People today are afraid of keeping valuables at home, because of the large number of robberies which are happening in the country. Many people prefer to keep their valuables like jewelry, important documents and even a WILL in lockers.
Bank locker is a facility offered by banks to customers to store valuables like gold jewelry, diamonds and even documents like a will, or property documents at the bank. Bank lockers are usually kept in a strong room at the bank, with the door made of strong steel. This facility is offered in exchange for a fee. Not all bank branches have a locker facility. It is advisable to opt for a bank with a locker near your home.
If you are planning to deposit valuables in a bank locker, there are certain things which you need to know. In this blog, we will discuss locker rules and regulations and RBI guidelines on bank Lockers.
1. As per the guidelines banks cannot force customers to buy FD to open a bank locker. But, as a security cover banks can ask customers for a caution money deposit equivalent to three years rent and amount for a forced opening of the locker. This is done because there are instances where the locker is not used by the lock hirers and even the rent is not paid for it.
2. It is mandatory to have an agreement between the locker hirer and the bank. This agreement contains the basic terms and conditions like illegal items would not be stored in the locker, regular payment of dues and so on. The locker hirer should collect the copy of the agreement.
3. Banks have to carry out KYC checks on customers, before providing the locker facility. This has to be done for both old and new customers.
4. All the applications for the bank locker facility must contain a waitlist number.
5. Banks have to take all the necessary steps to safeguard and protect the bank lockers.
6. Locker keys must be embossed with the bank/branch identification code for identifying the owner of the keys.
7. The locker hirer can appoint a single nominee to the bank locker. If the nominee is appointed, he should be given the due rights by the bank.
8. If the bank locker is not operated for a long time, the banks can notify the locker hirer to either operate the locker or to surrender it. The banks should make a request for a written reply, which states the reasons for not operating the locker. If the bank has not received any reply and the locker is still not operated, it has all the right to open the locker forcibly after sending a formal notice to the hirer.
Rent to be paid on bank lockers depends on the size of the locker and location of the branch. Every year rent has to be paid in advance for the financial year.
According to RBI, banks are not responsible for the valuables in the locker, if the locker is compromised due to civil war, robbery or any other reason. Customers have to keep their valuables in the locker at their own risk.
Even if the locker is taken in joint name, banks give only one key to the locker hirer. The hirer has to keep the key very carefully, as it is an important part of the locker agreement.
If the key is lost, the bank breaks the locker for which the customer has to bear the cost. A new lock is installed on the locker and a new key will be issued to customers.