MELROSE'S only remaining bank has been granted a stay of execution by RBS bosses.

Following pressure from politicians and communities the state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland announced this afternoon that it will postpone 10 of its planned 62 Scottish closures across the country this summer.

But the 10 'saved' branches, which also includes Biggar, will be reviewed by independent researches to see if there is a case for long-term survival before any final decision is made.

All 10 branches on the list are the last remaining banks in their communities.

The remaining five earmarked branches in the Borders - Duns, Eyemouth, Hawick, Jedburgh and Selkirk - will still close, with options being explored for retaining ATM machines.

The announcement has been described as 'nowhere near good enough' by local MP John Lamont.

He said: “These revised plans from RBS are simply nowhere near good enough.

"They would still mean five branches in the Borders closing their doors, with only Melrose given a temporary stay of execution.

“The bank has shown itself to be completely out of touch with the needs of customers, particularly in rural areas like the Borders.

“The acknowledgement from the bank of the issues that local post offices will face and the need to keep ATMs is helpful.

"But the only positive part of this news is that it shows that RBS is capable of changing its mind after initially refusing to budge."

Following mounting pressure and continued behind-closed-doors negotiations many politicians announced over the weekend that there would be a reprieve announcement this week.

In today's statement bosses said that they would look to improve ATM accessibility in towns affected by the closures, look to open new branches and review opening hours of remaining branches.

The statement said: "Royal Bank of Scotland has listened and engaged with customers, communities and elected representatives from all parties and will now keep ten branches open until the end of 2018 and provide an additional support package for customers across Scotland.

"At the end of the year an independent review will be carried out into the use of these branches and whether they should be kept open or not.

"The vast majority of these branches are in communities where there is no other Royal Bank branch within a nine mile radius."

The RBS also plans to hand over some vacated branches to community groups.

The statement added: "Where we own the building and where there is no demand for a building, we will work with development trusts and local communities to transfer ownership of a building to a community for free if there is a viable and deliverable three-year business case.

"As part of the proposal if the community venture fails within those three years, then the ownership of the building will remain with the Royal Bank. Where possible we will also donate all suitable branch furniture and other suitable equipment to local organisations for free."

John Lamont has vowed to continue his fight against the closures - and is demanding RBS Chief Executive, Ross McEwan is called before the Scottish Affairs Committee to explain the decision.

A series of public meetings is being held by Mr Lamont on Friday – in Duns Volunteer Hall at 12.30pm, in Hawick Town Hall at 4pm, and in Melrose Corn Exchange at 6pm – to discuss the latest developments and provide updates.