Normally bank lockers are opened for the safe keeping of valuable confidential documents, gold and precious ornaments. The bank lockers will give a sort of comfort to the locker holders with total peace of mind. The main features and benefits of safe deposit lockers are convenient, safe and private way of keeping valuables secure and facility to deposit or retrieve valuables at any time during the banking hours.
But please remember to operate your bank lockers at least once in a year (base on the customer risk category) otherwise your bank can open your safe deposit locker and allot the same to another customer. The RBI direction related to unoperated bank lockers are given below
“Where the lockers have remained unoperated for more than three years for medium risk category or one year for a higher risk category, banks should immediately contact the locker-hirer and advise him to either operate the locker or surrender it. This exercise should be carried out even if the locker hirer is paying the rent regularly. Further, banks should ask the locker hirer to give in writing, the reasons why he / she did not operate the locker. In case the locker-hirer has some genuine reasons as in the case of NRIs or persons who are out of town due to a transferable job etc., banks may allow the locker hirer to continue with the locker. In case the locker-hirer does not respond nor operate the locker, banks should consider opening the lockers after giving due notice to him. In this context, banks should incorporate a clause in the locker agreement that in case the locker remains unoperated for more than one year, the bank would have the right to cancel the allotment of the locker and open the locker, even if the rent is paid regularly. “
RBI direction is very clear, even if you pay your locker rent regularly, the bank has got every right to open the locker and allot this to another customer, if you failed to operate your bank locker within the time limit prescribed by RBI
So please keep in mind that, you should operate your bank locker at least once in a year (as per the risk category) even if there is nothing to deposit or withdraw from your bank safe deposit locker. The simple solution is to visit your bank locker once in a year and open and close it and also once in a while ensure that the contents stored in the locker is in order. Please ensure to obtain a copy of the safe deposit locker agreement and read all terms and conditions carefully.
Note: RBI rules related to opening and operating of Bank Safe Deposit lockers are subject to change. Please contact your bank for more information and guidance. This article is just for the general information of the readers.
Courtesy : Noshir Parlewalla