The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is accelerating the pace of its global transaction services (GTS) exit, pushing the final affected customers to switch banks or risk service interruption after December 31.

RBS announced that it would withdraw from transaction services outside of the UK and Ireland back in 2014, and in July 2015 named BNP Paribas as its official partner, with preferential transfer conditions if customers chose to move to the French bank.

Now RBS is warning its customers in writing that the deadline for cessation of its operations in countries affected is December 31, and that customers that haven’t yet started to move their accounts need to do so urgently. From January 1, 2017, services including cash management, trade finance and accounts as well as cash and card will no longer be provided by the bank out of its core markets, and RBS will no longer accept any deposits or honour any payment instructions.

GTR understands that RBS had around 7,000 GTS clients in total in the 32 affected markets, of which just over half have already transitioned to another provider. Of the 3,000 or so still to find new providers, nearly 70% are domiciled in Europe, and half of those are based in the Netherlands.

Most of the remaining clients are quite far into the process, but a small number of companies have yet to start the move, hence the reminder.

“Throughout this process, we have stayed in touch with our customers, and encouraged them to accelerate their exit well ahead of the final termination date. We have taken steps to ease the transition for customers, including the referral agreement with BNP Paribas and exceeding the contractual notice periods,” says Jerry Pierce, RBS’ head of GTS.

“The deadline is fast approaching. Most clients have already found new providers, or are well on the way to doing so, but there are a few that have a lot still to do. Whilst RBS will assist these clients in moving, there is a point at which we will have no option but to deactivate accounts. We strongly encourage our remaining customers to prioritise those actions that need to be established with a new banking provider well ahead of the deadline.”