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Cyprus – Banking

Local Banks in Cyprus

Cyprus has several local banks that provide banking services to their customers. These banks include:

Major UK and USA banks, such as Barclays and Citibank, have a presence in Cyprus.

Accounts and Services for Expats

Banks in Cyprus offer accounts and services specifically aimed at expats. These accounts may include multi-currency accounts, offshore accounts, and accounts with higher withdrawal limits.

Typical Bank Opening Hours

The typical bank opening hours in Cyprus are from 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM, Monday to Friday.

Areas of Concern for Expats

Expats should be aware of the following areas of concern regarding the banking system in Cyprus:

  • 1. Money Laundering – Cyprus has a history of money laundering, and banks have been involved in such activities. Expats should be aware of this risk and take appropriate precautions.
  • 2. Banking Crisis – Cyprus experienced a banking crisis in 2013, and many banks were in danger of failing. This crisis led to capital controls, which limit the amount of money that can be withdrawn from banks.
  • 3. High Fees – Banks in Cyprus may charge high fees for their services, and expats should compare the fees charged by different banks before choosing one.
  • 4. Language Barrier – Most bank employees in Cyprus speak Greek, and expats who do not speak the language may find it challenging to communicate with their bank.

Opening a Bank Account

To open a bank account in Cyprus as an expat, follow these steps:

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  1. Step 1: Obtain a Visa – Expats must obtain a visa to stay in Cyprus for an extended period. The visa must be valid for the duration of the stay in Cyprus.
  2. Step 2: Find a Bank – Research the different banks in Cyprus and compare their services and fees. Choose a bank that meets your needs.
  3. Step 3: Gather Required Documents – You will need to provide identification documents such as a passport or ID. You may also need to provide proof of address and proof of income.
  4. Step 4: Apply for an Account – Apply for an account in person at a branch. Follow the bank’s instructions and provide all required information.
  5. Step 5: Fund Your Account – Once your account is opened, you can fund it by transferring money from your home country or depositing cash or cheques at a branch.

In conclusion, banking in Cyprus is relatively straightforward, and expats can benefit from accounts and services specifically aimed at them. However, expats should be aware of the areas of concern, such as money laundering, the banking crisis, high fees, and the language barrier, when banking in Cyprus. If you are an expat looking to open a bank account, follow the steps outlined above to make the process easier.