RBI revised instruction on Banks Safe Deposit Lockers/Safe Custody Article Facility

Safe Deposit Lockers/Safe Custody Article Facility provided by the banks – RBI Revised Instructions

RBI has issued revised instruction on Safe Deposit Lockers / Safe Custody Article Facility provided by the banks. Recently the Supreme Court had fixed liability of the banks on lockers operation. The Apex Court had held that Banks cannot wash off hands and claim no liability.

The revised Instructions take care of principles enumerated by the Hon’ble Supreme Court on the subject.

The revised instructions are issued in supersession of the earlier instructions issued by the Reserve Bank on the subject. The banks have been advised to frame their own Board approved policy/ operational guidelines in this regard taking into account the revised instructions.

The revised instructions shall come into force with effect from January 1, 2022 and be applicable to both new and existing safe deposit lockers and the safe custody of articles facility with the banks.

Safe Deposit Locker / Safe Custody Article Facility- Revised RBI Instructions

(Circular No. DOR.LEG.REC/40/09.07.005/2021-22 dated August 18, 2021)

Para No. Particulars
  PART I: Customer Due Diligence (CDD) for Lockers
1 Customer Due Diligence
  PART II: Locker Allotment
2.1 Model Locker Agreement
2.2 Locker rent
  PART III: Infrastructure and Security Standards
3.1 Security of the Strong Room/Vault
3.2 Locker Standards
  PART IV: Locker Operations
4.1 Regular Operations by Customers
4.2 Internal Controls by banks
  PART V: Nomination Facility and Settlement of Claims
5.1 Nomination Facility
5.2 Settlement of Claims in case of death of a Customer
5.3 Access to the articles in the safe deposit lockers/ return of safe custody articles
  PART VI: Closure and Discharge of locker items
6.1 Discharge of locker contents at the request of customer
6.2 Attachment and recovery of contents in a Locker and the Articles in the safe custody of the bank by any Law Enforcement Authority
6.3 Discharge of locker contents by banks due to non-payment of locker rent
6.4 Discharge of locker contents if the locker remains inoperative for a long period of time
  PART VII: Compensation Policy / Liability for Banks
7 Liability of banks
7.1 Liability of banks arising from natural calamities like earthquake, flood, thunderstorm, lightning etc. or due to sole negligence of the customer
7.2 Liability of banks arising from events like fire, theft, burglary, dacoity, robbery, building collapse or in case of fraud committed by the employees of the bank
  PART VIII: Risk Management, Transparency and Customer Guidance
8.1 Branch Insurance Policy
8.2 Insurance of locker contents by the customer
8.3 Customer guidance and publicity
8.4 Board approved policies and SOPs

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