Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has warmly welcomed the news that the Castlebay branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland in the Isle of Barra is to stay open until at least the end of 2018.

The branch was originally one of 62 across Scotland that was due to close in the summer. However, RBS have today committed to keeping 10 branches open until at least the end of 2018 and will reconsider the closure of each branch as part of a full independent review.

Alasdair Allan commented:

“RBS got it badly wrong when they moved to close their branch in Barra.  The local response has been, rightly, furious, as this closure would have left people in Barra with their nearest bank some 27 miles away, across the Sound of Barra on the Isle of South Uist.

“RBS have had to go back in their tracks, first by accepting the need for an ATM on the island, and now by guaranteeing the branch will stay open at least until the end of the year. This latest move does not take away the question mark about the long-term future of the branch, and I will continue to engage with RBS to make sure it has one.

“This has been a successful campaign by the community and its SNP elected representatives to keep the branch open. Today’s U-turn by RBS is an indication of the pressure that has been put on the bank, following their ill-thought out move. We must continue to work to ensure it stays open.”

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