THE Royal Bank of Scotland is to close its Renfrew branch.

Bosses at RBS say the closure of the Canal Street office will take place in June next year, with customers advised that their nearest branch will then be Moncrieff Street, in Paisley.

The move is a blow to residents in Renfrew, as well as those in the likes of Erskine, Inchinnan and Bishopton.

Derek Mackay, Renfrewshire North and West MSP, has described the decision as "very disappointing."

He has written to RBS to ask for a meeting with management to discuss the closure plans.

Mr Mackay said: “This is a branch not only used by people from Renfrew but, as the only branch in the west side of Renfrewshire, it is also used by people from Erskine, Inchinnan, Bishopton and other villages.

“I am seeking a meeting with RBS, when I will be pressing the management to ensure none of my constituents are left disadvantaged by this move.

“It is essential that the bank ensures there is sufficient capacity elsewhere to cater for all the needs of the customers that will be let down by this decision.”

The Renfrew branch is one of 62 being closed by RBS across Scotland, with the loss of 158 jobs.

Bosses say the closures are necessary as more people choose to bank online or on mobile phones.

The Scottish Government said the news was "hugely concerning" to many people as it would leave large parts of the country, particularly rural areas, with limited branch coverage.

And officials at the Unite trade union said the move would "devastate local communities."

However, a spokesman for RBS said: "More and more of our customers are choosing to do their everyday banking online or on mobile. Since 2014, the number of customers using our branches across the UK has fallen by 40 per cent and mobile transactions have increased by 73 per cent over the same period.

"More than five million customers now use our mobile banking app and one in five only bank with us digitally.

"We're providing our customers with more ways to bank than ever before. They can choose from a range of digital to face-to-face options.

"As customers continue to change the way they bank with us, we must change the way we serve them, so we are investing in our more popular branches and shaping our network, replacing traditional bricks-and-mortar branches with alternative ways to bank, including community bankers, mobile banks on wheels and post offices, so that we can reach even more customers."

Business Minister Paul Wheelhouse said the closure plans will be "hugely concerning" to many people.

He added: "The worst impact will be on the most vulnerable members of our society, for many of whom going into a branch is the only feasible way to conduct their banking.

"While recognising that footfall in branches is falling due to online banking, RBS and other banks must take into account the needs of all customers, not just those who can access and use digital services.

"Along with my colleagues, I will be engaging with RBS to ensure that everything possible is being done to mitigate the impact of this decision on communities affected."

Mary Alexander, Unite Scotland's deputy regional secretary, said: "RBS has forgotten about the many people in foodbank Scotland who cannot afford to take the bus to their nearest banking facility or parents with small children who do not have access to a car.

"Nor do they care much about the elderly or those in poor health who cannot travel any distance to their nearest branch."