Banks Have No Liability For Loss Of Valuables In Lockers: RBI
Hyderabad: Why do you hire a locker in a bank? Since it is a secure place than our houses. And there is no place as secure and safe as a bank locker. You might also be thinking that you will be paid the cost of valuables you kept in the locker in case of burglary at the bank. Then you are mistaken!
The truth is that the onus does not rest on the public sector banks in which you hired lockers. The agreement you sign before hiring safe lockers absolve them of all liability.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and 19 Public Sector banks disclosed this uncomfortable truth responding to an RTI application. The applicant Kush Karla, an advocate, approached the Competition Commission of India (CCI) subsequently informing it of the contents of the response. He deposed that the RBI in its reply to his RTI application made it clear that it has not prescribed any parameters to assess the loss suffered by a customer. More: Indian IT Industry Should Have Prepared for H1B Changes: BJP Foreign Affairs In-Charge
The banks contended that their relationship with the customers with regard to lockers is that of lessee and lessor. In common parlance, the lessee is the bank and lesser is the customer. They further made the customer responsible for the valuables he or she kept in the locker.
In general, the locker hiring agreements of any bank states, “As per safe deposit memorandum of hiring locker, the bank will not be responsible for any loss or damage of the contents kept in the safe deposit vault as a result of any act of war or civil disorder or theft or burglary and the contents will be kept by the hirer at his or her sole risk and responsibility.” The banks also usually advise the customers to insure their belongings kept in the locker.
The RTI applicant Kush Karla wondered why one would hire lockers if they themselves were to insure their valuables. He alleged that the banks formed into cartels and resorting to anti-competitive practices. Seeking an investigation into the alleged cartelisation by the banks in respect of the locker services, he said the banks were trying to limit their services.