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Hebrides News


RBS is to hold off the closure of its Barra branch until the end of the year.

The island’s only bank was due to shut for good on 14 June.

A six month reprieve is to allow an independent review of the closure decision.

The study will look at the number of people and businesses using the Castlebay branch.


Jane Howard, managing director for personal banking, said: “During this period we will monitor the level of transactions and new income at each branch.


“If there is a sustained and viable increase in both then we will reconsider the closure of the relevant branch as part of a full independent review.”


The state-backed Royal Bank of Scotland said transactions on Barra reduced by 43% since 2012.


Only 11 customers visit the branch on a weekly basis it maintained.  


Some 56% of customers are now banking digitally with them on a regular basis instead.


It plans to axe 62 branches in Scotland - 40% of its network - plus 197 NatWest sites south of the border with the loss of 680 jobs.

The closure of nine other branches have also been put on ice - Biggar, Beauly, Comrie, Douglas (Lanarkshire), Gretna, Inveraray, Melrose, Kyle and Tongue.

Temporary reprieve for Barra bank

6 February 2018