COMMUNITY leaders and residents have slammed a decision by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to close its branch in Renfrew.

Bosses at RBS say the closure of the Canal Street office will take place in June next year, with customers advised 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, especially after Clydesdale Bank also chose to shut its doors in the town in June.

Effie McGachie, chair of Renfrew Community Council, said: “I think it’s an absolute disgrace.

“We have lost a lot of banks in Renfrew over the years and it’s very sad RBS have decided to do this.

“I am always in a queue when I go to do my banking so them saying people are not using the high street banks is a load of rubbish.

“People my age do not have computers and have to go into a bank to actually get things done. It’s a real blow.”

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

Scotland’s biggest union Unite hit out at the proposals labelling them as ‘morally bankrupt’.

Residents took to social media to vent their frustration with some branding the move as ‘ridiculous’.

Jillian Gemmell said on Facebook: “They have just closed the Govan branch so this only leaves Paisley if people want to visit a branch. It’s ridiculous.”

Sarah Watters said: “Renfrew is such a hive of activity nowadays, I can see no logic for a business to leave such a hot spot.”

Derek Mackay, Renfrewshire North and West MSP, described the decision to close the Renfrew branch as “very disappointing” and has written to RBS to ask for a meeting with management.

He 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.”

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”.

A spokesman for RBS said: “As customers continue to change the way they bank, we must change the way we serve them, so we are investing in our more popular branches and shaping our network, replacing traditional branches with alternative ways to bank.”