ROYAL Bank of Scotland should change its name and customers should quit the lender over its latest branch closure plan, an MP claims.

Angus Brendan MacNeil hit out at the Edinburgh-based institution in an angry speech during a debate on banks in Westminster Hall yesterday, saying: “The patriotic move is to take your money out of the Royal Bank — they can drop ‘Scotland’ for the way they are treating all over rural Scotland.”

Turning to the impact of high street closures across the UK, he mentioned his local branch in Barra, going on: “May it be East Lothian, may it be Stirling, may it be Inverary, may it be Wales, may it be wherever, the way they are going about it is in now way decent, moral or nice.

“These are a bunch of people on corporate welfare of £16 million a year of bonuses. Sixteen million pound a year would pay for the salaries of the staff of the Castlebay, Barra, for 266 years.

“That is the level of greed we are seeing from these people — not just greed, but cowardice and irresponsibility.”

The comments came during a debate called by East Lothian MP Martin Whitfield following the announcement by RBS of plans to close 259 sites, including 62 in Scotland.

The taxpayer retains a 75 per cent share in the lender following its bailout at the height of the 2008 financial crisis. The Labour MP said the “losers” of the latest round of branch cuts would be communities and local high streets,

He added: “I believe we have reached a tipping point, a point of no return, a point where the government must step in.”

The session heard how a number of local campaigns are under way to save specific sites, with Argyll and Bute MP Brendan O’Hara calling the new closures, which were announced in December, a “scandalous abdication” of the bank’s “social responsibility”.

O’Hara pressed the government to act, saying its intervention in the case of former RBS chief executive Stephen Hester as a precedent.

MacNeil backed the call, asking: “Is the bank owned by the government or do the bankers own the government?

“The government can’t play Pontius Pilate to this issue at all.”

Treasury minister John Glen said the use of high street branches had dropped by one third since 2011, saying institutions had to respond.

He suggested that residents of affected communities could switch to another lender with a more local presence.

Glen said embarking on closure programmes was “a commercial decision for each bank to take”, adding: “I would encourage constituents to vote with their feet.”