THE Alloa branch of RBS has been given a temporary reprieve, with the closure date extended by around five months.

The bank on the High Street was initially due to shut on Monday, June 18, but will now keep welcoming customers until Wednesday, November 7.

After that, the nearest branch for people in the Wee County will be in Stirling, which is due to move to the Thistles Shopping Centre.

The decision has been welcomed by local MP Luke Graham, who has vigorously opposed the closure and campaigned against it since last year.

He said: “I am delighted to hear that RBS has decided to reverse its decision, and extended the life of the Alloa bank branch.

“This shows all the hard work of the community has had an impact.

"It also shows the power that strong, locally focused campaigns can have.

“This is a win, but I won’t stop working to secure a long-term solution for Alloa”

The Alloa branch of RBS is one of 62 that it is due to be axed.

The company has previously spoken of the fall in footfall and the shift towards the use of digital technology.

RBS has said the Stirling bank will move to its new location from Stirling Pitt Terrace as part of its drive to improve customers’ banking experience.

The new branch will be open Monday-Friday 9.15am to 5pm, except Wednesdays when it opens at 10am, and 9.15am to 3pm on Saturdays.

Andrew Neilson, of RBS, said: "The new branch will create more space for face-to-face support for customers, improve the automation services and offer free Wi-Fi to support digital banking for customers.

"We are committed to ensuring our customers and communities are able to continue accessing quality banking services.

"As part of this, our new community banker service provides customers with personal assistance and support to access our non-cash services, as well as help with achieving their financial plans and goals – replicating many of the services available in our branches.

"Customers are able to choose from a range of alternative ways to bank, tailored to the needs of our customers and reflective of the way they live their lives."

Since RBS made the announcement that it would be closing various local branches, politicians have spoken out against the move.

MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, Alexander Stewart, has hopes for a more positive long-term solution.

He said: “I welcome the news that the Alloa branch of RBS, one of 62 that it is due to be axed; is to stay open for now.

"This clearly acknowledges the depth of feeling that has been generated by the bank’s spate of closures.

"We must double our efforts in continuing the pressure on the RBS, ensuring that local residents are not short-changed any further and to ensure this reprieve does indeed become permanent and I will continue to work in partnership with my Conservative colleague Luke Graham MP.”