Normally, people keep their valuables like gold, diamonds and important documents in the bank lockers rather than at home; as bank lockers are very safe. Bank locker is a facility offered by banks to customers. Bank lockers are usually kept in a strong room at the bank, with the vault door made of hardened steel. Banks charge fees for offering this service. Once you open a bank locker, you are provided with a locker key, with which you can operate the locker.
In this blog, we will discuss what happens to your bank locker, if it is not operated for more than a year.
As per the guidelines offered by the Reserve Bank of India, if you have a bank locker, you must operate it once a year. In case you have not operated your bank locker for more than a year, banks are permitted to open them. However, as per the bank's classification, if you fall in a lower risk category, the bank can give you more time.
If you fall under the medium risk category, you will be sent a notice by the bank if the locker is not operated for more than 3 years.
See Also: Have you kept your gold in a bank locker? Know these things
Based on various parameters like financial or social status, nature of the business activity, location of the customers; banks classify customers in different risk categories from low to high. Before allotting a locker to any person, banks must do proper due diligence and also follow the necessary procedures before opening a bank locker
If the bank locker is not operated for a long period of time, as per the RBI guidelines, banks will send you a notice advising you to either operate the locker or surrender it. In such a case, you must send a written reply explaining the reason for not operating the locker for a long period of time.
If the bank feels that the reason provided by you is genuine, you are allowed to continue using the bank locker facility.
If you fail to reply to the notice or if the bank is not satisfied with the reason provided, it can cancel the locker allocation and allocate it to someone else. This happens even if you had paid your rent regularly.
It is the responsibility of every bank to inform the customer regarding this clause at the time of agreement while hiring the locker facility.
This strict rule was implemented after explosives and weapons were found in a locker in one of the bank's branches in India. Before opening a bank locker, banks must consult legal advisors after giving due notice to the owner.
See Also: RBI guidelines for Bank Lockers
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