• Some banks insist that the hirer either open a savings/ current account or place an
amount with the bank in a fixed deposit.
• A locker may be hired in a single name or in joint names.
• If it is joint names there must be clarity on how it will be operated.
• When a holder seeks to open the locker, the banker has the person sign a register in his/
her presence. After checking the signature the banker accompanies the holder to the
• Lockers usually open with two keys – one being with the banker and the other with the
holder. These two keys are inserted at the same time to open the locker.
• After the locker is opened, the banker usually leaves, leaving the holder to either place
more articles in the locker or remove articles from the locker.
• If the lessee of the locker dies, the banker may hand over custody to the survivor if the
operation was “either or survivor” or the nominee. The survivor/ nominee in this case
accepts control of the contents as a trustee.
• If the operation was single, and there was no “either or survivor clause’ or nomination
made, the possession of the locker should be given to the legal heirs on their submitting a
• Whenever possession is given and contents are handed over a third party, a detailed
inventory should be taken. This should be ideally in the presence of the bank’s lawyer and
the lawyer of the person who is being handed possession of the contents.
• Nomination facility is available with lockers.
• Bankers are not liable for items lost from the locker nor for individual items claimed to
be missing as the banker does not know the contents of the locker.
• The exception is when due to gross negligence the locker is opened and items are stolen.
Even then it is difficult to quantify the loss as the contents are only known to the holder.
In these situations courts usually determine whether banks are liable to pay damages and
• Banks accept goods and valuables of customers f