Bank lockers safety, insurance guidelines announced
Saturday, 02 February 2008

Staff Correspondent

Bangladesh Bank has asked commercial banks to comply with the safe deposit and insurance guidelines to safeguard valuables kept in strong boxes, or risk losing branch licences.

Insurance has been made mandatory for bank lockers and the insurance guidelines and security features have already been made available to banks.

Commercial banks have to ensure adequate security and insurance coverage to continue their locker operations, the central bank said in a circular Thursday.

New security guidelines require the banks to assess security agencies or individuals before appointing them at branches.

Locations and structures of the buildings that house bank branches must also be taken into consideration, the circular said.

The banks will have to inform Bangladesh Bank within 30 days that their security arrangements comply with the guidelines. If they fail to meet compliances by that time, they would be given another 90 days, the circular said.

Failure to comply with the guidelines will lead to suspension of safe deposit facilities and even closure of bank branches, it warned.

Locker holders would be apprised of the insurance policy in advance and maximum and minimum amounts to be covered under the policy.

It would be corporate group insurance based on categories and sizes of locker, the circular said.

In case of any damage or loss of the valuables put inside the lockers, the banks would recompense the clients within the limit of the policy and later they (banks) would claim the amount from the insurance companies.

The recent BRAC Bank gold heist prompted the central bank to formulate security and insurance guidelines for banks’ strong rooms.

Burglars made off with a huge amount of ornaments and other valuables by breaking into the vault and forcing open 75 lockers of BRAC Bank’s Dhanmondi Branch in Dhaka on January 6.

‘This was an eye-opener for us. There were incidents of bank robberies in the past, but this was for the first time in the country’s banking history that valuables were stolen from bank’s lockers,’ a central bank official earlier said.

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