A representative for NatWest has claimed the banking group is taking seriously its responsibility to support people who face challenges moving to online banking.

It comes after the group, which owns Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), announced it would close Tranent’s RBS branch, the last bank in the town, on July 27.

Craig Hoy, MSP for South Scotland, met with representatives from RBS via video call to discuss the branch closure.

He said: “It is regrettable that Tranent’s last bank is set to close on July 27; however, I have sought reassurance that many of the services already supplied by the branch will continue to be available for local people.

“I am also relieved that no staff members have lost their jobs as a result of the closure.”

The bank closure follows a drop in transactions due to increasing use of digital banking services by RBS customers.

A NatWest spokesperson said: “As with many industries, most of our customers are shifting to mobile and online banking because it’s faster and easier for people to manage their financial lives.

“We understand and recognise that digital solutions aren’t right for everyone or every situation, and that when we close branches we have to make sure that no one is left behind.

“We take our responsibility seriously to support the people who face challenges in moving online, so we are investing to provide them with support and alternatives that work for them.”

RBS will host a pop-up banking site in Tranent for 12 weeks following the closure, where bank staff will provide face-to-face banking advice and information on services.

All staff at the bank have been retained by RBS.

With the closure of Tranent’s RBS, the nearest banks will be in Musselburgh and Haddington.

At a meeting of Tranent and Elphinstone Community Council, chair Mike Falconer expressed the need for mobile banking facilities to be brought to the town.

He said: “I think we have to accept that RBS are not going to change their mind on this closure. We can argue our case as much as we want to keep it open, but it is not going to change. I think having a banking bus come into the town for a period of time during the week would at least allow for people to have access to face-to-face banking when they need it.”