Bank with no locks opens in India

UCO Bank advertisementThe 3,000 residents of the western Indian town of Shani Shinganapur follow a Hindu faith that prohibits doors on their homes, as they believe their ruling diety, Lord Shani, protects them and would strike down any thieves. Now UCO Bank has opened the first commercial branch in Shani Shinganapur, and according to this Times of India report, the bank has bowed to community norms and has no locks.

A UCO official says:

We took note of the general belief and faith of the people. Ever since the most revered temple came into existence several years ago, the village has not witnessed a single crime. In fact, all houses in the entire village have no doors. We took the risk and started the lockless bank a week ago.

There were a couple of immediate problems that didn’t involve theft. India’s banking regulations require security systems to be installed in all banks, and UCO still has to address the challenge of storing cash when nobody’s working, as the bank doesn’t apparently trust the diety as much as the locals do. An Andhra report explains:

The other banks in the nearest town Sonai have refused to cooperate with the UCO Bank branch to store its cash overnight on public holidays and weekends. The UCO Bank’s own nearest branch is at Ahmednagar, 40 km away, making it an impractical proposition to transfer huge amounts of cash to and fro twice a day by road.

Assuming those two matters can be settled, “in months to come, the branch is planning to start an ATM near the temple.”