The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today (August 18, 2021) came up with fresh guidelines pertaining to bank lockers and has asked banks to maintain a list of bank lockers that are lying vacant together with the wait-list for the purpose of allotment of lockers. This has to be done at an individual bank branch level. The new guidelines need to be adhered to from January 1, 2022, the RBI said.
"In order to facilitate customers making informed choices, banks shall maintain a branch wise list of vacant lockers as well as a wait-list in Core Banking System (CBS) or any other computerized system compliant with Cyber Security Framework issued by RBI, for the purpose of allotment of lockers and ensure transparency in allotment of lockers," added the RBI release.
Furthermore, the central banker said banks need to give their acknowledgment in receipt of the application for locker allotment and at the same time if the locker is not available then for allotment then they also need to give a wait-list number to the customer seeking locker allotment. The stipulations for locker by the RBI further stated that existing customers of the bank who is fully compliant with the customer due diligence and has made an application for locker allotment will be provided with the facility of safe deposit lockers/ safe custody article subject to on-going compliance. Customers who are not having any other banking relationship with the bank may be given the facilities of safe deposit locker/safe custody article, it noted.
Also the RBI mentioned that banks will now no add a new clause wherein it would state that locker hirer/s cannot keep anything illegal or hazardous in the safe deposit locker. "If the bank suspects the deposit of any illegal or hazardous substance by any customer in the safe deposit locker, the bank shall have the right to take appropriate action against such customer as it deems fit and proper in the circumstances," it added. Also, it mentioned that banks shall will have a board-approved agreement for lockers. And hence for the same, banks will make us of the model locker agreement to be developed by IBA. "This agreement shall be in conformity with these revised instructions and the directions of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in this regard. Banks shall ensure that any unfair terms or conditions are not incorporated in their locker agreements," it said.