New Bank Locker Rules Effective January 1: How Locker Customers Will Be Affected

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If you have rented a locker or are considering renting one to store your valuables in a bank locker, you should be aware of the new bank locker rules established by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) which came into effect on January 1st. 2022. The RBI announced the new guidelines via a notification on August 8, 2021.

Here is an overview of the revised guidelines for bank lockers and their impact on locker users, as per the RBI notification.

When the bank will compensate customers

Banks will be eligible to pay for loss of locker contents resulting from the bank’s negligence, according to the new RBI standards.

The RBI notification states: “It is the banks’ responsibility to take all measures for the safety and security of the premises in which the safes are housed. dacoity, the collapse of a building does not occur on the premises of the bank due to its own faults, negligence and by any act of omission / commission. the losses of the contents of the locker are due to the incidents mentioned above or attributable to fraud committed by its employee (s), the banks’ liability will be an amount equivalent to one hundred times the current annual rent of the locker from the safe. ”

When the bank won’t compensate

The bank will not be liable for any damage or loss of the contents of the locker caused by acts of God or natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, lightning or thunderstorms, or any act attributable to the sole fault or negligence of the customer, in accordance with revised guidelines. . Banks, on the other hand, should take reasonable precautions with their locker systems in order to protect their facilities from such disasters.

New record deal by January 1, 2023

As banks begin implementing operational standards on January 1, 2022, holders of secure lockers will need to sign a new locker agreement with the bank in order to be eligible for the new salary.

Banks are free to use the IBA model locker agreement. According to the RBI notification, this arrangement is to be in accordance with the updated instructions as well as the Supreme Court guidelines in this regard.

“Banks need to ensure that unfair terms or conditions are not incorporated into their record agreements. In addition, the terms of the contract should not be more onerous than required in the ordinary course of business to safeguard the interests of the bank. Banks will renew their locker agreements with existing locker customers by January 1, 2023, ”the notification added.

SMS and e-mail alerts on access and operation of the locker

Banks to notify before the end of the day, by sending an alert email and SMS to the customer’s registered email address and mobile number as a positive confirmation, informing them of the date and the time of the deposit operation, as well as the recourse mechanism available in the event of unauthorized access to the locker.

More transparent locker allocation

Due to the lack of transparency of banks and opaque methods, the process of obtaining a new record has been a source of frustration for clients. Many banks did not disclose the correct inventory status to a new record requester and used it as a technique to persuade consumers to purchase investment products. The new guidelines, on the other hand, are expected to change that.

For the purposes of the allocation of lockers and to ensure transparency in the allocation of lockers, banks should maintain a list of vacant lockers by branch as well as a waiting list in their central banking system (CBS) or any other computerized system compliant with the RBI Cybersecurity Framework. If lockers are not available for allocation, banks must acknowledge receipt of all locker allocation requests and provide consumers with a waiting list number.

Banks will continue to accept term deposits in order to collect rent from lockers

In banks, it is common to get a term deposit that is significantly higher than that required to collect the annual rent from the locker. The new directive clarifies its position.

“To ensure prompt payment of the locker rent, banks are permitted to obtain a term deposit, at the time of allocation, which would cover three years’ rent and the cost of opening the locker in the event of such contingency. Banks, however, will not insist on such term deposits from existing locker holders or those with a satisfactory operational account. The packaging of the allocation of the locker facility with the placement of term deposits beyond what is specifically permitted above will be considered.

CCTV footage of locker operation

If their risk assessment indicates this is necessary, banks should implement an access control system that will prevent illegal entry and create a digital record of access to locker rooms with a time stamp. Banks can cover the entry and exit of the vault, as well as common activity areas, with CCTV cameras, and retain records for at least 180 days, in accordance with their internal security policies.

If a customer complains to the bank that their locker was entered without their knowledge or consent, or that there has been a theft or a security breach, the bank will retain the CCTV recording until the police investigation is complete and the problem is resolved.

The keys must be easily identifiable.

Banks should ensure that the bank / branch identification code is printed on all locker keys so that law enforcement agencies can identify lockers and locker owners in the event emergency.

Electronic locker access safe

If lockers are controlled by an electronic system, the bank should take reasonable precautions to ensure that the system is secure against hacking or other security breaches. The Reserve Bank has asked banks to verify that the electronically controlled lockers comply with the Reserve Bank’s cybersecurity framework. The system must be able to keep a permanent record of the actions of the locker.

Transfer of content in the event of the death of the account holder

If the sole locker lessor designates a person to receive the contents of the locker in the event of death, the banks will give that agent access to the locker with the freedom to remove the contents after an inventory has been drawn up of the prescribed manner, after verification of the death certificate and proof of the identity and authenticity of the requested person.

If the locker has been rented together with instructions to operate it under joint signatures and the tenant (s) of the locker designate any other person, the bank will grant access to the locker and the freedom to collect its contents jointly to the (x ) survivor (s)) and the candidate (s) after an inventory has been drawn up in the prescribed manner in the event of the death of one of the locker lessors.


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