Scottish MPs have said communities across the country are becoming “cash-free against their will” as the result of consistent bank closures.
The Scottish Affairs Committee, chaired by Perth and North Perthshire SNP MP Pete Wishart, called on the UK government to intervene in the escalating closure of branches in rural communities.
A third of bank branches in Tayside and Fife have closed over the last eight years.
Angus and Dundee West were among the worst affected parts of Scotland, losing 15 branches each since 2010.
There were 190 bank branches in Courier Country in 2010, but that fell by 32% to 130 in 2018, according to the Office for National Statistics.
At least 17 branches have closed or are due to close in Tayside and Fife since 2018.
The committee has been holding an inquiry into access to financial services in Scotland and has previously issued warnings over the number of branch closures.
It is estimated in the last eight years, Scotland has lost 610 – around a third of its total – bank branches across the country.
Committee chair, Pete Wishart MP, said: “It is disgraceful that banks think they can abandon Scottish towns with no access to essential financial services.
“Last year, my committee demanded that RBS halt their march of bank branch closures, but since then the picture seems to have just deteriorated further – in 2018 in Scotland, 355 ATMs were shut down, and bank branches continue to close at an alarming rate.
“Scottish communities are becoming ‘cash-free’ against their will and it is time the government stepped in to intervene.
“My committee is calling on the government to stop banks from closing the last remaining bank branch in town.
“It is essential that towns are left with at least one bank, so if the banks won’t make this commitment themselves, the government should consider legislating.”
The RBS sites that have shut in the last year include Montrose, Pitlochry, Aberfeldy, Dundee Stobswell, Bridge of Allan, Perth South Street, Comrie and Dunblane.
Bank of Scotland has closed branches in Dundee, Lochgelly and Carnoustie, with Kirriemuir also doomed.
Santander is also shutting sites in Brechin, Forfar, Kirkcaldy and St Andrews from May.