The Royal Bank of Scotland has today (6 Feb) announced it plans to press ahead with the closure of three of its branches in Dumfries and Galloway despite widespread opposition to the move.

RBS have confirmed they won’t go ahead with the closure with 10 of the initial 62 branches in Scotland they planned to shut, following a back room deal with the SNP to stop the firm being held accountable for its decision- but this include just one in Dumfries and Galloway.

Only Gretna will have its local RBS bank remain open, whilst Lockerbie, Langholm and Annan will all see its branches close.However, the reprieve is only temporary and the Gretna branch will only remain open only until the end of the year before it is reviewed, putting further jobs under threat. The other 3 bank branches will have their branch close within the next few months.

The deal is an especially difficult for Langholm with whom RBS is the only remaining bank in the town.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said, “This dodgy deal just doesn’t go far enough. There is no logic in a decision that says the RBS in Gretna should stay open because it’s the last in town when the same can be said about Langholm. The fact that the Gretna branch is only a reprieve until the end of the year will act as a real disincentive for customers to join the bank or staff to stay in their jobs as it may just be a short term stay fix. In the meantime, those staff and the public losing yet more services in Langholm, Lockerbie and Annan will rightly feel aggrieved at the way they are being treated. RBS should reverse all four of these closure proposals and give a longer term guarantee to staff and customers. If they don’t then frankly the UK Government and the Secretary of state for Scotland should get a grip and intervene. The Government own the majority of shares in the bank and could put a stop to these closures now. Their failure to do so and their inaction has been a total dereliction of duty”.