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Guidelines on allotment of Bank Safe Deposit Lockers

Based on the Committee on Procedures and Performance Audit on Public Services (CPPAPS) recommendations for easy operation of lockers, Reserve Bank of India has issued on 17th April 2007, the following guidelines for the benefit of bank customers.

Allotment of Lockers

1.1 Linking of Allotment of Lockers to placement of Fixed Deposits

The Committee on Procedures and Performance Audit of Public Services (CPPAPS) observed that linking the lockers facility with placement of fixed or any other deposit beyond what is specifically permitted is a restrictive practice and should be prohibited forthwith. We concur with the Committee's observations and advise banks to refrain from such restrictive practices.

1.2 Fixed Deposit as Security for Lockers

Banks may face situations where the locker-hirer neither operates the locker nor pays rent. To ensure prompt payment of locker rent, banks may at the time of allotment, obtain a Fixed Deposit which would cover 3 years rent and the charges for breaking open the locker in case of an eventuality. However, banks should not insist on such Fixed Deposit from the existing locker-hirers.

1.3 Wait List of Lockers

Branches should maintain a wait list for the purpose of allotment of lockers and ensure transparency in allotment of lockers. All applications received for allotment of locker should be acknowledged and given a wait list number.

1.4 Banks are also advised to give a copy of the agreement regarding operation of the locker to the locker-hirer at the time of allotment of the locker.

Banks have been advised by RBI to give wide publicity and provide guidance to locker-hirers / depositors of safe custody articles on the benefits of the nomination facility and the survivorship clause. Illustratively, it should be highlighted in the publicity material that in the event of the death of one of the joint account holders, the right to the contents of the locker or the articles under safe custody does not automatically devolve on the surviving joint deposit account holder, unless there is a survivorship clause.

Banks have also been advised to ensure that identification Code of the bank / branch is embossed on all the locker keys with a view to facilitate Authorities in identifying the ownership of the locker keys.



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