BRITAIN’S banks have been accused of abandoning the Highlands and Islands as representatives of the area condemned the latest wave of RBS branch closures there.

Branches in Aviemore, Beauly, Kyle of Lochalsh and Mallaig will shut by the summer – leaving some constituents more than 40 miles from their nearest RBS.

The only bank on the remote isle of Barra in the Western Isles will close, leaving locals with a ferry journey to get to their nearest bank.

READ MORE: Rural areas ‘catastrophe’ as RBS shuts 62 branches, axing 158 jobs

Although there are visiting mobile banks in the mainland towns, Kate Forbes, the MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, said she was deeply concerned what the closures will mean for rural communities across Scotland.

She said: “RBS is just the latest bank to abandon the Highlands and forget the local communities who depend on their services. These banks are deserting the Highlands.

“How are elderly and vulnerable customers supposed to access banking services, when they are expected to travel an hour from Mallaig to Fort William, or from Kyle to Portree? That is, of course, if the bus service is working perfectly.

“It is clear [from] the waves of closures across the Highlands that national banks are failing rural customers and businesses in the Highlands.”

She added “I have already spoken with senior representatives at RBS and I will further express my grave concerns about customers accessing banking services.”

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus Brendan MacNeil is inviting RBS to come to Barra to discuss the proposed closure there.

MacNeil said: “They simply cannot close this branch. If RBS continue these proposed savage cuts across the country they should drop Scotland from their name, as they would be trading under a very false impression.”