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RBI issues new Guidelines on Safe Deposit Lockers, Safe Custody Article Facility provided by Banks - (18 Aug 2021)


Reserve Bank of India has reviewed the guidelines issued on the Safe Deposit Locker/Safe Custody Article Facility provided by the banks. The development is in wake of the various developments in the area of banking and technology, nature of consumer grievances and also the feedback received from banks and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA). The review also takes into account, the principles enumerated by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in ‘Amitabha Dasgupta vs. United Bank of India’, (Judgment dated February 19, 2021). The banks are advised to frame their own Board approved policy/ operational guidelines in this regard taking into account the revised instructions.

Customers who are not having any other banking relationship with the bank may be given the facilities of safe deposit locker / safe custody article after complying with the Customer Due Diligence (CDD) criteria. Banks shall incorporate a clause in the locker agreement that, the locker-hirer/s shall not keep anything illegal or any hazardous substance in the Safe Deposit locker. If the bank suspects the deposit of any illegal or hazardous substance by any customer in the safe deposit locker, the bank shall have the right to take appropriate action against such customer. It is the responsibility of banks to take all steps for the safety and security of the premises in which the safe deposit vaults are housed. Further, to ensure that, incidents like fire, theft/ burglary/ robbery, dacoity, building collapse do not occur in the bank’s premises due to its own shortcomings, negligence and by any act of omission/commission.

Banks shall renew their locker agreements with existing locker customers by January 1, 2023. At the time of allotment of the locker to a customer, the bank shall enter into an agreement with the customer to whom the locker facility is provided, on a paper duly stamped. A copy of the locker agreement in duplicate signed by both the parties shall be furnished to the locker-hirer to know his/her rights and responsibilities. Original Agreement shall be retained with the bank’s branch where the locker is situated. The revised instructions shall come into force with effect from January 1, 2022 and be applicable to both new and existing safe deposit lockers and the safe custody of articles facility with the banks.


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