ROYAL Bank of Scotland plans to cut mobile banking services just months after announcing the closure of rural branches have been met with derision and disbelief.

Politicians were stunned by the changes to the timetable for RBS’s mobile bank, due to come in next month, which showed that while the van will make more stops, it will cut the amount time at some locations by more than half.

Stops in Kingussie will be slashed from 45 minutes two days a week to 20 minutes once a week.

Customers in Spean Bridge will only get a 15-minute window on Thursdays instead of the current 45 minute slots on Mondays and Thursdays, and the van will no longer visit Helmsdale, Rogart or Latheronwheel,

Villagers in Golspie, Brora, Bonar Bridge, Lairg and Dunbeath will see theier visits increase, with the van coming once a week instead of once a fortnight.

Earlier this year, Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee probed RBS over plans to close 62 mostly rural branches in Scotland.

The bank announced the plans in December last year, saying the rapid increase in online and mobile banking had seen a 40 per cent drop in customers coming into the buildings since 2014.

Bosses from RBS, which is still 70 per cent owned by the taxpayer, assured MPs that they were investing in mobile banking to allow customers continued access to face-to-face banking.

Les Matheson, the chief executive of RBS’s personal and business banking suggested the mobile bans would mitigate the branch closures.

“We have to adapt,” he told MPs. “We have to respond to what customers are doing and how they are changing and that includes in rural areas.”

Matheson said he had “been out to many of the branches that are closing to speak to first of all our colleagues there and then also to our customers”. He went on, promising the bank was “increasing the number of mobile vans that we have”.

Yesterday, Labour MP Ged Killen said the issue would be raised with RBS boss Ross McEwen when he’s up in front of the committee next month.

“RBS executives offered reassurances in good faith that customers would be supported through the closure of 62 branches in Scotland when they appeared before the Scottish Affairs Select Committee in January.

“These words will now appear hollow to those communities which could be cut off as a result of the scaling back of the mobile bank van service.

“This type of action is typical of the RBS approach to its customers. Throughout the rounds of bank closures, RBS has offered olive branches of support when put under pressure over concerns about reduced services, only for them to be snatched away once the dust has settled.”

SNP MSP Jenny Gilruth, who has campaigned against branch closures in Fife, called it “appalling behaviour”.

“Not only have they reduced the service to customers across the country even further – they’ve done so by quietly changing the timetable as opposed to being straight with people,” she added.

“It’s yet another betrayal of RBS customers in Fife and across the country.

“It’s time for RBS to be up front with customers and communities – this kind of behaviour erodes trust in the bank even further after their shameful rounds of closures over the last few years. They ought to remember who saved the bank from going under just a decade ago.”