Bank Locker Agreement Rules: As we get into the New Year 2023, banks are sending messages to their locker customers to renew their contracts by 31st December 2022. If you are an existing locker customer, you may have also received one such message. Some of you may be wondering why the banks are sending such a message when the new bank locker rules came into effect on January 1, 2022. Let’s help you understand.
New bank locker rules laid out by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) came into effect on 1st January 2022. As per the revised rules, banks are required to renew locker agreements with their existing customers by 1st January 2023. The RBI had issued the revised instructions for the safe deposit locker/safe custody article on 18th August 2021 but they came into effect on 1st January 2022.
New locker agreement: Last date
As per the RBI’s revised instructions, the last date for renewing locker agreements is January 1, 2023. “Banks shall renew their locker agreements with existing locker customers by January 1, 2023,” RBI had said.
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Key points of the new locker agreement
- Before allotting a locker to a customer, banks are required to enter into an agreement with the customer on a paper duly stamped.
- A copy of the locker agreement signed by both parties is required to be furnished to the lock-hirer (customer) to know his/her rights and responsibilities.
- The original locker agreement is retained with the bank’s branch where the locker is situated.
Locker rent recovery through Fixed Deposit
The RBI has allowed banks to obtain a Term Deposit (fixed deposit) covering three years’ rent and the charges at the time of allotment. This means, if you are going to open a locker account, the bank can ask you to open a term deposit covering three years of rent and charges of the locker.
This provision has been made to ensure prompt payment of locker rent as there may be cases where the locker-hirer stops operating or paying the rent for the locker. However, the demand for term deposits covering more than three-year costs will be considered a restrictive practice by the RBI.
Can a bank force existing locker customers to open FD?
No. As per RBI’s instructions, banks are required not to insist on such term deposits from the existing locker holders or those who have satisfactory operative accounts.
What happens if you surrender the locker after paying the rent in advance
According to RBI, banks have to return the proportionate amount of advance rent collected from the customer if s/he surrenders the locker early.
Also Read: No more arm-twisting by banks for lockers
What happens to the locker when the bank closes, shifts the branch or merges with another bank
In case of closing, shifting of branch or merger with another bank, the bank has to give public notice in two newspapers (including one local daily in vernacular language) in this regard. Banks are also required to intimate the customers at least two months in advance along with options for them to change or close the facility.
“In case of unplanned shifting due to natural calamities or any other such emergency situation, banks shall make efforts to intimate their customers suitably at the earliest,” says RBI.