Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson and Falkirk MP John McNally have hit out at the Royal Bank of Scotland’s decision to shut down its branches in Denny and Stenhousemuir at the start of October, urging the bank to reconsider the closures.

Mr Matheson said: “The closures, which will affect many of my constituents across Falkirk West, isn’t just bad news for the loyal customers and staff of the RBS branches but, in the case of Denny, it’s another blow for a town that has already lost its Clydesdale Bank and TSB branches in recent times.

“To make matters worse, when RBS closed its branch in neighbouring Bonnybridge in 2014, one of the excuses was that customers there could use the Denny branch instead. Now RBS customers who prefer a personal service to online or mobile banking will have to travel nearly five miles to the nearest branch in Falkirk – something that will hit elderly residents, who are most likely to rely on a local branch to conduct their banking affairs, hardest.

“RBS remains largely owned by taxpayers, who bailed out the bank in its hour of need, but now it is repaying that favour by leaving loyal customers in the lurch. I will be writing to the chief executive urging him to reconsider this decision.”

Mr McNally added: “I am deeply disappointed that RBS has taken the decision to close its branches in Denny and Stenhousemuir.

“Constituents rely on and need their bank as they organise their day-to-day finances. It makes such a difference having a member of banking staff available to discuss things with.

“While it’s true that many people use online banking these days, there are others, especially more elderly residents, who do not and who much prefer to talk to a human being. Losing a bank is a blow to any high street.”

Denny councillor Paul Garner also condemned the announcement. He said: “This is terrible news for residents, as it will leave Denny and its neighbouring towns and villages with only one bank – which is a ridiculous situation for a town of this size.”