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All you need to know about revised norms for bank lockers

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced revised norms for deposit lockers, safe custody and article facility in banks.  The revised guidelines will come into effect from January 1, 2022. It will be applicable to both new and existing safe deposit lockers. 

The RBI said it has reviewed

the 'deposit locker/safe custody article facility provided by the banks' after taking into consideration various developments in the area of banking and technology, nature of consumer grievances and also the feedback received from banks and Indian Banks' Association (IBA). 

Here are the revised rules:

* Liability of banks will be limited to 100 times its annual rent in case of fire, theft, building collapse or frauds by bank employees. 

* Banks will be required to incorporate a clause in the locker agreement prohibiting the hirer from keeping anything illegal or hazardous in lockers. 

* A branch-wise list of vacant lockers as well as a wait-list in core banking system (CBS) or any other computerised system compliant with cyber security framework needs to be kept by banks. 

* Every bank will need to acknowledge the receipt of all applications for allotment of locker and provide a wait list number to the customers, if the lockers are not available for allotment. 

* The RBI has also detailed the compensation policy and liability of banks in the revised instructions. 

* A board-approved policy outlining the responsibility owed by them for any loss or damage to the contents of the lockers due to their negligence will also need to be framed. 

* The guidelines specify that banks 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. However, banks need to exercise appropriate care to protect their premises from such catastrophes. 

* To ensure prompt payment of locker rent, banks are allowed to obtain a term deposit, at the time of allotment, which would cover three years' rent and the charges for breaking open the locker in case of such eventuality. 

* Existing locker holders do not need to pay such term deposits, neither can the bank insist them to pay so. 

* Banks will have the discretion to break open any locker following due procedure if the rent has not been paid by the customer for three years in a row. 

* If locker rent is collected in advance, in the event of surrender of a locker by a customer, the proportionate amount of advance rent collected shall be refunded to the customer. 

(With inputs from PTI)



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