PEOPLE will soon be "putting money under the bed" for safe keeping due to the speed of bank branch closures across the UK, an SNP MP has warned.

Lisa Cameron's remarks came amid calls to force banks to bring forward solutions to help communities cope with a wave of branch closures if they failed to voluntarily do so.

Labour's Ruth Smeeth, who represents Stoke-on-Trent North, claimed there had only been "silence" from the banking sector and that there was a need to ensure they were "working in everyone's interests, not just their own".

The UK's four big High Street banks closed, or announced plans to shut, almost 1,000 branches during 2017.

Controversy has raged over the decision by the Royal Bank of Scotland to close 62 branches in Scotland, although following public and political pressure the taxpayer-owned bank this week announced a temporary reprieve for 10 of them.

The banks have blamed the advance of technology with customers turning to the internet and smartphones for day-to-day banking.

Yet the pace of the closures has attracted widespread concern with MPs calling for the "vital service" of community banking to remain in place.

Speaking during a Commons debate, Dr Cameron, the MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, declared: "Soon there'll be no banks, residents right around most of our towns will be resorting to putting money behind the bed or under the bed again just as we had to in my grandmother's day. The humanity has gone out of banking."

Tory MP Gillian Keegan, who represents Chichester, told the House that banks needed to adapt to reflect the realities of modern banking, adding: "Cash may still be king but its crown is certainly slipping and this trend is set to continue, already six per cent of the population rarely use cash, young people in particular prefer digital payment methods."

Opening the debate on community bank closures, Ms Smeeth said she accepted people must change as technology developed but she stressed: "We also must do more to ensure that as the world moves we do not leave those behind who find it hardest to keep up, and we must recognise there remains a place for community banking for local lending and face-to-face advice.

"It means we need the banks to take some ownership and responsibility for their loyal customer base.

"They need to be imaginative and consider sector and community-wide solutions, not pass the buck and blame their customers. If they won't do it voluntarily, then we will have to force them to," she stressed.

Options included more extensive community based financial education and banks funding access to broadband in more isolated areas so they can access online banking, Ms Smeeth explained.

The Labour backbencher added: "Yet all we've had from the sector is silence. We need to ensure that our banks are working in everyone's interests, not just their own."

John Glen, the Economic Secretary at the Treasury, said the UK Government recognised the "frustration and disappointment" caused by bank branch closures.

"Ultimately, the Government cannot reverse market movements or significant changes in customer behaviour and it is right that the Government does not intervene in commercial decisions which respond to these changes.

"But I will continue to work to ensure that everyone can access the banking services they need wherever they live," he added.