Safe in a Big Bank…

An average Ukrainian person, when going over the artistic and scientific works of foreign filmmakers formed a distinct idea about the bank soundness and exceptional value of its services. Unable to explore the bank activities identity from inside and put into its work specifics, we stereotypically draw the bank in our own thinking as a big, large safe, filled with gold bars. Such a “safe” can be individualized and personalized as a safe deposit box for family jewels.

The question you ask yourself: “Who has not dreamed that in the near future will succeed and will have own safe in a bank safe deposit box?” Almost everything can be kept in such a safe: currency values, precious stones, bank metals, securities, privacy correspondence and so on.

The main measures of a bank safe for us are confidentiality of owner data, confidentiality and security of the safe’s contents.

Let’s try to figure it out, if it’s really so, if there are any imponderables.

As is well known, banks in Ukraine operate accordingly the special law – the Law of Ukraine “On Banks and Banking” dd. 07.12.2000 № 2121-III, that is aimed on legitimate interest protection of depositors and bank clients.

This Law defines the types of banking activities, that are combined with financial (banking) services and other types of non-financial services, one of which is the keeping of valuable goods and property lease providing of an individual bank safe.

For those clients, who use the individual bank safe rent service, the main pull factor, is for sure that its usage and realization is included into the bank security content that requires special legal mode. Banks are obliged by law to maintain bank secrecy.

Under the bank secrecy are provided:

  • clients bank account details;
  • bank transactions in favor or on a behalf of a client, performed deals;
  • financial-economic client status;
  • security system for the bank and client protection, etc.

Bank-client system, according to the individual bank safe rent is determined and regulated under the agreement of the parties. Beyond the terms and amount of payment for the rented safe use, also included the following essential conditions, such as the safe access order procedure, for the client or his authorized person (safe deposit box), also assurances from the bank about the inviolability of the safe contents by third parties.

It may seem, after the agreement is signed, the client is absolutely protected and can keep his property in a bank safe, without worrying, only about prompt payment for such services.

Though the traps may occur.

In the Unified State Register of Court Decisions, is general local, appeal and Supreme Court decision in the case № 372/4948/15-c, in which the claimant (an individual) tried to receive compensation from the bank for loss suffered, that was caused by improper agreement about personal safe deposit usage from the bank part. According to the case circumstances, it happened once, the client, who has visited his safe deposit box, discovered that there were no deposited currency values. According to his application, criminal proceeding was registered under the Article 185 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (theft) and pre-trial investigations were initiated.

In this process, as part of civil legal relations, by the courts were not found grounds to satisfy the bank client claim. In my opinion, the court decisions in this case are absolutely lawful, in terms of that the claimant did not provide adequate and admissible evidence of the funds presence in the rented personal safe. At the same time, according to the purpose for which the client rents the safe, there could not be such evidence, because the inner safe deposit box property should only be known to the client.

For sure such decisions do not support the right in the judicial system. However, even considering the fact that the bank in a particular case is not obliged by the court to pay a certain financial compensation in favor of the client, the very presence of information about this case in the public is a serious reputational and image loss of the bank.

It is clear that at the legislative level such a situation is not resolved. At the same time, there are ways to solve this problem. So, it can be agreed and leveled directly from the bank side, by the setting and implementing of certain effective regulations of secure access to clients and ones to the depository safe area. Therefore, the current (ongoing) regulations in this bank proved to be ineffective.

So, what are the lessons?

Before signing an agreement of an individual bank safe rent, a potential client should carefully review with the bank secure system and access to the client’s cells, and only

Safe in a Big Bank…
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