Do you think you really can have a sound sleep thinking your valuables are secured in safe deposit lockers? Well not really. The notification issued by the Reserve Bank of India or RBI on bank lockers clarifies that bank locker hirer in
India is that of a lessee (tenant for that space he hired) while the bank acts in the position of a lessor (landlord-the owner of the bank locker which is let out for hiring). So the RBI guidelines on bank lockers state that in case of a locker theft where the contents were removed without the connivance of the bank officials, the bank is under NO LIABILITY FOR LOSS OF VALUABLES IN LOCKERS.
This truth was disclosed in an RTI response on RBI on bank lockers and 19 PSU banks. They said that "While the bank will exercise all such normal precautions, it does not accept any liability or responsibility for any loss or damage whatsoever sustained to items deposited with it. Accordingly, hirers are advised in their own interest to insure any item of value deposited in a safe deposit locker in the bank.
RBI Guidelines on Bank Lockers?
Allotment of Safe Deposit Lockers with Fixed Deposits
RBI guidelines on bank lockers state that locker facility with placement of fixed or any other deposit beyond what is specifically permitted is a restrictive practice and should be prohibited.
Fixed Deposit as Security Cover
Sometimes, banks may insist for a fixed deposit as a security cover as there have been instances where neither the locker is operated nor rent is being paid. In such cases, the banks recover the rent from the locker and if required also breaks open. However, the practice should not be implemented upon regular users.
Operation of safe deposit lockers
The bank locker rules state that due care should be taken by the banks to keep the valuables of the customers safe. The security measures should be well defined and staff well trained.
Access to safe deposit lockers
If the locker hirer nominates a person for accessing the bank locker, the nominees should be given the due rights by the bank.
For more on RBI guidelines on bank lockers, click here