Are Bank Lockers totally Safe & is Fixed Deposit really required to get one ?

POSTED BY Jagoinvestor ON May 6, 2013 COMMENTS (156)

Today we are going to talk about “Bank Lockers” and how banks use unfair tactics by forcing customers to open a fixed deposit for a very large amount and that too for a long duration. It’s not uncommon to hear bank officials asking for fixed deposits of Rs 5-10 lacs in case you want to get a locker. That is just not allowed as per RBI and we will see what exactly the RBI guidelines say about it.

Bank Lockers in India

What is a Bank Locker and How does it work ?

Just like we have a saving bank account and fixed deposits to keep our money safely, we have “Safe Bank Lockers” to store our physical belongings like jewelry and various kind of important documents like WILL, Property Papers and other valuable items which you feel should not be kept at home.

There are always 2 keys for the locker, one key is with Bank and the other with the locker holder. The locker can only be opened when both the keys are used at the same time. Generally bank official applies the key and then leaves the locker room and only after he/she leaves, you should open the locker door and do what you wanted to do. The banks use very high quality, strong lockers (generally Godrej). So overall, this all makes sure that your locker is very safe.

Lockers are to be allotted on first come, first serve basis (as per rules) and in-case the lockers are exhausted, the bank is suppose to keep a waiting list of customers who have applied for the lockers and have to inform them when the lockers are free in the same order of application. If bank says that they do not have any lockers left at the moment, you can ask them for the “Waiting Register.”

Annual Rent for Bank Lockers and Security Fixed Deposit

Bank lockers come in different shape and sizes, which can be taken by customers depending on their requirement. For using the facility of lockers, you have to pay an annual rent which will vary depending on the size of the locker, the city (metro, urban, or rural). For most banks, the locker rent starts from Rs 750-1,000 per year and can go up to 5,000-10,000 for PSU banks and even 40,000-50,000 in case of Private banks (see the locker rates for bank for Baroda here) .

Is opening a Fixed Deposit mandatory for getting a Locker ?

Now lets discuss the biggest pain point of customers. Almost all of you might have faced this. When you go to open a bank locker, you are asked to open a Fixed Deposit for a large sum like 2-5 lacs for a long duration or asked to buy some policy (ULIP or Traditional Plan) saying that this is the rule for assigning the locker. However it’s just a plain lie and an unfair practice followed by Banks. A common man has no idea if the bank is correct or not and where to get the right information? So, I looked at RBI regulations on Banking and found out the exact rules.

And this is what I found – YES ! , Banks can ask for Fixed Deposits as security !

But, here is the catch ! .

As per RBI regulations, the bank can ask for a fixed deposit only to cover 3 yrs of locker rent and the breaking charges, not a rupee more than that and that too only from the new locker applicants, not old one’s already having a locker. Here is the RBI wordings from their notification

1.2 Fixed Deposit as Security for Lockers

Banks may face situations where the locker-hirer neither operates the locker nor pays rent. To ensure prompt payment of locker rent, banks may at the time of allotment, obtain a Fixed Deposit which would cover 3 years rent and the charges for breaking open the locker in case of an eventuality. However, banks should not insist on such Fixed Deposit from the existing locker-hirers.

To give you the proof one of the PSU banks – Bank of Baroda clearly mentions this fact on its website here

At the time of hiring the locker, bank will obtain a minimum-security deposit in the form of FDR from the lessee for the amount which would cover 3 years rent and the charges for breaking open the locker in case of such eventualities.

So, suppose you want to get a locker whose yearly rent is Rs 1,200 and the breaking charges for locker is say, Rs 100, then they can only insist on a Fixed deposit of Rs 3,700 (3 years rent + breaking charges); nothing more than that. Ergo, 3 years locker rent is going to be a very small amount, which almost anyone can afford, but banks lie to you and trick you by telling you to invest in a really large Fixed Deposit .You oblige for your own reasons. Banks do it to make sure they reach their monthly and yearly targets of acquiring new fixed deposits and selling useless policies like ULIPs and traditional plans (Note that banks are one of the channels for many companies to sell their products)

So next time you go to the bank for enquiring about lockers and bank officials don’t give you proper information, you can tell them about the rules and the notification from RBI. That should give some shock to the employees there and they might treat you a bit fairly. If still they do not budge, use the threat of RTI and banking ombudsman (and then actually use it)

Use RTI to resolve the Issue and Find Information

RTI is a powerful tool for a common man. We will see now, how you can use RTI against PSU banks. Next time when you go to a bank (I am referring to PSU banks here), tell them you want to have a locker (assuming you are having a saving bank account there already) .

When the bank staff tells you that they do not have any lockers available at the moment or try to impose some rules, you can tell them that you will find out things by filing an RTI application to the branch manager and also would quote his name in the RTI (stare on his name plate at the desk , he/she might be in horror). If they do not budge, then really go file a RTI after the incident. I would say better file a RTI before and once you get the reply from RTI, reach the bank with RTI reply letter itself.

When you file RTI letter, ask following things

  • How many lockers are installed in the branch ?
  • What is the size and volume of lockers and how many types ?
  • Rental amount per year for the Lockers ?
  • How many lockers are Unoccupied and available for allotment
  • How many people have requested for it and are on “waiting list” ?
  • What is your serial number in that waiting list (in-case you have applied for it) ?
  • Is there any requirement to make a Fixed Deposit for getting the Locker (YES/NO) ?
  • What is the amount of fixed deposit to be opened and what are the rules for it ?
  • In how many days a bank locker is allotted ?
  • Who is responsible to allot the bank locker in bank ? What is the name of the officer or designation ?

A weak person is always exploited in society, that’s the nature of life . When you appear as uninformed and too needy, anyone can take advantage of you, but when you appear as informed investor, who will not allow anyone to take advantage of his/her and who appears to be committed to be treated fairly, its tough for the other side to exploit then. Here is an instance on how Nikhil got the Locker facility with any FD at ING Vyasa Bank

I experienced a similar forced selling sometime back at ING bank. I wanted a locker and the Relationship manager said I need to make an FD of Rs. 100000/-. when I said NO. they said its a rule. I said there is no Rule book which mentions this. Rules are same for all banks and branches. the Relationship Manager stubbornly said ‘This is the rule of this branch’.

I just went to their website, found the no. of Chief compliance officer and spoke to the officer who helped me on this. After 2 hrs, I got a call from the same Branch of ING and they requested me to come to the branch and gave me a locker without any kind of FD!

Locker with Joint Accounts and Nomination

Just like saving bank accounts and fixed deposits, you can open a locker as joint account and with nomination facility, so that in case the demise or unavailability of the main locker holder, the joint holder can access the locker and operate it. Also in case the locker holders die (both joint holders), at-least there would be a nominee, who can get access to the locker by producing death certificate and filing up claim form.

There are tons of cases where locker was just owned by a single holder and when he died ,the family had to move mountains to finally get access to the locker. Worst, many families are not even aware about the existence of the locker and banks don’t take much interest in tracing down the locker family for many years (provided they have got the rent or have the fixed deposit linked to it).

understanding bank lockers

Can bank open the Locker without your permission ?

In the worst case YES ! You need to operate your locker from time to time (at least 6 months to an year ideally.) Recently there have been cases when explosives and illegal things were found in lockers, which shows how lockers can be misused. When you are allotted a locker, there is proper KYC done by bank to make sure they know everything about you. They would place you in particular risk category like low, medium or high. If you are a high risk category person, you need to operate your locker at least once a year to make sure everything is fine. If you fail to operate your account for very long (depending on your risk profile), the bank will first remind you about the  locker and will ask you reasons for not operating your locker. If you still do not take actions, the bank has all the rights to break your locker and give it to some one else, even if you are paying the yearly rent on time.

In case there is a genuine reason for not operating your locker for a very long time, you need to give it in writing to the bank mentioning the reason (like if you are now an NRI or if you are out of the city for a long time.) Also, if you fail to pay the yearly rent, they can break off the locker and re-allot it to someone else. Fair enough 🙂

Are bank lockers really safe ? Who is responsible if something goes wrong ?

Now this can be news to many, and a shocker, but in truth, Banks are not responsible for your bank lockers for any unforeseen events which is beyond the control of banks, provided they have done every due diligence from their side to protect it. You have to understand what exactly a locker facility is. The bank just gives out the space they have, on rent and make sure that its safe and secured professionally. They are suppose to make sure they have all the safety and security measures in place, to ensure that the lockers are safe and secure. So its more of a proprietor and a tenant relationship. In case there is a robbery (not in control of bank), Earthquake, Tsunami, Fire (which is not in control of bank) then bank is NOT responsible, or liable to compensate you.

Let me give you an example – If there is a robbery in the bank and your locker is one of the unlucky ones to get robbed, you lose it completely and the bank is not liable to compensate you for the reason that it wasn’t in their control to stop it, especially when they have all the security measures in place like a security guard, powerful lockers, CCTV cameras installed, and emergency alarms in place. The act of robbery is more of a unlucky event for them and you.  (However there are some policies in market which insures the jewelery in your bank locker like this policy from Axis Bank). If you think that robberies in bank (with locker looted) do not happen in reality, I must tell you that it happens and has happened in past. Here is one such example.

Robbers recently broke into the strong room of a Punjab and Sind Bank branch in Jalandhar and emptied out 36 lockers in an incident that stands out as a grim reminder of the abysmally poor security infrastructure at financial facilities in the country. The incident is a reminder of a burglary at the Chirgaon branch of the Central Bank of India in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh. As many as 45 lockers had been robbed in the November 2010 episode.  (Link)


When you put your valuables in bank locker, the bank does not know what did you put in there, there is no record of it in writing with bank. That’s one reason, they can’t compensate you in case something happens to it (It could happen that you never had anything in locker and you can suddenly say that jewellery worth 10 lacs is missing! What’s the proof ?) However it does not entirely mean that banks are not liable to pay back or compensate the locker holders in every case!

Bank has to make sure they have done their side of safety measures and security

Bank is not responsible for your lockers only in case of those events which are totally not in control of bank and unavoidable, but only when they have done their share of work and security like I explained above. If banks fail to do their duty and then a robbery or some unforeseen event occurs, which results in your loss, then a customer can always claim that the bank is liable to compensate, because then the incident might have not happened or could have been avoided if banks did their part.

In another case, of Bank of India vs Kanak Choudhary, the customer had kept currency notes in locker which was eaten up by termites. Here the bank didn’t do their job of ensuring that the place is clean and safe. The customer was awarded the compensation.

Bank of India vs Kanak Choudhary

Here, the customer filed a case stating that termites had destroyed currency notes and important papers kept in her locker. The commission said that the bank “was bound to ensure that the respondents’ locker remained safe in all respects”, and awarded compensation to the customer.

Even in the robbery case shown above, the bank was found to be irresponsible and didn’t not do a lot of security measures, and definitively there was a chance of the robbery being unsuccessful if only bank had done their share of work, which means the locker holders would get compensation from bank, but then issue now is, how much compensation bank has to give and why when ? The matter would have gone to court and delays and frustration must have happened in that case.

But how much you can claim back from Bank ?

Not 100%, because you can never define how much you lost with 100% certainty. Banks themselves insure the lockers to deal with the loss in an extreme eventuality, so bank themselves get some compensation from wherever they have insured the lockers. So you can get some compensation from bank out the amount they themselves get, but to get back the compensation, you will have to show the receipts of the things which you claim was kept in the locker. Even in that case, you will not get 100% back, it will be some percentage, which can’t be defined. Also you can’t get back any compensation for the documents kept (as you cant define it’s value) and the currency notes if any.  You can look at the youtube video above to see these points on claims you can get back.

While the risk is always there with bank lockers, note that this is an extreme eventuality. This information should be seen more of an awareness point, rather than a decision making criteria to choose or discard taking a bank locker. You don’t stop driving a car, just because there is a small chance of accident, right? In the same way, just because lockers are not 100% secured, does not mean you say that – “I will not go with bank lockers, because its not 100% safe.” Truly speaking it’s much safer than you bank almirah at least.

Some safety measures you should take for Bank Locker

You can never get rid of the complete risk, but you can ensure that you follow some best practices and common sense tips to make sure your bank locker is safe. Here are some good practice.

  • Always open your locker after the bank employee who accompanies you to the vault leaves the place.
  • Make sure your bank has all the necessary security measures, such as alarm system, iron-gated rooms, electronic surveillance via CCTV, etc.
  • Visit your locker frequently and ensure your valuables are safe. The RBI and banks expect frequent locker visits from customers.
  • Also, ensure the locker is properly locked before you leave the vault.
  • If possible, better have 2 lockers to diversify the risk (like one locker for valuables, and another for Documents)
  • If possible, always go with the bank where you have huge trust and comfort and its near your place, so that you can visit them often
  • Keep laminated documents in the locker, so that they are not damaged if you keep them for a very long tenure.
  • Always keep a record of what all you have in locker, so that in-case of eventuality, you can alteast find out what was lost and what was the worth
  • Demand a copy of the hire-purchase agreement for the locker so that the bank cannot ask for a higher rent in future
  • If a bank says the locker request is in the waiting list, ask for the waiting number
  • Demand a copy of the bank’s internal guidelines regarding lockers (their guidelines never mention fixed deposit as a mandatory condition)

I hope this articles has helped you understand almost everything about the bank lockers and how they work and different rules and regulations. Do you also have a bank locker ? Generally what all you keep their and how much do you trust your bank for the locker safety ?

156 replies on this article “Are Bank Lockers totally Safe & is Fixed Deposit really required to get one ?”

  1. Pooja Shetty says:

    Let us put ourselves in banker’s shoes.
    Lot have been told about RTI to customers, kindly provide proper guidance to customers.
    In whole of article there is no guidance to customers to PAY RENT Promptly.
    Had all the customers paid it, it would have been smooth sailing. But some of them don’t pay rent.
    Next is discussed about FD, customers argue that they don’t have fund now and you can utilize the FD. But the real trouble is locker break open.
    Let me explain
    1 . Phone calls / Emails to be sent to customers.
    2 . Regd post to be sent ( THRICE)
    3 . Book an appointment with locker dealer
    4. Book appointments with two reputed customers (witness).
    5. Do it after office hours as in working hours other customers may object.
    6. Wait till dealer break open the locker.
    7. Normally nothing is there, but in case found something (generally not valuable). Make a note.
    8. Enter all the actions taken in a prescribed format.
    9. Whatever found inside even if not valuable have to be kept in safe custody.
    Can calculate not only financial thing but also the man hour rather unproductive manhour, which could have been used for customer service.
    Hence along with RTI even if you can GUIDE well it will be wonderful and helpful for GRAHAK/ CUSTOMER/INVESTOR.

  2. Nagesh says:

    I have locker with Apana Sahakari Cooperative Bank. I worked overseas. Due to Covid issue I couldn’t operate it from 1 and half year. There was letter from bank about non operation of locker. I replied it through email and called bank officer to ensure that there is no breaking of my locker by bank. Yesterday I operate locker and noticed that some of the valuable gold ornaments are missing. The boxes I kept are not as it was. Generally I took photo of the arrangement before putting in locker. Can I log official complaint? I guess bank officials might be doing it with other lockers which are not in operation from long duration.

    1. Jagoinvestor says:

      Sir, please remove things from a cooperative bank …

      Its not properly monitored and its risky! . Please reach out to RBI on this

  3. Sanjay says:

    Thanks for the article. I wish to share my experience with you.
    I visited Central bank of India to open a small size locker. They gave me forms and told me a security deposit of inr 20,000/ is needed as mandatory to open locker in Delhi. I was stunned, and then came through your article. After reading re-visited the bank and as per guidance told the manager that I will file RTI and complain to bank ombudsman if your branch insisted me for 20,000 Fd as security against Locker.
    To my surprise he looked at me from top to bottom and then jumped straight at inr 10,000 , but this time I told them that you can charge only 3year rent and break open charges for me as per RBI guidelines which in my case was 1,200/annumx3yrs rent=3,600+1000 breakopen total=4,600/-. So I insisted on 5,000.
    Then the manager bargained me to 7,000/- which I had accepted this as I knew his ego was hurt.
    Thanks for helpful article. It really eye-opening as many of has gone through the same. Last thing which is also important while opening a new account they push customers to purchase Life Insurance or Pradhan Mantri Bachat yojna which cost you approx 350/year. Bank instruct you with as manadatory, but actually its not.
    JAGO INVESTOR thumbs up

    1. Jagoinvestor says:

      Thanks for sharing that Sanjay

      Glad that you used the knowledge. IN past many people have did what you did after reading my article!. Share it more and more!


  4. Ramadevi says:

    What happens if the locker key is misplaced. The locker is empty and has not been operated for many years? Want to close this locker. How to do this?

    1. In this case you will have to pay the fine for loss of key asked by bank. Thats all . After that just ask them for closure of the locker


  5. Sarita says:

    Bank lockers are not safe.Canara bank of defence colony has kept my wife’sgold ornaments in open after breaking my locker without giving no information to me.they are not ready to agree their mistake. They blamed us.tell me where I goto solve my problem.lwant to give a message to indian people there are many locker theft in net that you can read.never take one take responsibility neither bank nor RBI. RBI should make rule the no. of items written in the paper in front of one officer given to Customer. and bank.pleasedo’nt ignore it.

    1. Did they tell you what was the reason they broke that locker ?

  6. sweta says:

    This is very informative thank you very much,

    I see this article is from 2013, Manish can you confirm this data is up to date?

    Thank you

  7. sudeep says:

    Very informative article..thanks Manish

    1. Thanks for your comment sudeep

  8. Shashi says:

    Hey friend!
    Great article, I am looking forward next part. Keep your great world!

    1. Thanks for your comment Shashi

  9. Kapil says:

    Hi Manish,
    Needto ask you, whether renting of safe deposit lockers be opened by private concerns ???
    Does this kind of rental business involve any kind of registration from RBI or is governed by RBI???


    1. Hi Kapil

      I searched about this, I got to understand that these private companies have vaults as per RBI guidelines, but they are not regulated by RBI. So its like a private business. At the moment, I cant comment any negative/positive about them as I am not aware of this myself in detail. So please take the decision as per your comfort level .

      You can read this –


  10. Meera says:

    Great post, Manish!

    This is a great help for people who are looking for lockers. And they should be really aware of such bad practices. FYI, I used to work with a bank who also asks for FDs against locker facility. Although, this is unacceptable as per the rules laid down by RBI, the FD amount was not as high as 1 lac and customers were given the best possible convenience and leniency in terms of FD amount. But, Irony is, this is completely invalid. No matter how much you demand, it should never go beyond the prescribed amount. Right?

    Thanks again for the post.

    1. Yea I agree with you Meera on this.

      Most banks do this to make sure their FD’s value go up! .. Most of the people fall for it, because they are not aware of the rules!

  11. shravan says:

    Dear Manish jI
    Recently i have visited a bank with my dad for oprate my dad’s locker.
    bank executive refuse to go in locker room.He said that no attender or family member allow with locker owner.
    is it true???

    1. Ideally it should not happen because the locker owner himself is there ! . I am not sure of the exact rule !

  12. Raja says:

    Hi ,
    I have a safe deposit locker with SBI for 6 years now. I made a fixed deposit for Rs 20000 before opening the locker, and it was made for 3 years. Then, it was auto renewed for the next 3 years. I went to the SBI branch to close the FD, and they are saying they can’t close the FD because it is held with the locker. I am paying the locker rent for the last 6 years from the savings account on 1st april without fail. Is SBI correct in saying that they can’t close the FD? What should i do?

    1. Yes, they are correct

  13. neha says:

    hello sir,
    my question is that, I have a account in Uko bank and I want a locker, but they told me we only give locker to salaried or pensioner customer. is it true?

    1. They say that, but it should not be like that. File a RTI and ask they the rules

  14. Dhananjay says:

    Hi Manish,
    Dhananjay here. I have bank locker in SBI. I moved to different area. Now with the new SBI branch, I am requesting that since we have moved to this area, we want to shift locker. I already shifted my branch. Now the new branch is saying they don’t have any lockers free.

    How to proceed further. Is there any norm, we should get locker in these many days or something.

    1. It might happen that there are really no free lockers ! .. There is no rules like that.

      You can file RTI to bank and ask how many lockers are free in the new area !


    Hai Sir,

    I have a safe locker in ABT. Because of living abroad, l could not operate/open last six month. HAVE ANY PROBLEM?

    1. Ommen says:

      There is no problem with that, as long as you pay the rent

  16. vijay says:

    I am using safe deposit locker, and bank took me an amount of 50k as security FDR. So for every FD, can I claim for tax.

  17. Vijayan says:

    Dear Manish,

    Against my locker rental, as per bank’s advice, I have opened one FD for 5,000/- and I have been regular in paying the rental every year, but this year, since I was late in the payment by two months, I received a notice saying the bank will break open the locker if I do not pay the amount within 30 days. Can they break open the locker if I do not pay the rental in time bearing in mind that I do have one FD opened against the locker rental.

  18. Divakar says:

    I want to deposit my gold jwellery in bank deposit. But as you mentioned above that it is not insured there, it is just a deal like tenant and the proprietor so there is no insurance for these valuables.
    So i want to know that i want to get insurance for these jwellery, to which plan and from whom i should go for.
    Please guide in detail.

    1. Why dont you take a householder policy which will cover your jewelery at home ?

  19. Unni Nair says:


    That’s a good piece.
    But can you advise whether Income Tax/Police Department attach the contents of Safe Deposit vaults please?

  20. shrujal sakaria says:

    what are the rules for handing over key of locker,
    as i have been issued old unsealed key of my locker.
    Is it not unsafe to take open (unseal) key from bank people, as they can copy our key.

    1. Hi shrujal sakaria

      I suggest that you now take the RTI route. You can file the RTI and ask your queries to them. THey are bound to reply you on your queries.

      Its a bit long cut, but works well


  21. toufique says:

    hi manish,

    thanks for the wonderful article.
    i am trying to get locker in pune, but finding it really very difficult.
    Most of the banks with which i checked (oriental bank of commerce, central bank of india, sbi, ubi) dont’t have any free lockers available. one of the nearest sbi bank asked me to open 3 lacs fd and central bank of india asking for 1 lacs FD. i doubt if their claim of not having any free lockers is false. i am thinking to file RTI application.
    but i dont understand why they are so reluctant in giving lockers to customer.

    1. Do what I said in article. File a RTI !

      1. alka says:

        How to file an RTI. Could you please advise. I have a locker with HDFc bank and now I am really worried.

  22. mushtaq sheriff says:

    Worth reading. Very informative. I have to search for this website as Central Bank of India insisted for FD of Rs.50,000/- for an already existing locker for more than 25 years. They called my father aged 96 years old in whose name the locker is to their branch and insisted for FD as they are answerable to their audit who is insisting for FD.
    Thanks for enlightening.

    1. Thanks for your comment mushtaq sheriff

  23. vinod kaushal says:

    With Regards Sir,

    My name is vinod kaushal, I have account in Khanna branch . From more than three years I am having small locker in khanna branch for which a rent of 750 has been payed , but this year a rent of rupees 7000 has been deducted from my account with additional taxes without any notifications & also I didn’t get any message regarding the same even after deduction. After paying a visit at Bank branch I have talked regarding the same but there was no response from bank side even the whole was ignored & the concerned person was Parminder Singh, now I am very unhappy from the bank services & willing to shift the bank . Further I also want to mention that the revision of the locker rent charges has also not been updated on bank website . Please do the needful.


    Vinod Kaushal

    1. Hi Vinod

      I am not sure what do I need to do in your case ? I mean its you who have to take the action . What will I do ?

  24. santhosh says:

    Very good knowledge and informative also, I have a intervention, If a fraud taken place internally like The branch manager made duplicate key and taken valuable jewels then kept fake or spurious ornaments. So in such situation, who will pay compensation? and how much will out of it?

    Because nowhere the value documented when the jewels kept safe custody at banks.

    1. IF you can prove it, then this is a criminal case against the bank staff .. He will have to compensate it .

  25. Anitha says:

    Hi Manish,
    First of all thanks a lot for posting such a useful info.I did visit my nearby HDFC to ask for an locker account before a month,they said it’s available with 25K FD and 750 per year.However when I rechecked today it’s with 1lakh FD and 3000 per year from 1st April onwards and he insists me to open an account from April 1st and not today,saying a reason that I have to pay the whole year amnt just for 30days(since this month is financial year end).Since I have read this article b4 going to bank, I was able to negotiate Abt FD. But I doubt that he insist me to open account from 1st ,to make new charges applicable.he also said that even if I open today, the revised charges will still be applicable on me from April 1st.Is that true, sud an existing locker holder undergo revision charges everytime?also wt is this revised rental charge ?Will it increase from 750 to 3000 at a time ?can you pls clarify me

    1. I am not sure about the FD charges at the moment. May be its some new rule !

  26. Vijyant Jain says:

    Dear Manish,
    Firstly, thank you for this informative article.

    Secondly, I have two concerns on which I would request enlightenment.

    1. Very Recently I have received a letter from my bank SBI, stating as per RBI guidelines, We cannot put our own lock on the locker.
    If this is true, what measure do we have left to ensure our valuable are not tampered with by a corrupt bank employee, As it is there is no record of what is in the locker and bank always has a duplicate key of the lock. They can open our lockers whenever they please.

    2. I’ve been told that the building in which the bank is presently located is unsafe (Building Structure no longer stable and can come down anytime). Bank has been given directive by their HQ to find another suitable location and relocate however the bank seems to be taking their sweet time with their bureaucratic ways. How can I ensure my locker and valuable are safe since bank holds no responsibility incase of any loss.

    Thanks & Regards

    1. Hi Vijyant Jain

      1. Bank cant open your lockers , why do you think so . Even if they have duplicate key, they need your key to open it . They can just break it

      2. Its tough . You need to actually reach out to the highest level of management, complain to RBI and what not . I dont see any quick and fast way of dealing with this problem !

      1. Lakshmi says:

        Hi Manish,
        I already have Rs. 30,00,000 FDs with ICICI and 2 lakh in MFs of ICICI. My dad has an account with ICICI in another branch in the same town. He has Rs. 20,00,000 as FDs in that branch. In December, 2014 i went to my dad’s ICICI branch with my father for a small size locker(joint).Initially the manager said there are 5 small size lockers available and i can have it with my father at their branch and they will handover the locker in 4 days.. But he requested me to do a ULIP of ICICI 50,000 per year for 5 years. I reminded him about my FDs , MFs and my dad’s FDs. He still insisted me to open the policy. He told me in a diplomatic way that i am not demanding you to open the policy, but it would be good for you to have a policy. I told him i have same kind of policy with SBI. He told me to come the next day to submit the application. We have submitted the application, check for the rent, photos every thing on the next day. He again asked me to do the policy. I told that i have it with SBI. They told that i would get a call for handing over the locker in 4 days after processing the application. But i did not get a call from them. I called the relation ship manager about it and he said ” i think there are no small size lockers available”. What should i do? Is RTI applicable to ICICI bank?


        1. Nice , I like this question .

          What you can do is file a RTI to RBI , and in that RTI ask for whatever information you need for that particular ICICI branch !. I have not yet tested it, but it should work


          1. Lakshmi says:

            Thanks Manish for your reply. You mean ask for the information whether there are any lockers vacant in that branch?

  27. C.SHAH says:

    Not bothering Bank’s senior,corporate officials for RTI. Even they deny under false section CIC are also not asking that why they deny wrongly.Under which rules/act of IPC ,I should complaint to police department?

    1. I am not aware of this at this level .

  28. C.SHAH says:

    I am holding a bank locker in nationalised bank on behalf of religious trust-trustee.
    Bank has changed signatory authority illegally and transfer the saving account of said trust without consent of our trustees.Now bank are not replying of our letters and not per-missing for opening of safe deposit vault to us nor replying for RTI application related to locker.What should be done for illegal activities of Nationalised Bank ?

    1. Not replying to RTI ? I think that itself is illegal 🙂 . File a first appeal , do a police complaint ! and also complain to banking ombudsman !

  29. ravi shankar says:

    Manish and all readers
    Bank refused to acknowledge written complaint as agreement is loaded in favor of the bank.I opened my locker on 23rd april after 6mths and found gold jwlry worth 7lacs missing.Bank syas it is not possible and no response to video,security measures,do they perform mock audit to evaluate the robustness of security..grievance cell reply equally sterry oprnd mgr said my clim is ridiculous and we would have taken the jwlry and forgotten to put it back and complain..tell me which is ridiculous..arrogant manager with tunnel vision.going for court for initaiting PCR for police to investigate,bank is glorified parking lotwala for it if ur car is stolen then its ur problem. similar case in hanumantnagar vijaya bank 100% insider job as u need bank key to open the locker.will update as i foight it out ..please give wide publicity

    1. Hi Ravi Shankar

      Please give more information on this . Did you complain to banking ombudsman, also reach out to consumer court and also do a police complaint !


    2. chinthub says:

      Yes, like Manish said, pursue parallel in Consumer Court and Banking Ombudsman, but of course first fill a case in the police station. You can file a PCR in the court only if the police station is not accepting your compliant. If you are located in Bangalore, you can submit your complaint directly at the police commissioner office. There is a “single window” facility. Write down the compliant is paper and take a copy of it and submit it at the “single window”. They will take the original and put a acknowledgement number in the copy and will give the copy back to you. It will hardly take a minute, whereas if you go to the police station, you will loose a whole day. They will make you wait for hours.

      One more thing, it would better to draft the complaint with the help of an advocate as they know the correct format and terminologies to use.

      I am sure that complaining to banking ombudsman can be done online, and I guess consumer forum complaints has to be send via registered postal mail to you locality consumer forum address and a copy to the bank as well.

      Another thing that can be done is, sending a legal notice to the bank manager by an advocate, to show that you are legally pursuing further.

      All this, consumer complaint, banking ombudsman compliant, police complaint etc, should be copied to bank manager, regional office and nodal office ( whatever higher authorities possible) to bring this to the attention of every authority in the bank. You can let them know that, you will approach the media as well, within a 1 or 2 weeks, if your issue is not resolved. The ultimate goal is to get our stuff back, so by any means if they get scared and want to do a settlement, that would be better.

      1. Thanks for sharing that awesome piece of information .. Its really helpful !

  30. Jay Sheth says:

    Nice article, Manish. Let me also thank you for some property related articles where you share your experiences and help out the community. Appreciated.

    About bank lockers, it seems none of you are aware of the facility of putting an “extra” lock “from inside”. This is called Renter’s Personal Lock and is available for purchase directly from Godrej (MRP Rs.899/-).

    This lock is not available in hardware/retail stores. Godrej supplies them directly to end consumers upon request (and usually provide free home delivery).

    It comes with 2 screws and 1 key. This third key always remains with you. You can fit this lock yourself – all you need is a screw driver – it is only one size and the holes to fit the screws are already available on the back side of your bank locker door. No bank can prevent you from installing this.

    Have you ever wondered why there are 3 key holes in any locker ? The bottom left key hole usually goes unnoticed and unused – that’s exactly the place for placing the extra lock.

    I would have loved to post pictures of how this is placed, as a picture is worth 1000 words. But here is the procedure in short:

    1) Contact Godrej and buy renter personal lock.
    2) Go to your bank and get the locker opened (I would suggest not informing the bank that you are actually going to fit that – many officers hardly know the rules).
    3) Insert the key of your renter personal lock in the bottom left key hole of the locker door (it will be hanging in the air from the back side of the door).
    4) Insert the keyhole of the renter peronal lock inside the key you just inserted. This will give you correct positioning.
    5) Just fit the screws given from the backside (2 screws are there – top left and bottom right, and are sturdy enough).
    6) Some locker cabinets have very small thickness in the door, in which case the screw being longer, you better separately buy 2 nuts (one for each screw) to fill in the extra space. Note – these nuts are usually available with auto spare parts shop (and not hardware shops), Re.1/- per piece, and come quite handy.

    And that’s about it folks ! Next time when you want to open the locker, it will operate with 2 keys from your end, and 1 key from officer. You just made yourself extra safe.

    Jay Sheth

    1. Jay

      That was a great info .. didnt knew that .. can you answer 2-3 more things on this to me ?

      1. How come I am not able to get this info on internet at all ?
      2. Any picture of this ? If available on internet, please point to me !


        1. Hey thanks for this .. This will really add value to the article i am planning to do ! .. thanks Chethan !

    2. Jay Sheth says:

      Hi Manish,

      I am equally surprised as to why this information is already not available. I think I deserve the credit for publishing it for the first time. I had researched on this, met several bank authorities and even contact Godrej authorities and that is how I knew.

      I guess you also could capture my email id ? If you could drop me an email from yours, I will be happy to send the detailed illustration (my original work again). Let me know if you want me to post my email id here (which I would not really prefer though, being open forum, and having tight professional schedule).

      1. Jay Sheth says:

        And just to add – I have installed this on my locker already, so am talking after having seen it work 🙂

        1. ravi shankar says:

          if only i had seen this,my valuables found missing in my locker AXIS bank electronic city bangalore,bank says not possible .filing consumer forum case

          1. Jay Sheth says:

            Sorry to hear this. Do let us know exactly what happened and if you got any help. Might help other readers. Thanks.

          2. hmm.. I am doing an article on this very soon !

  31. Girish says:

    I have a question. I went to SBI Branch nearby my house and asked for a locker. The Branch Manager has given me 2 options.. either have 8 lacs in FD or get a insurance policy with premium of 50K per year. This seems to be unit linked policy and also open a FD of 20 K in Bank.

    Now my question is : Suppose I get a locker today and and within one month or withdraw / cancel that insurance policy, will I be loosing the locker ?

    1. You can do that.. but I will tell you must easier option . Tell him that they better dont mess up with you – Tell them you know about RBI rules on Lockers and the branch manager should not be very surprised if you file a RTI with SBI and RTI and mention his name in it .. also you might complain to Banking Ombudsman for harassing you and not going as per RBI rules, also you might want to tell them that you can also reach to consumer court for this and file a complaint against them ..

      The branch manager will mostly call you in his Cabin for some tea and will send you back with Locker with lots of love ! and only 3 yrs of locker fees which should not be more than 15-20k overall

  32. harishj says:

    Can we make a duplicate key of our bank’s locker as if it is lost we have to pay a hefty fine?

    1. Its not allowed I believe from your BANK RULES, but if you want to still do it, its your wish !

  33. Mathivanan says:

    Hi Manish,

    I have been trying to open a locker for more than 6 months now. But was denied one , since i cant take an FD for 2 lakhs. Your article hopefully solve my issue.
    I have a doubt – Can i open a fresh saving account and can i concurrently try to apply for a locker facility?


    1. Yes, you should now use the RTI and get the locker. BUt better have a saving bank account in the bank , it helps !

  34. abdulkadar says:

    Thanks for the detailed information.
    I have SB account with IOB. I had put few lakhs as FD for puchasing some property. I needed one locker. This branch does not have locker facility. So the manager arranged locker facility with another nearby IOB branch using his personal relationship with that branch manager and also by mentioning that I would put Rs. 2 lakhs as FD for three years. When I opened the FD itself I told that I may need money at anytime since I have kept it for some purpose. I did not have to open separate account in the new branch. I also did not bother since all I did was to close one of the FDs from the previous branch and open the new FD for 2 lakhs rupees in the new branch. This happened a month ago. Now I need money for purchasing a property. I went to the branch (where I have got the locker) to close this 2 lakh FD. But the manager told that this FD for locker. He said he would give loan from this FD if I need money. I do not want to get loan from my FD money. I want to close this FD. Can I close this FD?
    With regards

    1. You can surely close this FD , but you might also loose the Locker in that case .. however there is another option .. but a hard way .. You can tell the manager that as per RBI , they have not done the right thing asking for 2 lacs loan . You should be just paying 3 yrs charges and you can prove it by filing the RTI to RBI and aslo tell manager you will quote the branch name and manager name . Then see his reaction .


  35. Parag PATANKAR says:


    I kept FD in Amrut Farma, which was matured in Dec 2012. I have not received matured amount yet. Kindly let me know where I can do a complaint about this
    Company Law Board, Consumer forum. Not clear.

    Pl guide me.

    thanks & regards

    1. You can complain about it in POLICE now

  36. S.Prakash says:

    Dear Manish,

    Thanks for very informative article. I have a doubt and request for your clarification. I have a locker in SBM and opened a FD. However the Original FD receipt is retained by the bank and they have given me only the xerox copy of the FD receipt. Is it the correct practice.


    1. Original FD reciept must be given !

  37. Praveen says:

    Very helpful information. Thank you.

    People use lockers to keep their valuables and banks provide them with key. Now the key is most important thing. Now which locker is used to keep the key ? Customer’s home ? Duniya gol hai or log gola 😀 Not offending any body but just a thought 🙂

    1. Yea thats true ! ..

  38. m.vasudevan says:

    very nice article Manish and very useful for me.

    1. Good to hear that !

  39. Manasi V says:

    Hi Manesh,
    Thank you for the interesting article..
    My query was that now-a-days, with smaller rental premises and increase per-sqft rent (my understanding).. the no of bank branches offering locker facilities have come down
    It’s a matter of luck that my parents have 2 lockers at Banks very close to our residence.. however, when I requested the Banks to transfer the lockers to my name (since my parents are aging and find it difficult to access the lockers).. they asked us to close the lockers and wait in queue for obtaining a locker based on availability.. Can you please clarify on the rules in this regard..

    1. As of now, I am not clear about this rule of transfer . But I guess it cant be transferred . Because one cant just assign their locker to someone else.

    2. Jay Sheth says:

      I think you can simply get your name added along with your parents, in either/or survivor mode. Do the same to for the bank account to which the locker is linked to. There is no need to get the locker transferred. When your parents are not there you automatically own it completely.

  40. Karthikeyan says:

    Hi Manish,

    I wanted to understand about this hire-purchase agreement. Is this provided by private banks? Once the locker is taken, does the rental remain fixed or is the bank free to increase the rate each year. From my personal experience, my locker rental has nearly doubled over the last 5 years. Also, I have not received any kind of agreement, when taking the locker, I was informed that the bank does not issue such kind of documents when the locker is taken. Should I be concerned?

    1. I have locker with Maharashtra Bank and They have issued me a document which is 3 yrs agreement for locker rental , the rent is defined there and once 3 yrs are over, we will then have to decide if we want to continue . How come your bank has not handed over any document to you. Which bank ?

      1. Karthikeyan says:

        This is with HDFC Bank. I will follow up with them on the locker agreement and will let you know the update.

  41. Nikhil Mehta says:

    Hi Manish,

    Read the article. Good one and informative.
    Was amazed to see my case as an example in this article.

    Keep up the good work.


    1. Thanks Nikil .. yea , I used your case 🙂

  42. Very good post on bank lockers. I never knew so much details. Banks always discourage customer for opening lockers but using RTI might be the solution.

    1. Yea , just use RTI next time and it will be there for you !

  43. Gayathri Iyer says:

    Very Nice Article… And at the right time for me.. 🙂

  44. Chetan Ambi says:

    Dear Manish, very informative article. U covered everything about bank lockers. This is enough to wake up (jago) investors about rules about lockers 🙂

    1. Thanks 🙂 .Share it !

  45. Sushil says:

    Excellent Once again….Good knowledge u r sharing

    One question,…..To Whom RTI should be applied… Local Branch of Bank or at corporate level CPIO?

    1. CPIO , but manager of the branch is also CPIO only 🙂


    Very Useful article. I will share with my friends, who do not use internet.

  47. Inder says:

    Very Informative Article. We got a locker in IDBI Bank (just opened at that time) , BLR. Although the Branch manager was adamant in asking for FD, we managed to get one without FD after waiting for a month or so.
    We had to pay Franking charges and Administrative Charges apart for one year rental in advance.

    Any clarity on the extra non-refundable one-time charges (apart from rent) would be appreciated.

    1. Inder

      No idea on that 🙂 . Try our forum –

  48. Michael says:

    In my wife case, OBC bank has kept FD of Rs 10,000/- for a period of 10 yrs (2007-2017) at 8.5% interest rate to hire the locker. At that time, we had no choice but to accept the condition for it was the only bank available nearby and the area was developing new. Can anything be done now?


    1. No you cant do much now ..

  49. Alekh Khanna says:

    Very informative article Manish. Cleared so many doubts ! 😀

  50. Rohith says:

    Hi Manish,

    Are the rules of RBI for safe lockers applicable for co-operative banks?
    I was asked for a deposit of Rs 10,000/- for a locker with rent Rs 3,000/- annually.
    The interesting part was that they were not paying any interest on the deposit. So just wanted to know if these rules are applicable for co-operative banks as well.


    1. Yes , it will be same for co-operative bank also . I think 10k FD is fine .

      1. Rohith says:

        Thanks Manish

  51. Ruchika says:

    An eye opener article!

  52. Suresh K Narula says:

    Well, Manish, 100% security is nowhere. Every place whether your home , office, banks or other places having always carry risk. But at banks, atleast you have peace of mind that your things are secured. We, always heard and read in papers, homes are being burgerled in recurring nature, but banks are roubbred rarely. That’s the peace of mind. We should never think to keep the things in banks that they are well secured, everyone should know pros and cons for security of banks. If you are unlucky, it could be happened anything else.

    1. Yes Suresh

      Agree with you . No where I said that do not keep it in banks locker. I only mentioned about the myth which people have thinking that they are totally secured .

  53. Ram says:

    Nice one Manish. But what about fire and water damage? Isn’t one of the reasons of keeping documents in bank locker to avoid damage due to fire or flooding at home?

    Aren’t banks supposed to have some good fireproof and waterproof lockers?

    1. Yes, banks are supposed to take care of these things ..

  54. smitha says:

    Great article Manish. Never had to opt for a locker but glad to be warned of the tricks that banks use.

  55. Harshdeep Mehta says:

    Cristal-clear article, Manish.

    Good job, keep it up!!!

    1. Thanks Harshdeep !

  56. gazalakhan says:


    I wasnt lucky enough. I was asked to invest 75000 per year in some fund and then my name will be put up in waiting list. Even after I lodged a complaint against this practice. There was no response . I had already invested 50000 as FD and now they are demanding 75000 per year for locker. THis is regarding ICICI bank.

    1. Did you complain to banking ombudsman on this ?

  57. Ajita says:

    This is a brilliant article Manish. I wish You wrote it two years ago. I applied to United Bank of India for a locker. After spending 11 months in the waiting list, they asked for Rs. 1,00,000/- as fixed deposit. When I expressed my astonishment and anger they informed it is the standard rate in any PSU bank. I could not have the locker. I feel cheated now.

    1. Then why dont you earn it now 🙂 .. go to bank and ask for locker now . and wait for them to tell you things .. then tell them about the stardard rules quoting RBI circular and tell them you are filing a RTI quoting his name , complaining to banking ombudsman and also filing a complaint to bank griviance cell . I would be surprised if the guy in front of you does not shiver 🙂 .. Get a locker and treat me next time I am in your town 🙂

  58. Nikhil verma says:


    I also had a similar situation with HDFC bank where the representative asked me to have some product in which I had to invest 50,000 each year for 10 years. I then complained to customer care and the next day I got the call from the same person. He told me that I can go to the branch anytime and get the locker :-).

    Surprisingly I got another locker in ICICI for just 10,000 FD.


    1. Thanks for sharing your case with us 🙂 ..

  59. AMIT DUTTA says:

    Hi Manish,

    How to get a locker in private bank. RTI is applicable to only PSU.

    Do we have any solutions like RTI to get the locker?


    1. Amit

      Tell them you are complaining to banking ombudsman on their practices . That should help !

  60. Abanindra says:

    Very nice article Manish and very informative one. It will be really very helpful, if you can provide some information regarding various insurance that is available today against Jewellery in the locker.

    I also like your diversification suggestion. This one is very useful

    1. All i know about it was just 1 Axis product, which I linked from the article

      1. Abanindra says:

        But that link is not working Manish. Can you please check?

        1. Not sure how you clicked on it, it opened and worked for me . Here is the direct link

          1. Abanindra says:

            Yep. It’s working for me now. Somehow the link was not opening in Chrome, but it has opened in IE.

            1. I opened it on chrome only 🙂 . anyways !

  61. Hem says:

    This is really a great information. Never thought there was so much behind it.

  62. chitra says:

    Thanks for a great article.
    But what happens if the bank collapses? As per my understanding, savings are insured to a limit of Rs 1 Lakh, but what about locker contents?

    1. There is no insurance like that in Lockers ! .

      1. Jhuma says:

        I was under the impression that the lockers are insured by banks, client are charged probably for the same . This way its a win win situation for both the clients and the banks. Isn;t it? I was planning to use one but now I am skeptical. Else what’s the difference between keeping valuables at home than in bank. Please apprise.

        1. No its not like that . Keeping things in banks are more safe than home . Your call !

        2. Manasi V says:


          Keeping valuables at the Bank lockers is a bit more safe because –

          1) The Banks generally have safety procedures in place – security guards, cctv, grilled strong rooms.. etc.

          2)The probability of theft (if any) in your locker in the presence of 40 other lockers in shared/reduced..

          If beyond this, an individual faces some loss, then it might just be luck… who knows – had the valuables been at home, there could be harm to humans also.. while at lockers.. it would just be materialistic things..

          End of day.. its your choice..

  63. bhrat shah says:

    kudos! really very informative article. thank you.

  64. Harsha says:

    Dear Manish,
    A very well put article, very useful information. I guess this article might help a lot of people.

    1. Yea .. please share it with more and more people

  65. Rishi Bhatia says:

    Thanks for Sharing this great article Manish, I myself have been thinking to open a locker in a bank, but they quoted to get an FD for 3 lakh, after which I did not go to that bank. This article has come at a great time, and its time for me to get a locker!!

    1. If its a PSU bank , try using RTI and they cant do much .. You will get one after a bit of follow up . If its a private bank , tell them first that you are writing to banking ombudsman on this and actually do !

  66. The biggest problem with bank lockers is that you have to wait everytime if someone else is in the locker room and if the responsible official is busy, you need to wait until he gets free. PSU banks behave as if we entered their house without their permission and treat us like an unwelcome guest. That’s why people are going for private banks though it is not encouraged thinking about the national good.

    1. Yes, but thats for your own security . You should never know which person has which Locker at which place and who he is .

  67. Ramamurthy says:

    Bank does not know what I have kept in the locker and what is the value. Suppose there is burglary and it happened because of Bank,s negligence.Will the depositor be compensated for the loss and how the amount of compensation be determined?You have not adequately adressed this issue in your article.

    1. This is already covered in the article Ramamurthy !

      1. Ramamurthy says:

        Manish,as I said it is not ADEQUATELY covered in your article.In your Article you say that out of compensation the Bank may receive a portion may be given to the depositor.Am I right?

        1. Yes. Because there is no documentation of what was inside. If you keep 1 lac in your locker and I keep 2 crores . How do we convince them what was inside and of what worth ? Why should they believe you ? So there has to be some standard compensation for everything . For a moment become a imaginary bank and try to imagine a customer who has locker in your bank and he says that he had 50 lacs worth of jewelery inside, now how do you compensate 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FREE Financial Health Checkup

Take up a detailed 25 questions financial health checkup to find out how much you score out of 100?