New Delhi: Planning to get a safety deposit locker in a bank? Let us tell you that the rental charge to be paid upfront will now go up and even the terms and conditions to get a locker will be tough than what it used to be.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recently revised its guidelines on safe deposit locker and safe custody article facility provided by banks.
The changes in guidelines for ‘Deposit Locker/Safe Custody Article Facility’ provided by the banks came after the central bank took into consideration various developments in the area of banking and technology, nature of consumer grievances and also the feedback received from banks and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA).
The revised instructions will be applicable to both new and existing safe deposit lockers and the safe custody of articles facility with the banks and shall come into effect from January 1, 2022.
Let’s Take A Look At Changes Made By RBI For Deposit Locker/Safe Custody Article Facility:
Locker Rental Rules
The RBI has now asked banks to ensure prompt payment of locker rent and has also allowed banks to take a “Term Deposit”, at the time of allotment of a locker. This would cover three years’ rent and the charges for breaking open the locker in case of such eventuality.
Banks, however, should not insist on such Term Deposits from the existing locker holders or those who have a satisfactory operative account.
The new guidelines also say that banks will have the discretion to break open any locker following due procedure if the rent has not been paid by the customer for three years in a row.
Currently, state-owned banks charges Rs 2,000 as annual rent for a small safe deposit locker and Rs 4,000 for a medium-sized one in urban and metro areas. The annual rent for a large locker is Rs 8,000. In addition, a customer has to also pay the applicable GST.
Revised guidelines by RBI states that customers not having any banking relationship with the bank may be given the facilities of safe deposit locker/safe custody article after complying with customer due diligence criteria.
Banks will also have to carry out due diligence for all the customers in whatever capacities they are going to hire a locker.
The central bank has asked all banks to maintain a branch-wise list of vacant lockers as well as a wait-list in core banking system (CBS) or any computerised system compliant with its norms on cyber-security for a transparent allotment of lockers.
“The banks shall acknowledge the receipt of all applications for allotment of locker and provide a waitlist number to the customers, if the lockers are not available for allotment,” RBI said.
It has also advised banks to frame their own board-approved policy on the revised instructions.
RBI has instructed banks to put in place a Board-approved policy outlining the responsibility owed by them for any loss or damage to the contents of the lockers due to their negligence.
“The bank shall not be liable for any damage and/or loss of contents of locker arising from natural calamities or Acts of God like earthquake, floods, lightning and thunderstorm or any act that is attributable to the sole fault or negligence of the customer,” it said.
Banks should, however, exercise appropriate care to their locker systems to protect their premises from such catastrophes.
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