What to do if your bank record remains inoperative for a long time

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NEW DELHI : Most of us keep our jewelry and other valuables in bank lockers thinking that they are safe than at home because the probability of theft is much higher with us compared to banks but know- you that the banks can break your record if it remains inoperative for a long period of time.

The recently revised Reserve Bank India (RBI) guidelines for safe deposit boxes allow banks to open a locker if it remains inoperative for a long period of time, even if the rent is paid regularly.

Taking into consideration the various developments in banking and technology, the nature of consumer grievances as well as the comments received from banks and the Association of Indian Banks, the RBI recently revised its guidelines for safes and also has issued new instructions to banks regarding inoperative bank records.

The revised RBI guidelines state that the bank is free to open lockers and transfer the contents of the locker to their attorneys / legal heirs or dispose of items transparently if it remains inoperative for a period of seven years and that the locker lessor cannot be located, even if the rent is paid regularly.

But while protecting the public interest, the central bank has also issued detailed instructions to be followed before opening a break-in locker.

RBI guidelines state that the bank will notify the tenant of the locker by letter and send an alert via email and SMS to the registered email ID and cell phone number. If the letter is returned undelivered or if the Locker Lessor is not traceable, the bank will publish a public notice in two dailies (one in English and one in the local language) giving a reasonable time to either the Locker Lessor or anyone else who has an interest in the contents of the respondent locker.

The central bank’s guidelines further stated that the locker should be opened in the presence of a bank official and two independent witnesses and that the entire process should be videotaped. In the case of electronically controlled lockers (including smart safes), the use of the password “vault administrator” for opening the locker should be assigned to a senior official and tracked. complete audit of accesses must be kept.

The RBI further stated that after the locker is opened, the contents should be kept in a sealed envelope with a detailed inventory inside a fireproof safe in a tamper-proof manner until the customer has it. claims. A record of access to the fireproof safe must always be kept. When returning the contents of the locker, the bank will obtain the recognition of the customer on the inventory list to avoid any dispute in the future.

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