Mumbai: Bank locker holders on edge, says survey

Change of rules and rising charges have compelled customers to either stop using the service or look for affordable alternatives

Sanjay JogUpdated: Tuesday, January 03, 2023, 01:14 AM IST
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Mumbai: A survey by LocalCircles, a community social media platform, said that six out of 10 respondents felt the need to either change the bank or downsize the locker they have rented owing to the rising charges. 78% respondents think the banking system has become either expensive, complex or both.

The survey received over 21,000 responses from banking consumers across 303 districts of India. 63% of the respondents were men while 37% were women. 43% of the respondents were from metros or tier 1 districts, 30% from tier 2 districts and 27% from tier 3, 4 and rural districts.

“The latest change in rules for holding a locker and the way banks have implemented it, is expected to further reinforce the growing public perception that banking services have become more complex and expensive. In the case of bank lockers for instance, the steep increase in rental is making six out of 10 survey respondents rethink on whether to maintain the facility or to take a smaller vault or switch the bank. The decline in consumer faith in banking services doesn’t speak well of the efforts to woo more people into the formal financial network,’’ it said.

Of the 9,381 respondents, 14% indicated plans to give up the locker due to charges which have shot up 100-300% depending on the bank, 31% are proposing to shift to a bank charging less and 14% are planning to rent a smaller locker. 2% were as yet undecided while 39% respondents have no plans to change their lockers.

Answering about the rising charges, 52% of 11,984 respondents said the banking system has become both complex and expensive, 4% felt banking services have become complex while 13 % felt the system is not complex but is now more expensive. On the other hand, 19% respondents felt the system was now simpler and inexpensive, 9% respondents stated that there has been no change while 3% were undecided.

The Reserve Bank of India had modified the rules governing bank lockers with effect from January 1, 2022 but most banks appear not to have informed the customers about one of the major changes while increasing the rental of lockers.

Sachin Taparia, LocalCircles Founder

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