New bank locker rules: RBI extends deadline for its revised locker rules

New bank locker rules: RBI extends deadline for its revised locker rules

New bank locker rules: RBI extends deadline for its revised locker rules – All you need to know

Photo : BCCL

New Delhi: In a big relief for bank locker customers, the Reserve Bank of India on Monday extended the time for renewal of agreements for existing safe deposit locker facilities provided by banks. From January 1, 2023, earlier, the central bank has pushed forward the last date by a year to December 2023.

The Reserve Bank of India, vide its circular dated August 18, 2021, had issued revised instructions with respect to Safe Deposit Locker/Safe Custody Article Facility that required banks to enter into revised agreements with the existing locker holders by January 1, 2023.

The central bank on Monday, however, pointed out that it has been noticed that a large number of customers are yet to sign the revised agreement and in several cases, banks are yet to inform the customers about the need to do so.

“It has been decided to extend the deadline for banks to complete the process of renewal of agreements for the existing safe deposit lockers in a phased manner by December 31, 2023, with intermediate milestones of 50 per cent by June 30, 2023, and 75 per cent by September 30, 2023,” the RBI said in a release.

Further, banks have been advised to make necessary arrangements to facilitate execution of the revised agreements by ensuring the availability of stamp papers, etc. In cased where operations in lockers have been frozen for non-execution of agreement by January 1, 2023, the same shall be unfrozen with immediate effect.

The RBI has advised lenders to facilitate execution of the fresh/supplementary stamped agreements with their customers by taking measures such as arranging stamp papers, franking, electronic execution of agreement, e-stamping, etc. and provide a copy of the executed agreement to the customer.

What are the RBI’s new bank locker rules?

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had earlier mandated lenders across the country to renew their locker agreements with existing locker customers by January 1 this year. As per the new rules, existing locker holders had to furnish proof of eligibility for a renewed locker arrangement and sign a renewal agreement before the specified date.

RBI’s revised guidelines were first released on August 2021.

As part of the latest locker rules, the Central bank had instructed banks to use the Indian Banks’ Association IBA-drafted Model Locker Agreement, in line with the Supreme Court’s orders and guidelines. Banks were asked to make sure that any “unfair terms or conditions” are not covered in their locker agreements.

Further, the central bank had advised lenders to install CCTV camera at entry and exit points of the strong room and the common areas of operation. The banks were ordered to keep the recording for a period of not less than 180 days.

As per the revised rules, depositors can get up to 100 times the bank charges if the valuables stored in the vaults are ransacked or lost due to fire or building collapse. It may be noted that the lender will not be responsible for any damage and/or loss of contents of locker originating from natural calamities or ‘Acts of God’.

The rules mandated that government raids be notified, recovery or seizure of the locker or articles deposited for safe custody, be notified to the customer by letter as well as by email/SMS.

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