The common man believes that safety lockers in the banks give him his peace of mind where he doesn’t need to worry about his valuables because they are safe inside the deep and well-guarded box-shelves. And it was, indeed, considered to be a place safer than our homes. But now, the safety and security features of these banks are giving their customers a thought for concern due to the following reasons:
- Most of the private and public-sector banks relieve themselves of any liabilities related to the loss of these valuables in the lockers.
- They mention in their agreement that they are not responsible for any theft or damage happening to the items.
In the locker-hiring agreement forms, banks like ICICI and HDFC clearly state that “While the Bank will exercise all such normal precautions as it may in its absolute discretion deem fit, does not accept liability or responsibility of any loss or damage whatever sustained to items deposited in the Locker. Accordingly, the Hirer is advised in his/her own interest to insure any items of value deposited in the Locker with the Bank.”
Something similar has been quoted by the Reserve Bank of India, “Banks have no liability for loss of valuables in lockers.” This clearly states that the customers should not expect any compensation for any theft of valuables kept in the safety lockers because the locker agreement form absolves them of all the liability.
According to the Chairman of the Banking Codes and Standards Board of India (BCSBI), “The important aspects to be considered are the terms and conditions regarding the locker hiring process. It is usually a 3-page document which most people fail to read. Also, try to take insurance of most of the valuables you plan to keep inside the locker.”
So, taking into consideration all these statements, this is certainly a cause of concern on the part of customers. However, there are some measures that can be taken in order to avoid any kind of insecurity and to be sure of not suffering substantial loss even in case of any unusual circumstances.
SIMPLE TIPS for Customers
Therefore, experts suggest a few points which should be kept in mind while one opts for safety lockers in banks. This can ensure the safety of the valuables and at the same time help them claim for compensation, in case any unfortunate happening occurs:
- The customer should insure the valuables deposited therein.
- Listing out the valuables with oneself is another way to have a record, which is not only helpful for the customer, in case he forgets about a piece of jewelry. It will also help to calculate the value of the items deposited, which can further be handy in claiming compensation after they file an FIR, in case if they are missing or have been burgled in the bank.
- Another simple tip which should be kept in mind is that the customer should operate the locker only when he is absolutely alone and he should recheck the locker before leaving to ensure that it is properly locked.
Apart from these, the RBI is equally alert and cares and ensures the safety of the bank customers. It reiterates the rules
- That banks should have proper alarm systems, iron-gated rooms and the very common electronic surveillance for better safety.
- The security procedures should be properly documented
- The staff which is responsible for the task should be a skilled, trained and cautious one to ensure the best services and security to the customer