RBS offers a reprieve to 10 Scottish branches… but none in the north-east

Disappointment shrouded the Royal Bank of Scotland’s decision to give a reprieve to just 10 banks last night, with branches in the north-east still facing the axe.

RBS announced yesterday that its branches in Ellon, Banff, Turriff, Dyce and Bridge of Don will not be spared the chop later this summer despite massive campaigns calling for a U-turn.

In Turriff, hundreds of people – including the town’s business association – backed a petition to save its facility.

The locals were supported by former bank employee and current councillor Alastair Forsyth.

Last night, he said: “Clearly, it is disappointing that Turriff hasn’t been selected to be one of the branches to stay open.

“But we still have Edinburgh in our sights to make that point as far as I’m concerned.”

Mr Forsyth had last month launched an extraordinary bid to buy shares in the bank alongside Banff councillor Glen Reynolds.

It could allow the two councillors to attend the bank’s annual general meeting in Edinburgh to put forward a business case for keeping their town’s branches open.

In Ellon, where customers will lose their Bridge Street branch, councillor Gillian Owen said she hoped the right call was made.

“I welcome that they’ve made a decision to keep some banks open, I just hope they are the right ones,” she said.

Two banks in Dyce and Aberdeen will also be cut.

Vera Paxton, the chairwoman of Dyce Community Council said the closure will be “an inconvenience for a lot of people”.

She said: “A lot of people in Dyce will be swapping their banks, as there are branches of three other banks in Dyce.

“Internet banking might be better, but for a lot of people in the older generation it’s not possible.

“They will have to either change their bank, or they’ll have to go into town every time.”