From the point of view of English — speaking clients, it is convenient to communicate with the banking sector of the Republic of Cyprus as most Cypriot banks workers speak English. Accounts are opened relatively quickly, and the cost of servicing is inexpensive compared to other European banks.
Some advantages of the Cypriot banking sector:
- it is possible to open a multi-currency account
- there is no requirement for a minimum initial deposit
- no minimum monthly balance requirements
- convenient online banking 24/7
- extensive experience in working with investors from non-EU countries
Although most Cypriot banks offer similar services, they are all different and each bank can make its own requirements for those wishing to open an account.
What are they like?
Bank of Cyprus
Bank of Cyprus was founded back in 1899 and today it has more than 250 branches, and also has subsidiary banks in other countries. The bank is not only one of the largest, but also one of the most respected in Cyprus. It offers a wide range of services for both individuals and legal entities.
There are standard: deposits, cards and loans, specialized (shipping company services, escrow services, insurance, trading financial services), financial condition management services, including brokerage services, custodial/depository services, investment banking services, treasury operations, institutional condition management, etc.
A distinctive feature of the bank is a high-level individual service and a flexible approach to each of its clients. The Bank uses the latest technologies that guarantee its customers safety and reliability.
Eurobank Cyprus is the most modern bank in Cyprus, widely using innovative technologies. Main areas of activity: corporate services, investment management and international customer service. It also offers Private Banking and private asset management for non-residents. It is possible to connect a personal manager who will open access to a full range of banking products.
Cyprus Development Bank has been operating since 1963, organized as a public company, which was privatized in 2008. For a long time, the main shareholder of CDB was the European investment bank. Today it is a small but very effective financial institution that is focused on small and medium-sized businesses. Under fairly strict conditions for opening accounts, local staff copes with customer verification procedures as quickly as possible if the company operates legally and complies with the norms of current legislation. It provides an individual approach to the selection of financial instruments for each client, as well as assistance in accelerating international transactions.
Hellenic Bank is the island's second largest and most influential bank, founded in 1976. It is known for the quality of service, the use of advanced technologies and offers a full range of banking products and services to meet the needs of its most diverse customers, including trade finance and insurance.
What should I know when opening a bank account in Cyprus in 2022?
A few years ago, opening an account in banks in Cyprus practically did not cause any difficulties. Non-EU/EEA citizens sought to open an account in the tax haven of Cyprus, since there are no extortionate taxes in the country, and the rules of the game are clear and transparent. However, the situation has changed in recent years. Under pressure from the EU, the Central Bank of Cyprus has banned banks from opening accounts for shell companies — companies that do not have offices and do not conduct real business at their place of registration.
Cypriot banks are strictly prohibited from opening accounts for companies that do not keep accounting records, do not perform substance, as well as those who are residents of countries included in the "black lists" of the OECD, EU or FATF, or are not tax residents of any state at all.
As for personal accounts, it is much easier to open an account if you have a passport of Cyprus or another European country.
What documents will be required to open a Cyprus bank account?
Important! To qualify for a corporate account with the Bank of Cyprus, the company must have a physical presence on the island and at least one registered employee!
To open a bank account in Cyprus, all beneficiaries of the company and signatories to the account will need to provide the following documents (in English):
- a notarized copy of a foreign passport
- proof of residential address (for example, a utility bill dated no later than three months from the date of payment)
- proof of the legality of income (for example, income statement or tax return)
- a letter of recommendation from any bank where there is an account, or from a company in the European Union.
Important! This is a basic list of necessary documents. Any Cyprus bank, at its discretion, may request additional. Moreover, the new rules actually involve the presentation of your business to bankers, who are obliged to make sure that your activities are legal.
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