Having certain valuables like gold, diamonds and important documents at home can make our daily lives insecure, as guarding these valuables will command primary importance at home. A well shielded location, where these valuables can be stored, will definitely relieve us to some extent.
Safe deposit vault systems:-
Bank lockers are relatively safe for a person to store his/her valuables for a period of time. The lockers are built to be safeand well equipped with alarms and other alerting devices. These lockers are available with many banks in India and each bank has specific branches where they have these lockers. The locker is just like a cupboard that is made of metal and has a door that can be locked by various means (key, coded number etc).
Bank locker rules:-
Both private and public sector banks provide the facility of lockers today. All these banks go by the guidelines of Reserve Bank of India. Some of these guidelines are listed below:
Public sector banks may collect a sum as deposit from the customer for hiring locker. It is not mandatory to do so. But the interest on this deposit amount can be taken by bank as rent for using the locker facility.
The KYC process is given importance when a customer wishes to use the locker facility. This is done as a part of safety since there are incidents where explosives were stored in bank lockers.
The lockers are to be opened by the customer at least once in 6 months. If the locker is not opened for more than a year then there will be a notice issued to the customer for doing the same. If there is no response from the customer then, the bank has the rights to break open the locker in the presence of police in a legal manner. The same may be applicable in areas where the rent is not paid by the customer.
Safe deposit vaults features:-
The locker facility is also called as ‘safe custody’ and to hire this locker with a bank in India, the person has to be over 18 years of age. Some banks may also require that the person should hold an account with the bank to avail this facility.
The lockers are available in different sizes and based on the needs, a customer can choose the size of his locker. The customer may also have to deposit some amount as security in the beginning. This may include the rent for locker for a period (say 3 years) and also an amount for emergencies when the bank has to break open the locker (say, if the customer has lost the key).
Nomination and/or joint ownership of a locker has become a mandatory priority while hiring a locker. The bank specifies the conditions where the customer who is hiring the locker will be given an option to mention a nominee for his locker. If there are joint holders then all the joint holders have to particularly mention the kind of ownership agreement they are getting into (like either or survivor, former or survivor etc).
The customer will get an acknowledgement if there is any security deposit made in the beginning when the locker is hired. The bank also provides a document where the bank states the details of the locker allotted to customers. This document is called the ‘memorandum of letting’ and this is provided after the locker is hired by the customer.
Developments and advantages of bank locker:-
In the presence of private banks in the market, the competition in upgrading the technology and service in locker facility has also increased. Recently one of the private banks came up with an idea where the customer could use the locker at any time of the day and any day of a week. So a customer need not hold on to his valuable jewels and wait for the business hours of a bank to place it back in his locker.
The rent towards locker facility is very less when compared to the value of its content. The rent is to be paid on annual basis and if we consider the price hike in gold or silver, the rent that is provided seems to be reasonable.