New Delhi : The new agreements stipulate that lockers can only be used for legitimate purposes, such as storing jewellery and documents, and not for storing cash, currency, arms, weapons, drugs, contraband or hazardous substances.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has called for revisions to be made to the agreements governing the use of safe deposit lockers. The new agreements stipulate that lockers can only be used for legitimate purposes, such as storing jewellery and documents, and not for storing cash, currency, arms, weapons, drugs, contraband or hazardous substances. In addition, the licences granted to use the lockers are for the customers’ own use only and are non-transferable.
How will it work?
Customers who wish to continue using lockers will need to sign a new agreement with their respective banks. These agreements, which are based on the Indian Banks’ Association’s model agreement, will hold customers responsible for any misuse of the key or password to access the locker. The bank will not be held accountable for any unauthorised use of a key or password.
The revised agreements will also entitle customers to expect reasonable care by the bank in protecting their belongings. If the bank fails to do so, customers will be able to avail themselves of the remedies available under applicable laws and regulations. The bank will bear the cost of stamp papers for executing supplementary agreements with existing locker-hirers only. Customers will need to bear this cost for new agreements.
If a customer has already signed an agreement that is currently in force, the bank will need to bear the costs of executing the new agreement. Banks will have the right to recover the rent and any other costs incurred in relation to the locker from the customer’s account in the event that the same is not paid by the customer in advance or when due, as per the model agreement.
Right to refuse
Banks will also have the right to refuse access to the locker if the rent due on the locker remains unpaid and the customer fails to provide proof of identity when requested by the bank. In order to ensure 100% compliance with the revised agreements, banks should encourage customers to sign them by offering to bear the expenses themselves.