The RBI standardises bank locker rules

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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced revised instructions on safe deposit locker and safe custody article facility given by banks. The revised instructions will inherit effect from next year. Those who do not have any banking relationship with the bank are also given these benefits after satisfying the customer because of alertness criteria.

To confirm timely payment of locker rent, banks are allowed to get a Term Deposit, at the time of allotment, which might cover three years’ rent and therefore the charges for breaking open the locker. But this can be not applicable for the prevailing locker holders or the satisfactory operative accounts. If rent is collected beforehand or the surrender of a locker by a customer, the proportionate amount of advance rent shall be refunded to the customer.

If there’s an occasion like merger/closure/shifting of branch warranting physical relocation of the lockers, the bank shall give public notice in two newspapers (including one local daily in vernacular language) and customers shall be intimated two months before with options for them to change/close the ability.  Banks shall make efforts to intimate their customers at the earliest in case of unplanned shifting because of natural calamities.

It is the bank’s duty to provide the correct functioning of the locker system, guard against unauthorized access to the lockers, and provide appropriate look after against theft and robbery. Liability of banks originating from natural calamities or because of the sole negligence of the customer. The bank shall not be to blame for any damage or loss of contents of locker arising from natural calamities or any act that’s owing to the only fault or negligence of the customer.

It has the duty to affirm that incidents like fire, robbery, dacoity, building collapse don’t occur within the bank’s premises because of its shortcomings, negligence. Banks can’t claim that they have no liability towards their customers for loss of contents of the locker therefore in situations where the loss of contents of the locker are due to incidents mentioned above or due to fraud committed by its employees, the banks’ liability shall be for an amount 100 times the current annual rent of the safe deposit locker. Banks shall have a Board approved policy for settlement of claims said RBI.

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