The apex banker recently announced guidelines of bank locker after Supreme Court bench of Justices including Mohan M Shatanagoudar and Vineet Saran asked the RBI to come up with uniform set of rules for all banks concerning locker management within six months.
For banks the regulator has asked banks to keep a track of the bank lockers vacant and at the same provide an acknowledgement against any fresh bank locker application by the new customer. The new guidelines shall be put to effect from the new year, January 1, 2022. The set of guidelines requiring maintaining a proper list of bank lockers occupied or vacant will boost the transparency in their allotment.
What's in store for bank locker customers- An highly important issue that may arouse chaos among bank locker holders:
The new rules state that banks liability shall be maximum up to 100 times of the annual rent in case of fire, theft, building collapse or fraud even if by a bank employee."As banks cannot claim that they bear no liability towards their customers for loss of contents of the locker, in instances where the loss of contents of the locker are due incidents (like fire, theft/ burglary/ robbery, dacoity,) 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," it said.
Further the RBI said the bank will provide for a Board-approved policy that outlines the responsibility they owe in case of loss or damage to the locker contents owing 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.
Furthermore, for meeting out the bank's 3 year charges and other charges for breaking open the locker under any circumstance, banks can ask for a term deposit. However the same cannot be enforced upon current bank locker customers or those who continue to maintain a satisfactory account.