The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently said that all leading banks should issue the locker agreement to its holders before January 1, 2023, as the new locker rules will be implemented from that date. Earlier, the RBI had announced revised guidelines on August 8, 2021, which became effective from January 1, 2022. And now, all the locker owners must display their eligibility for a new locker arrangement and sign a renewal agreement prior to January 1, 2023.
Highlights of the RBI’s Revised Guidelines:
- Banks shall ensure that any unfair terms or conditions are not incorporated in their locker agreements.
- Further, the terms of the contract shall not be more onerous than required in the ordinary course of business to safeguard the interests of the bank.
- Banks shall renew their locker agreements with existing locker customers by January 1, 2023.
- All banks need to circulate a new locker agreement to their safe deposit locker holders under the new rules.
- According to the Central bank, all the lenders can use the IBA-drafted model locker agreement, which should comply with the updated instructions and Supreme Court’s directives.
- The bank customers can get up to 100 times the bank charges if the valuables stored in the vaults are robbed or destroyed due to fire or building collapse.
- It is mandatory for banks to install CCTV to monitor the locker rooms. Apart from this, the RBI has also asked the banks to keep the data of CCTV for 180 days. This will help in checking if any discrepancy occurs.
- To protect customers from banking fraud, the RBI directed that the respective banks should send SMS and e-mails every time a customer accesses his locker. This alert will protect customers from fraud.
- The banks can now demand a term deposit at the time of allocation of a locker that would be taken as the rent for three years. However, for the existing locker holders, banks cannot insist on such Term Deposits or from those who have satisfactory operative accounts.