PROTESTING councillors in Selkirk are set to switch their bank accounts.

And they are encouraging other organisations, businesses and individuals to follow them.

The move comes in light of Royal Bank of Scotland's announcement last month to close six branches in the Borders as part of swingeing cuts across the country.

As well as Selkirk, the Melrose, Hawick, Jedburgh, Duns and Eyemouth branches are also due to shut for good in the summer - leaving only three branches in the region.

Members of Selkirk Community Council voted unanimously this week to move their bank account from the RBS to the Bank of Scotland.

Chairman Alistair Pattullo said: "If enough businesses and other people did the same as the community council then I'd like to think that it would help keep the local Bank of Scotland branch open.

"In the grand scale of things, the community council's account won't have much bearing but if it was the first of many I'm sure the RBS would start to get the message that we're not happy."

The RBS announcement at the start of December was met by anger from politicians and community leaders across the Borders.

Bank bosses are blaming the decision on a downturn in branch use, with more and more customers opting to bank online.

But the closures will be a blow for the many businesses and individuals who regularly rely on their local branch.

Selkirk community councillor Jim Stillie said: "The more people that transfer their accounts from the RBS the better.

"You can only vote with your feet."

Fellow community councillor Alasdaire Lockhart added: "If the RBS don't care about their customers we should be encouraging everyone to transfer their accounts to the Bank of Scotland.

"This isn't just the inconvenience for people who bank with the RBS but we are also going to end up with a large empty building on our High Street."

Scottish Borders Council has written to RBS bosses urging them to reconsider its plans for the the six branches in the region.

Local MP John Lamont is calling for customers to register their concerns with the UK Parliament’s Scottish Affairs Committee.

And, along with MSP Rachael Hamilton, Mr Lamont intends to host a public meeting in the coming weeks to discuss the proposed closures.

He said: “I think that RBS have been taken aback by the level of opposition to these plans, from all parts of Scotland and from all parties representing Scotland.

“For all Borderers who have been affected, there are a number of opportunities to help with the campaign against these damaging closures.

"You can write to the Scottish Affairs Committee or fill in my survey and I’ll be announcing further details of a public meeting I will be arranging with my colleague Rachael Hamilton MSP.

"RBS should not be allowed to walk away from communities and those affected by these closures should join me in making the bank understand the importance of local branches to rural communities.”