation from wear and tear, as recorded in the books of account of the company

Occupational Pension

A retirement plan in which an employer makes a contribution into an account each month. The contributions are invested on behalf of an employee, who may begin to make withdrawals after retirement. Typically, pensions are tax-deferred, meaning that the employee does not pay taxes on the funds in the pension until he/she begins making withdrawals. Pensions may have defined contributions, defined benefits, or both.

Owner Occupier

Person who lives and owns the property.


A document that an employee receives when they leave a job, which shows their total pay up to the date they leave, as well as the total tax and PRSI that their employer has deducted.


A document that an employee receives at the end of every year which shows their total pay for that year, and the total tax and PRSI that their employer has deducted. This is used to apply for certain social welfare payments, mortgages or anywhere proof of income is required.

Payment Holiday

A period where you make no payments on your mortgage, but continue to accrue interest.


Acronym: Pay as you Earn. Taxes taken directly from your wages by your employer, who then pays them to Revenue Commissioners. See also Income Tax.


The person who receives a payment.


An income a person receives from the State or private company (or both) after they retire. If a person has their own private pension, they cannot use any of their pension fund until they reach a minimum age.

Per Annum

Means “each year”

Permanent Health Insurance (PHI)

See Income Protection

Planning Permission

Permission from your local authority for the alteration of buildings or development on your property.


Acronym: Personal Retirement Savings Account.

An account that a person pays into to build up their pension. If an employer does not offer an occupational pension, they must allow their employees set up their own PRSA.


Acronym:Pay Related Social Insruance

If you are employed in Ireland you are subject to PRSI, which is a type of tax to the Revenue Commissioners. Sometimes referred to as stamps, the rate and level of PRSI you pay depends on your income and type of employment. For example, a typical employee of a limited company could be class A, while a self-employed person is class S. Your employer will also pay additional PRSI for employing you.

The number of PRSI contributions you make is used to qualify you for such things as the illness benefit, the state pension, maternity benefit and the widows pension.


When a person dies, his or her estate must go through probate, a process overseen by the courts. If a person dies without at will (Intestate), the court appoints a personal representative to distribute the property according to Irish Law. If the person dies with a will, the court will decide if it can be given legal effect before distributing assets.

Property or Real Estate

Real estate is property comprised of land and the buildings on it as well as the natural resources of the land. Although media often refers to the “real estate market” from the perspective of residential living, real estate can be grouped into three broad categories based on its use: residential, commercial and industrial. Examples of residential real estate include undeveloped land, houses, condominiums and town homes; examples of commercial real estate are office buildings, warehouses and retail store buildings; and examples of industrial real estate are factories, mines and farms.
Remortgaging / Refinancing

Getting a second loan on a property, possibly to consolidate existing loans. This is an expensive option in the long term.


If you do not own your own home, you may rent private or local authority accommodation in exchange for a fixed sum that is usually paid monthly.


The risk of losing money through savings or investments. See also, ESME.


Money put aside for future use, whether in a deposit account or under your bed.


The property itself, which the bank holds a legal charge over. If you cannot keep up repayments on your loan your bank can sell the security to repay the loan.

Serious Illness Policy or Critical Illness Policy

Serious illness insurance provides a lump sum payment in the event the policyholder receives a diagnosis listed in the host of diseases in the policy. Examples:

heart attack
the need for an organ transplant
a variety of lesser-known diseases


Alternative name: Equities. A stock or any other security representing an ownership interest, often publicly traded where people can buy and sell. This may be in a private company (not publicly traded), in which case it is called private equity.

Social Insurance

Government-provided insurance that compensates people for loss of income due to old age, unemployment, disability, illness or maternity. It is funded through PRSI contributions.

Sort Code

A six-digit code that identifies a bank branch for doing transfers.

Stamp Duty

Tax that a person pays to the Revenue Commissioners when they buy:

Standard Variable Rate (SVR) Mortgage

A mortgage where the interest rates vary (usually depending on changes to the European Central Bank (ECB) rate), but lenders can also change this rate at their own discretion. You can redeem or pay off a standard variable rate early without any penalties applying (unlike a fixed rate mortgage).

Standing Order

A method of paying fixed amounts on a regular basis (for example, into a pension fund or savings account), by allowing an organisation to take money straight from your bank or building society account. It is your responsibility to change the payment if it needs to be altered.


A document from a bank or building society that shows recent payments into and out of a person


A superannuation is an organizational pension program created by a company for the benefit of its employees. It could also be referred to as a company pension plan.

In Ireland Superannuation relates specifically to the Government pension plan offered to Public and Civil servants, which is a form of Defined Benefit.


A fee charged by the government (through the Revenue Commissioners) on goods, services, income and activities. See also, Income Tax. The amount of income on which a person does not pay tax, including their personal allowance and tax relief for any mortgage or health insurance payments.

Term Deposit

A type of account a person agrees to leave their savings in for a set period of time.

Term Loan

A loan that a person or organisation must repay within a set period of time.

Term Policy

These types of policies provide a stated benefit upon the death of the policy owner, provided that the death occurs within a specific time period. However, the policy does not provide any returns beyond the stated benefit, unlike Whole of Life policies. (see whole of life)

Tied Agent

Means a natural or legal person who, under the full and unconditional responsibility of only one investment firm on whose behalf it acts, promotes investment and/or ancillary services to clients or prospective clients, receives and transmits instructions or orders from the client in respect of investment services or financial instruments, places financial instruments and/or provides advice to clients or prospective clients in respect of those financial instruments or services.

Tracker Bond

A fixed-term investment where most of your money is invested in a deposit-based account and the rest is invested in the stock market. Although tracker bonds are generally considered to be low-risk investments, all investments carry some risk. To find out which is the right investment for you, contact a registered investment intermediary.

Tracker Mortgage

A mortgage interest rate that is linked to another rate, such as the European Central Bank

Trustee to Funds

The trustee function in respect of a unit trust scheme, an investment company, an investment limited partnership and a common contractual fund includes the custodian function. A trustee firm is an entity which has been approved to provide trustee services to authorised collective investment schemes.


An organisation (usually an insurance company) that agrees to pay a claim on an insurance policy. Also an employee of a financial institution who reviews the suitability of an individual’s health situation with regards to acceptance into a life or illness scheme. The review could result in acceptance and normal quoted rates, a loading, or decline. See also: Loading.


The process of deciding whether to pay an insurance claim, determining the suitability of an individual being accepted into a life or illness policy. See also Underwriter.

Variable Interest Rate

An interest rate that is likely to go up or down over time. Variable Standard Rate An interest rate that goes up or down, usually in line with the rate set by the European Central Bank. The lender of a variable standard rate loan does not have to pass on any changes to the customer. See also Standard Variable Rate (SVR) Mortgages.


Person selling the property.

Unit Linked Fund

A unit linked insurance plan acts just like a savings vehicle, but also has the benefits of an insurance contract. When an investor purchases units in a ULIP, he or she is purchasing units along with a larger number of investors. Unit linked funds can be invested in a number of different things including Equities, Bonds, Gilts, Currencies, Commodities, and Property.
Whole of Life Policy

A Contract with a life company to pay out a pre-determined amount when the policy holder dies. As long as premiums are maintained until the specified date, the amount will pay out. Some policies pay-out the same amount during the term. Other policies pay a certain amount to a pre-determined age, and then a smaller amount at actual time of death.


A legal document containing instructions on how a person wishes their estate to be distributed after their death. If you do not have a will when you die, your estate is distributed according to the laws on intestacy i.e. law that relates to people who have died without making a will. There are certain requirements that must be satisfied before a will can be considered enforceable. If these requirements are not met, your estate will be distributed as if you had not made a will. For more information on the requirements of drafting a will and the format it should take, see the Citizens Information website section on making a will.

Permission from your local authority for the alteration of buildings or development on your property.

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