Opening a safe deposit locker in SBI

A new branch of SBI opened near my home.  Like other Banks, this one had safe deposit lockers. My wife made a visit to the Branch to enquire about availability of locker.

She was told that the lockers were available but one needed to open a fixed deposit of Rs.5 lakhs to get a small locker and a large amount to get a larger locker.

Me and my wife both have a Savings Bank account with SBI.  We even have a fixed deposit.  This did not apparently matter.

An aunt of ours works in SBI and we told her this.  She was deputed to this branch for a couple of days when the regular manager was on leave.

She helped us do the necessary formalities which helped us initiate transfer of our existing account to this branch and get us a locker.  She did request us to place a fixed deposit, just so that the regular Bank manager would be happy.

We were really lucky.  The regular Manager was pretty unhappy that a locker was issued without "sufficient" fixed deposit being made.  It was evident that the branches had a target to mobilize deposits and the locker was the easiest way to get there.

According to the RBI guidelines,

4.1.1 Linking of Allotment of Lockers to placement of Fixed Deposits
Banks should not link the provisions of lockers facility with placement of fixed or any other deposit beyond what is specifically permitted.
4.1.2 Fixed Deposit as Security for Lockers
Banks may obtain a Fixed Deposit which would cover 3 year's 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.

It is not clear "what is specifically permitted", but I would think, a minimum deposit of Rs.5 lakhs isn't!

Update: 4 December 2013

A few days after we got a locker, we tried to get one for my brother-in-law.  The Manager flatly refused to give one, without a "sufficiently large" deposit.   That was a three or four months back.

But then two-three weeks back, when my wife visited the Branch, the staff asked her if my brother-in-law still wanted a locker.  It seems, the Branch still had a bunch of lockers available and possibly, they needed to give them off by the year-end.

"But what about the deposit?" asked my wife.

"We can discuss - whatever you can put madam", said the staff.  Gone was the arrogance.  Now the customer was the king.

Moral of the story:  The early bird may get the worm, but he who laughs last, laughs best!


  1. Very informative. Could you please tell me which city and locality this branch is in?

  2. Sure, Vibhutipura Branch, Bangalore.

  3. Hello Raghuram,
    My wife and I too managed to get a locker at SBI, Pune, but for this they wanted us to take a Life Insurance policy and also open an FD. The policy term is that I have to pay 1 lac per year for 5 years. What do you suggest?

  4. Hey, I am not a Financial advisor and hence cannot comment:)

  5. Thank you for the information. Some banks like hbsc not insisting any FD and only some Rs.1,500 to 2,000/- to be paid towards rent for the locker that too they will debit from our account.

  6. How safe are these lockers ?? My branch at Hoodi is asking for a deposit of 50k for small and 100K for medium locker apart from the rentals. That's one point and the second being the safety factor. Also exactly how do you put your articles and docs in -- ie in an envelope or box and are these provided by the bank or our personal ones would do? I have never had a locker before, so safety is high on my mind given the way nationalized banks function. Also is it HBSC or HSBC (which branch) that doesn't insist on a FD? So do we need to open an account there and maintain an AQB of 10K ? Kindly help. Thank you.

  7. Fixed deposits for Lockers is Big Drama, When I asked for a locker at SBI they asked me to take a SBI policy or fixed deposit of 3L. I simply send a RTI letter to Branch Manager by spending Rs 40(including register post charges) asking the requirements to get a locker, that's it I get the locker in 3 days, no FD, no policy nothing, just deposit 3 years of locker rent(~3300RS).

    1. Great !! Where and in which branch did you apply for locker?

    2. I am facing similar situation in SBI. How to get/write an RTI letter.
      Can u help me on this?

    3. I am facing similar situation in SBI. How to get/write an RTI letter.
      Can u help me on this?

    4. im also facing this kind of problem

      can u plz tell me how can we get RTI letter

  8. Even I am experiencing similar situations... Here they do not let me know if there is availability they just ask you to come every April when they stock of those not used etc... some stories... I have been religiously doing it... visit my branch every April to en-quire the availability since 2010.... I am yet to get one :(

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  10. Today I paid a visit to the State Bank of India kolkata, Dum Dum Cantonment Branch. The manager on a previous visit asked for an SBI LIFE policy to be taken for availing locker but shockingly today she asked us to write an application (which is mandatory I suppose) and a deposit of TEN Lakhs!!. I wonder how on earth will anyone avail locker facility if the deposit demanded is exorbitant and so high. In order to reach or attain certain target depositfor the current fiscal year, the manager has taken up easy and unscrupulous method. RBI should provide a clean set of guidelines for availing the locker facility across all banks. It shouldn't be on the whims of the branch manager. No wonder why the banking and financial infrastructure is a total failure in our country. Ponzi schemes, fake corporate houses operate openly since it's easy to get away if you are rich and know this, it has been made easier by these banks who favor the elite few.

    1. Please ask the manager to state the same thing in writing . And again ask through RTI. Both replies send to consumer forum . with your contact nos. within 3 days they will be begging and give you locker without any FD . My two friends did the same thing . They got it.

      If they does not give it writing then bluntly blast them . If possible take a hidden camera.

    2. Hi Mainak,

      Can you please let us know if your friends are existing customers or new customers to that branch? Also in the interest of many sufferers, can format of the RTI be posted here so that others can benefit too?


    3. I had same problem dont hesitate to complaint SBI helpline. After complaint they will run behind you to please close the complaint and will help you completing all formalities. Know your Rights and dont hesitate to complaint at proper place. It works.

  11. Hello, I am a citizen of United States by naturalization. I have been living in the US for the last 40 yrs. My parents were Indian citizens. After my father's death, my mother was using the State Bank of India for banking purposes. She had savings and fixed deposite accounts. She also kept her belings in locker at the bank. However, my mother didnt have any nominee for her account or her locker. Suddently my mother passed away 8 years ago. As the sole heir of my parents, I am trying to close her accounts and the locker. They allowed me to take inventory of the content in the locker. They also transferred the cash from my mother's bank account and to my NRO account. Now, to get the content of the lockier, it is a nightmare for me. Though I produced documents that I am the legal heir of my parents, they are asking me to get TWO individuals and their detailed wealth information as indemnity. I don't have anyone like that who would provide and reveal their financial wealth to the bank on behalf of me. Is there any way I can legally get the content of my mother's locker from the bank? Is there a legal way to get the bank to release the content of my mother's locker to me? Please advise!!


    Pl refer the attached file

  13. My father had a locker in sbi since many years but due to his illness he also attached my name in the locker 3yrs before his death... After his death in 2006 i had submitted his death crtificate n also an application so that the rent cud be deducted from my savings account which was in the same branch.... I had operated the locker couples of times after my fathers death... But last year they said me that the locker is still in my dads name n if i am operating its illegal...
    Wat i want to know that if its still in my fathers name than how can they take rent from my account.... Is this legal.... They are forcing me to surrender the locker... Can anyone guide me how to deal in this case....

  14. Any query related to bank lockets availability and charges, please visit here


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