We all know that it is always safe to keep your valued assets in a safe in the Bank Lockers but how safe are these Bank Lockers. Who can guarantee the safety of your assets with the newspapers being full of bank robberies? In this article, we try to introspect the safety of Bank Lockers.
According to the Reserve Bank of India, the relationship between the Bank and the Locker hirer is that of the ‘Bailor and the Bailee’ and not that of the “Landlord and the Tenant”. Though banks don’t have the knowledge of the contents of the lockers provided to customers, they should exercise necessary precautions to protect them.
Banks offer lockers of different sizes and the Bank Locker charges varies with the size of the locker. Bank Locker charges need to be paid to use the facility which varies from one bank to another and is usually around Rs. 1000 to Rs. 4000 for small to medium sizes.
You can also keep a deposit with the bank you wish to rent a locker from. The annual interest from it will take care of the annual rent of the locker. But, this is not a condition for the allotment of a locker. However, one is not allowed to operate the bank locker until the rent is cleared.
Banks are supposed to review the safety on an ongoing basis and take necessary steps to strengthen the security, eliminating all loopholes for a mishap. Banks anyways have multiple layers of security in place, like quality locks, electronic surveillance, alarm systems, regular policing and internal and external audit to keep your belongings safe.
There are 2 keys to the bank safety locker, of which one will be given to you and the other would be kept with the bank. You will need both the keys to open the vault and gain access to your belongings.
Security of Bank Lockers
- Examine the terms and conditions laid out by the Bank before signing up for the locker
- Open the locker only when the bank employee, who accompanies you to the vault, leaves the place
- Before you leave the vault, make sure that the vault is properly locked
In case of theft, the consumer can always ask for compensation from the Bank. But for this, one needs to give a proof of the value of belongings kept in the locker which has been robbed. And, therefore, it is highly advisable to keep a copy of the documents kept in the locker along with you. Also, keep a certificate of the gold ornaments, bars and coins that you possess.
Before handing over the locker to you, the bank is supposed to classify you in a risk category – low, medium or high. If you are a high risk category locker holder and do not operate it for a year, the bank has the right to break open your locker after giving a notice. The same will apply for the medium risk category, if you haven’t operated it for a maximum of 3 years. Additionally, you will also be slapped with the recovery cost of the damages cost.