homepersonal finance NewsNew bank locker rules from Jan 1 — how to renew your agreement, compensation and other details

New bank locker rules from Jan 1 — how to renew your agreement, compensation and other details

New bank locker rules from Jan 1 — how to renew your agreement, compensation and other details
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By Anshul  Dec 30, 2022 5:31:42 PM IST (Published)

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has amended the bank locker rules, which include providing customers with updated locker agreements. The rules will take effect from January 1, 2023. Here's a look at the revised guidelines and their impact on locker users.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has mandated banks in the country to renew their locker agreements with existing locker customers by January 1, 2023. As part of this, existing locker depositors are required to furnish proof of eligibility for a renewed locker arrangement. Additionally, they are required to sign a renewal agreement before the deadline ends.

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The RBI had announced revised guidelines on August 8, 2021, which became effective from January 1, 2022. And now, all the locker owners must show their eligibility for a new locker arrangement and sign a renewal agreement prior to January 1, 2023.
According to the RBI notification, this arrangement must comply with the updated instructions as well as the Supreme Court's directives in this regard.
Here's a look at the revised guidelines for bank lockers and their impact on locker users:
What is locker agreement and how can customers do it?
At the time of allotment of the locker to a customer, the bank enters into an agreement with the customer to whom the locker facility is provided, on a paper duly stamped.
A copy of the locker agreement in duplicate signed by both the parties shall be furnished to the locker hirer to know his/her rights and responsibilities. The original agreement shall be retained with the bank’s branch where the locker is situated.
When will banks compensate customers?
As per RBI's notification, it is the responsibility of banks to take all steps for the safety and security of the premises in which the safe deposit vaults are housed. It has the responsibility to ensure that incidents like fire, theft/ burglary/ robbery, dacoity, building collapse do not occur in the bank’s premises due to its own shortcomings, negligence and by any act of omission/commission.
What will banks liability be?
As banks cannot claim that they bear no liability towards their customers for loss of contents of the locker, in instances where loss of contents of locker are due to incidents mentioned above or attributable to fraud committed by its employee(s), the banks’ liability shall be for an amount equivalent to one hundred times the prevailing annual rent of the safe deposit locker.
When will banks be not liable for any damage?
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. Banks shall, however, exercise appropriate care to their locker systems to protect their premises from such catastrophes, RBI said.
What will be the banks' duty?
Banks shall send an email and SMS alert to the registered email ID and mobile number of the customer before the end of the day as a positive confirmation intimating the date and time of the locker operation and the redressal mechanism available in case of unauthorised locker access.
What is locker rent recovery through fixed deposit?
The RBI has allowed banks to obtain a term deposit (fixed deposit) covering three years’ rent and the charges at the time of allotment. This means, if customers are going to open a locker account, the bank can ask them to open a term deposit covering three years of rent and charges of the locker.
However, as per RBI’s instructions, banks cannot insist on such term deposits from the existing locker holders or those who have satisfactory operative accounts.
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