Most of us think our valuables are safe in bank lockers. But if you read their terms and conditions carefully you will be shocked to know that banks are not accountable for any damage or loss of your belongings in the lockers.
This applies for even natural calamities like flood, fire, earthquake, rain, war, riots or any type of causes which are not in control of the bank. Recently RBI also has clarified that “banks have no liabilities for loss of valuables in lockers. This is a go-ahead for the banks to be not responsible for any compensation in case of losing.
On the other hand activists and experts are not in agreement with the RBI’s statement. As per them, banks should be made responsible as they are charging fees for lockers. Banks and RBI cannot wash off their hands for security and safety of the belongings in the lockers.
At this moments there is a need for transparency and accountability in the process of the locker. This also means that the locker holder needs to declare the details of the belongings which are kept in lockers. So that if any things go the wrong bank has the record of what is lost. Declaring belongings will help banks to opt for a group insurance policy to protect their interest as well. Unless banks don’t know what is kept in lockers, they can’t be held responsible.
Since this is a policy decision, RBI is required to intervene and define a simple and transparent policy for lockers.
Should you opt for a locker or not?
- Most of us are using lockers for preserving valuable metals like gold and silver. If you are purchasing these precious metals for investment perspective then I would recommend you to go for sovereign bonds or exchange-traded funds(ETF).
- Declare all your assets and belongings to the government were ever required by law. So if something goes wrong, you can at least file a complaint.
- Store valuables at home and go for a comprehensive insurance policy.
- If you are preserving your important documents in the lockers, it is recommended to have a soft copy( scan copy) of such important documents and should be stored securely. I would suggest storing such scan copies on the cloud servers. They are more secure than your local computers and easily accessible from anywhere at any time.
At present, there is a lack of clarity on the accountability hence it is not a wise decision to go for a locker.
What are your views???