65% respondents prefer lockers of nationalised banks: Moneylife Survey
Moneylife Digital Team 30 June 2015
Considering the high costs levied by private banks for bank lockers, most respondents to Moneylife’s Survey preferred to go with a public sector banks
 
Moneylife conducted an online survey to study user perception on bank lockers. The survey, which closed on 20 March 2015, obtained 765 responses. Private Banks charge a fat multiple of what a public sector bank. Not surprisingly, over 65% of those who responded to the survey said they have lockers with nationalised banks (28% had lockers with private banks). However, costs apart, this may also be a reflection of the number of nationalised bank branches across India. 
 
   
The respondents are educated, tech-savvy individuals, who are either on social media (Twitter and Facebook) or subscribed to Moneylife. It is also clear that an overwhelming majority (91%) of those who responded are people who already have a locker.
 
Locker rentals at many nationalised banks are still in the region of Rs700 to Rs800 per year, which seems extremely fair for those who have valuables that need to be stored securely. In some cases, the locker rental in a private bank is as high as Rs20,000 a year. Naturally, private and foreign banks like to woo their large customers by offering discounts on those who have fat fixed deposits (FDs) or a big 'banking relationship'.
 
About 60% of our respondents were willing to pay less than Rs2,000 to hire a locker, which practically shuts them out of the private bank locker market. Just over 35% of respondents were willing to pay private bank locker charges that vary from Rs2,000 to Rs6,000 pa and just over 3% are willing to pay over Rs6,000 a year. This means, although locker rentals at some banks can go up to Rs20,000, only a tiny percentage of consumers are willing to pay such charges for lockers.
 
Nearly 60% of the respondents said they had never been denied a locker. Only 29% were turned down initially or had conditions imposed for renting a locker. While many respondents were denied a locker because of unavailability, many people chose not to avail a locker when the banks demanded that the customer maintain a huge sum of money in FDs. In some cases, where the banks stated unavailability of lockers, they also added that lockers could be made available if the customer chooses to invest in an insurance scheme.
 
Importantly, nearly 40% of the respondents were unaware that banks are legitimately allowed to collect some fixed deposit as a condition for renting lockers. Over 40% of our respondents reported having been demanded a sum or purchase beyond the prescribed limit (deposit worth three years of locker rent along with charges to break open the locker in case of such an eventuality) in order to avail a locker.  The amounts asked to be maintained in FDs varied from as little as Rs10,000 (which was a  legitimate condition, but the respondent did not pay) and Rs25,000 to Rs10 lakh. But, by and large, most were asked to maintain an FD of Rs1 lakh only.
 
A quick look at the findings shows that most people are fairly satisfied with the banks’ locker service on all key parameters. Those who complain are often unaware of the rules and conditions or unwilling to take into account rising realty costs.
 
Almost 80% of our survey respondents were satisfied with the level of security provided by their banks to protect their valuables—like sturdy lockers, burglar alarms and CCTV surveillance.
 
In our survey, it was observed that an overwhelming majority (87.7%) of respondents had not purchased insurance for the jewellery kept in the locker, although most were aware that banks do not insure the content of lockers. 
 
   
Over a third of the respondents do not maintain a list of items they place in the locker. That means only three out of 10 people have taken a conscious note of the exact value of the items they have placed in the locker. This can be dangerous. If something untoward were to happen, how would they even calculate their loss?
Comments
AJOY KUMAR SARAF
7 years ago
The same is story in other banks Locker Rooms as it is to avoid shot circuit whe it is closed for the rest of the time.
I am having a/c with SBI Malleshwaram Bangalore but was shocked to note that now there are no minimum free cheque leafs like 20 or 25 per year for Savings A/c holders as was the case before. they are charged for any new issue chq book request. does RBI has allowed to charge from SB Holders for chq book .
Further Cash Deposit Pay in slips have been removed from the counters as the bank is now going paperless.They ask you to bring Debit Cards to do cash transactions.
Will Currency Notes also be vanished in near future.
webkitendfullscreen
7 years ago

I was in need of a bank locker. We got the locker assigned from one of the leading banks. That was late February 2015.

We entered the locker room and found that there were no lights inside. We went in search of the light switch and found one – very near to the entrance of the locker door. We pressed all the switches but in vain. Then we noticed a black wire going out from the junction box where these switches are present. Actually, the power was coming into the locker room from outside with a simple plug. We noticed that, went out, put the plug in the socket and bang – we got the lights inside the locker room. Bravo!!

We returned to the lady who is in-charge of the locker and told her the locker number. She walked us through the locker room and the usual procedure of we inserting our key first followed by the bank’s key. The bank lady had quite a big bunch containing various keys. I was wondering how she is going to identify the master key of our locker. May be she might have memorized the same or by practice she knows which key to be inserted. The imagination was all wrong. It was a very simple task for the banker to determine the key number to be inserted. It is literally “written on the wall”. Yes – the master key number was physically written on the locker itself – in bold letters.

From the attached image you may notice that the “master key number 102” will open this set of lockers.



There was neither security for the server room nor the room where all the wires containing valuable customer data is being transmitted. It clearly states that it is a COMMS Room and the red label states that “Unauthorized entry prohibited”. While the “Clear Signage” might satisfy the internal and external auditors, anyone who has the intention of getting the data out can very easily plug in any device at the back of any of the communication equipment or the servers seamlessly.



Last week when we visited the branch to access the locker, I causally asked the lady who accompanies us to access the locker about the unavailability of the emergency lights inside the locker room. She said that usually it should be there but – it does not appear to be there. To my luck, the very moment I was accessing the locker, the power went off for a few minutes and we were in darkness inside the locker room, with my locker opened.

I raised this issue with Ombudsmen of RBI as well as to the concerned bank.

I got a standard mail from the Deputy General Manager of Customer Services Department as below:

Dear Sir/Madam,

We acknowledge the receipt of your below mentioned email.

We have forwarded your complaint to the concerned department/agmcustomer/pstocgm at the local head office who will be arranging for resolution of your issue/complaint/feedback and will be responding/contacting you shortly.

Even after four months, the status is the same in the branch. I did not receive any further communication from the bank either.

Am I the only one who is worrying ?
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