ACCESS & SECURITY ASPECTS RELATING TO BANK LOCKERS - QUICK POINTS
Essential for All Upcoming Bank Exams
The relationship between the bank and the lessee of a locker is that of a lessor and lessee. The bank has no responsibility or liability in respect of the content of the locker.
Loss of Key:
In case of loss of key, the locker would be broken open in presence of the lessee and cost born by him.
Joint E/S Lockers:
If one of the lockers holder reports the loss of key, further operations to be permitted on a joint basis.
Locker left open after operation:
Bank to prepare list of articles in the presence of 2 independent witness and customer informed.
Covered in the section relating to nomination.
Search and Attachment:
Commissioner of Income Tax can authorize search into any locker.
In the recommendations of Committee on Procedures and Performance Audit on Public Services (CPPAPA), RBI reviewed the guidelines relating to safe deposit lockers/ safe custody articles and issued the fresh guidelines on 17th April, 2007 in supersession of the existing guidelines, which are reproduced as under –
Allotment of Lockers –
Linking of Allotment to placement of Fixed Deposits – It is a restricted practice and banks are refrain from such restrictive practices.
Wait List of Lockers – Branches to maintain a wait list for allotment of lockers. All applications for allotment should be given a wait list number.
Fixed Deposit as Security for Lockers – To cover 3 years rent, banks may obtain Fixed Deposit and the changes for breaking open the locker in case of a sequel.
Security aspects relating to Lockers:
Customer due diligence for allotment of lockers or measures relating lockers which have remained un-operated: Banks should take following measures –
- Banks should carry out customer due diligence for at least to the levels prescribed for customers classified as medium risk.
- Where the lockers have remained un-operated for more than 3 years for medium risk category or 1 year for a higher risk category, banks should advise the locker holder to either operate the locker or surrender it, even if the locker hirer is paying the rent regularly. As in case of NRIs or persons who are out of town due to a transferable job etc. the locker hirer is to give in writing the reasons banks may allow the locker hirer to continue with the locker. Banks should consider opening the lockers after giving due notice to him, in case of locker hirer does not respond nor operate the locker. In the locker agreement, banks should incorporate a clause that in case the locker remains un-operated for more than 1 year. Even if the rent is paid regularly, the bank would have the right everything (cancel the allotment or opening) on locker.
Access to locker/ return of safe custody articles to Survivor/ Nominee/ Legal heirs:
Access in case of survivor/ nominee clause -
If the sole locker hirer nominates a person, banks should give to such nominee, access of the locker and liberty to remove the contents in the event of death of sole locker hirer. The bank to give access of the locker and the liberty to remove the contents jointly to the survivor(s) and the nominee(s), in case of joint hiring under joint signatures with nomination, in the event of death of any of the locker hirers,. In case of joint hiring with survivorship clause (either or survivor, anyone or survivor or former or survivor or according to any other survivorship clause), banks should follow the mandate in the event of the death of one or more of the locker-hirers.