Important things you must keep in mind if you have a bank locker  |  Photo Credit: Representative Image
While bank lockers are safer than anywhere you might want to store your ancestral heirlooms, they must not be left untended. Customers avail the facility of bank lockers to store jewellery, important documents. Once the facility is availed and valuables secured, customers tend to neglect these satisfied with the safety provided by the bank vault.
However, it is to be noted that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) empowers the bank to cancel your vault if you do not visit it at least once a year. But this is based on the risk classification in which your account has been profiled by the bank. Banks put their customers in categories such as high risk, low risk or medium risk based on a number of factors. These parameters are income status, social profile, nature of the business activity, location of the customer among others.
Banks subject the potential customers of locker facility to a stringent know-your-customer (KYC) mechanism since the latter is not obliged to inform the lender what they intend to store in the vault.
Customers who are in the low-risk category may be allowed more than a year of inactivity before the lender decides to take action. Banks will send a notice to medium-risk customers only if their account remains inactive for more than three years, as per RBI regulations.
Before taking action against an idle locker, the banks are required to send a notice to the customer to operate the account. The customer are required to send a written response stating the reason for keeping their accounts idle for such a prolonged period.
The customer then needs to explain the reason for not showing up which may be due to genuine reasons such as a transferable job or in case the account holder is a non-resident Indian (NRI). In such scenarios, the bank may allow the customer to hold the account.
Notably, if the customer fails to provide a plausible answer then the bank may cancel your account and allocate it to someone else even if the account holder regularly pays the rent.