Most Indians opt for deposit lockers from bank to keep all their valuable items such as documents, expensive items, jewellery etc., safe.
Banks charge a nominal annual rent, which depends on the size of the locker and the centre at which the branch is located.
As per RBI guidelines, bank branches should maintain a wait list for the purpose of allotment of lockers and ensure transparency in allotment of lockers. All applications should be provided with acknowledgement and a wait list number.
The rent is payable in advance for the Financial Year. A copy of the locker agreement regarding operation of the locker can be provided to the locker hirer at the time of allotment of the locker.
Nomination is important
The major advantage of availing nomination is that in the event of unfortunate death of one of the joint locker-hirer, the right to the contents or items in the locker does not automatically devolve on the surviving joint locker-hirer or nominee, unless there is a survivorship clause, nomination.
If locker is not operated
As per rules, if locker is not operated for more than one year, the branch has the right to cancel the allotment of the locker and open the locker even if the rent is paid regularly.
Lost your bank locker keys
The first thing that you should do is intimate the branch manager. The best way would be to do so in writing. The bank would then take the initiative to ensure a duplicate key or to break open the locker
How does it work?
All banks are providing lockers including with all services. Trusting a bank with your money in all services like savings accounts or fixed deposits, deposit lockers offer the best option for protecting your valuables, including jewellery, cash, and important documents. Banks must assign lockers on a first-come, first-served basis. If none is available, the bank branch must maintain a waiting list and provide the requester with a waiting list number. He must also inform the client of his availability.
Each locker has two sets of keys, one for the customer and one for the bank, and can only be opened if both keys are used. It is preferable to have a criminal record jointly and to appoint one or more candidates. This guarantees hassle-free content transfer in the event of the death of one or both account holders. Most importantly, read the locker instructions carefully.
How much does it cost?
The lockers are available in different sizes and the annual rent varies accordingly. The State Bank of India charges Rs.1019/- rupees per year for a small locker Rs.2547/- rupees for the medium Rs.3056/- rupees for large and Rs.5093/- rupees for very large lockers.
In private banks, the fees are higher. Citibank charges Rs.2500/- for the smallest locker and it rises to Rs.40,000/- for the best installation available. There is also a one-time registration fee. Banks also charge unpaid rents of 10 to 50% of the annual rent.
There are also rules on the number of visits per year. For example, the SBI authorizes 12 free visits per year and charges 51 rupees for additional visits. However, you should visit your locker from time to time.
Banks are also allowed to recover the costs of opening a locker and a minimum service charge of Rs.500/- beyond the actual expenses if you lose your locker keys.
Is it safe?
According to the RBI, banks are in no way responsible or liable for the content kept in the locker, even in the event of theft, burglary or similar unforeseen events. However, this remains the safest bet, as the RBI also requires banks to have the best security guarantees to protect the interests of customers.
The quality of the lockers is also the best on the market and undergoes rigorous safety tests and is fire resistant. Despite all precautions, burglaries or termite attacks have been reported in banks, but incidents are rare.
Banks cannot deny facility of locker for the new customers or non account holders. In such cases, banks can ask you to open fixed deposit for certain years or ask you to open savings account and KYC will be done as per the rule.