The Reserve Bank of India on Monday gave banks time till end of December 2023 to complete renewal of agreements for the existing safe deposit lockers of customers. Banks were earlier required to complete the process by January 01, 2023.
The central bank has asked them to complete work in phases with intermediate milestones of 50 per cent by June 30, and 75 per cent by September 30.
Further, lockers that have been frozen for non-execution of agreement by January 1 should be unfrozen with immediate effect, RBI said in a statement today.
On August 18, 2021, RBI had asked banks to enter into revised agreements with existing locker holders by January 1. However, it noticed that a large number of customers were yet to sign the revised agreement. In many cases, the banks were yet to inform customers about the need to do so before the stipulated date (January 1, 2023), RBI added.
Banks should make necessary arrangements to facilitate execution of the revised agreements by ensuring the availability of stamp paper, etc.
The August 2021 guidelines pertain to customer due diligence, model locker agreement, locker rent, security of strong rooms, and attachment and recovery of contents in a locker and the articles by any law enforcement authority, among others.
RBI further said there is a need for revision in the model agreement drafted by the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) to fully comply with the revised instructions.
“IBA is being advised separately to review and revise the model agreement to ensure that it complies with the requirements of circular dated August 18, 2021 and circulate a revised version to all banks by February 28, 2023,” it said in a circular.