RBI issues revised instructions for banks on locker management

Mumbai, Aug 18: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday issued revised instructions for all banks regarding locker management following orders of the Supreme Court.
The RBI said banks are advised to frame their own board approved policy/operational guidelines in this regard taking into account the revised instructions.
“The revised instructions will come into force with effect from January 1, 2022 (except where otherwise specified) and be applicable to both new and existing safe deposit lockers and the safe custody of articles facility with the banks.”
To facilitate customers making informed choices, banks should maintain a branch-wise list of vacant lockers as well as a wait-list in core banking system or any other computerised system compliant with cyber security framework issued by RBI for the purpose of allotment of lockers and ensure transparency in allotment of lockers.
The central bank said the banks should acknowledge the receipt of all applications for allotment of locker and provide a waitlist number to the customers, if the lockers are not available for allotment.
In February, the Supreme Court bench of Justices Mohan M Shatanagoudar and Vineet Saran asked the RBI to frame uniform rules for all banks regarding locker management within six months.
Breaking open a locker without following the legal procedure will be construed as gross negligence on the part of the bank, the top court had said adding that banks should not have the liberty to impose unilateral and unfair terms on consumers.
The RBI may also issue suitable rules with respect to responsibility owed by banks for any loss or damage to the contents of lockers for the sake of clarity.
“It appears to us that the present regulations are inadequate and muddled. Each bank is following its own set of procedures,” the court had said. (Agencies)