EAST Renfrewshire’s MP has accused Royal Bank of Scotland bosses of being “totally unbothered” by the impact branch closures have on customers.

Paul Masterton hit out as he faced bank chiefs during a Scottish Affairs Select Committee enquiry into the matter.

RBS has already shut down its Barrhead, Newton Mearns and Netherlee branches in the last two years.

And, last month, RBS Group announced it is to close a further 259 branches..

The bank has suggested mobile vans will be used in place of branches as part of a ‘community banking’ initiative.

However, Mr Masterton said that, when he asked how RBS plans to cater for wheelchair-bound customers unable to access such vans, bosses said a staff member would hold up an umbrella if it was raining.

The Conservative politician also made RBS chiefs aware of the spate of Post Office closures in his constituency, saying they further limit everyday banking alternatives.

Mr Masterton said: “RBS showed a total lack of understanding of the impact on communities and, indeed, their own reputational damage.

“They seem totally unbothered by it all. Banks have a social responsibility to provide a service for customers.

“One way they could rebuild the broken trust the public has in them would be to not close all of these local branches. However, they seem unconcerned about public opinion.

“In the end, I was so frustrated and dismayed by their responses that I left them with one simple question: ‘Why on Earth should anyone continue banking with RBS?’”

In response to questions from MPs, bosses at RBS insisted the bank was responding to changes in customer behaviour, including increased use of online banking.

Jane Howard, managing director of personal banking, and Les Matheson, chief executive of personal and business banking, also told the committee that the closures would save the bank £9.5million annually.

Mr Matheson said: “We understand that customers are concerned about the change, that customers find change difficult, and we are committed to helping them through that process, and we have lots of ways of doing that.

“We are both personally committed, as are all of our colleagues, to helping every individual customer.”