Users of lockers will have to sign a fresh agreement with their respective banks, with the Reserve Bank of India asking for revisions in the existing document.
The revised safe deposit locker agreements now clearly specify that lockers can be used only for legitimate purposes such as storing jewellery and documents and not for storing any cash or currency, arms, weapons, drugs, contraband, or hazardous substances.
The license granted to use the locker is only for the customer’s own use and is non-transferable.
The agreements, which are based on the Indian Banks’ Association’s model agreement, state that the customer will be responsible for the misuse of the key to the locker provided by the bank or the password generated for having access to the locker. The bank will not be responsible for any unauthorised use of a key or password.
The customer will have a right to use the locker for keeping belongings and expect reasonable care by the bank for protecting such belongings, and in case of the bank’s failure to do so, avail of such remedies as may be available from time to time under the applicable law and regulations.
Banks will bear the cost of stamp papers while executing supplementary agreements with existing locker-hirers only. For others, the cost of stamp paper will be borne by the customers.
Banking expert V Viswanathan said that in case a customer has already signed an agreement that is in force, the bank has to bear the costs of executing the agreement.
“The bank only desires to replace that agreement with a new one so as to comply with the regulator’s direction. The customer should be encouraged to sign this agreement by the bank by offering to bear the expenses on its own to ensure 100 per cent compliance,” he said.
The bank will have the right to recover the rent and any other cost incurred by the bank in relation to the locker to the debit of the customer’s account in the event the same is not paid by the customer in advance or when due, per the model agreement.
Further, a bank can refuse access to the locker if the rent due on the locker remains unpaid and a customer fails to provide proof of identity when demanded by the bank at the time of seeking access to the locker.