We often need a safe place to store our valuable items like jewellery and documents, such as sale deeds, loan papers etc. For this purpose, banks provide the locker facility, which can be availed by a customer by paying a certain amount on a periodic basis. These lockers can be rented by individuals, alone or jointly, by firms and trusts and Hindu Undivided Family (HUFs). It is always advisable to choose a bank branch which is located nearby where you stay so that you can easily access the valuables stored whenever it is required.
Here are some key things to know about opening and maintaining a Bank Locker:
1. Bank lockers are allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis to customers. Banks maintain a waiting list register for this purpose. When someone surrenders their locker, it is allocated to the next person in the queue.
2. Customers looking to rent a locker are required to fill out an application form and complete the KYC process. Locker service is not available for minors – single or jointly with others.
3. It is not mandatory for a customer to have a savings or current account with the same bank. Banks do insist for collateral for which they request you to open a fixed deposit which covers rent for a period of three years.
4. The lockers come in various sizes such as small, medium, large and extra-large, depending on the bank. The rent varies depending upon the size of the locker and also on other factors like the branch location. The fee is charged on an annual basis and is payable in advance.
5. Banks rank the customers into multiple risk groups, ranging from low to high, on the basis of factors like their financial or social standing and type of business.
6. Customers are mandated to run the locker regularly, lest the bank revoke the allotment. However, the bank issues a request first. Customers belonging to the medium-risk category are usually required to run the locker at least once every three years, while high-risk customers are required to do it once every year.
7. In the event of loss of a locker key, customers should immediately inform the branch manager of the bank. They are usually required to pay a fine and bear the cost of breaking the safe open and issuance of the new key.