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International banking

Professional Services:

Read our international banking disclaimer before proceeding

Prior to explaining what Cyprus bank account opening and subsequent international baking services are provided by Investment Gateway associates, it should be made clear that is not an investment bank, and does not in any way offer any onshore or investment banking services for companies.

Due to sensitive regulations, Investment Gateway is also highly restricted in offering detailed information about each banking and financial supplier available in Cyprus or any Cyprus bank. The following information is only a quick guide as to what banking services are provided by Investment Gateway associates. Associates can in turn offer more detailed information about exact banking procedures in place (opening and maintaining an international bank account in Cyprus and/or other jurisdictions), which Cyprus and other international banks they recommend and usually work with, as well as national, European and other jurisdiction banking regulations.

Banking offshore simply implies conducting financial transactions (and other banking services) through a bank account 'off shore', i.e. outside of the person's country of residence, the company's location of incorporation or main area of activity. Cyprus banks are a popular option for both international offshore banking, as well as for companies that have been set up in Cyprus.

Seek professional advice on global tax planning and investment solutions by setting up a company and creating a bank account/s in Cyprus. Obtain a quick quote or further advice and direction on international banking for companies and individuals with a Cyprus bank account/s. Complete the quick-and-easy Investment Gateway quotation form to receive a number of options from leading and certified experts in Cyprus.

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Credibility of a Cyprus International Bank

The banking sector plays an integral role in boosting Cyprus' global credibility for financial services and positioning the country as an ideal platform for foreign investments to the EMEA region. This is especially true following the major changes and restructuring that took place in early 2013 to reduce the banking sector's impact on the national economy, whilst making it more sustainable, in line with Eurozone and European Union standards, and indeed a lot more credible.

Over the last three decades, the Cyprus banking system, made up of the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) and co-operative credit institutions (supervised by the Co-operative Societies' Supervision and Development Authority), together with Cyprus based banks have a come a long way in the services they offer. Today, Cyprus has a well-developed and credible banking system, secure, competitive and highly regarded around the world. Banks in Cyprus offer a wide range of services for both resident and non-resident companies, as well as individuals.

Legislation and action for banking security and credibility: Prior to EU accession, Cyprus enacted the appropriate legislation and has taken effective regulatory and other measures by putting in place suitable mechanisms for the prevention and suppression of money laundering and terrorist financing activities. Moreover, the Cyprus banking sector is committed to apply all the requirements of international treaties and standards in this area and, specifically, those deriving from the European Union Directives. On 13 December 2002, the House of Representatives in Cyprus enacted The Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering Activities Law by which the former Laws on the Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering Activities of 1996-2004 were consolidated, revised and repealed. Under the current law, which came into force on 1 January 2008, the Cyprus legislation has been harmonised with the Third European Union Directive on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing (Directive 2005/60/ΕC).

Cyprus Banks: The Cyprus banking system is driven by globally well known and rated local players, such as Bank of Cyprus, Alpha Bank, Hellenic Bank, USB Bank, Russian Commercial Bank (Cyprus), Societe Generale Bank-Cyprus Ltd and Eurobank EFG Cyprus, among many other subsidiaries of international banks and branches of both EU and non EU leading banks. When setting up a company or groups of companies in Cyprus (Private and Public Limited Liability; resident and non-resident companies), a Cyprus bank account can only be opened with a bank included on the list of qualifying banks by the Central Bank of Cyprus.

See the list of qualifying Cyprus banks, click here.

Banks Listed in the Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • Bank of Cyprus Public Co Ltd
  • Hellenic Bank Public Co Ltd
  • USB Bank PLC
Subsidiaries of foreign banks in Cyprus
  • Αlpha Bank Cyprus Ltd
  • BNP Paribas Cyprus Ltd
  • Emporiki Bank – Cyprus Ltd
  • National Bank of Greece (Cyprus) Ltd
  • Russian Commercial Bank (Cyprus) Ltd
  • Societe Generale Bank-Cyprus Ltd
  • Bank of Pireaus (Cyprus) Ltd
  • Eurobank EFG Cyprus Ltd
Other Banks Cypriot banks
  • Cooperative Central Bank Ltd
  • Cyprus Development Bank Public Co Ltd
  • Οργανισμός Χρηματοδοτήσεως Στέγης
  • Κτηματική Τράπεζα Κύπρου Λτδ
Branches of European Union banks
  • Barclays Bank PLC
  • Banque SBA SA
  • First Investment Bank Ltd
  • Joint Stock Company "Trasta Komercbanka"
  • Εθνική Τράπεζα της Ελλάδος Α.Ε.
  • Central Cooperative Bank PLC
  • Banca Transilvania S.A.
  • Joint Stock Company Akciju Komercbanka "Baltikums"
  • AS LTB Bank

Tax on Bank Interest in Cyprus

Bank interest in Cyprus is exempt from income tax. It is only subject to an annual 'defence bank contribution tax' at a flat rate of 10%, payable even if the account is idol, in other words you don't use the bank account or withdraw any interest earned. However, if you are not a resident of Cyprus (i.e. not based in the country for more than half the year) you do not even pay the 'defence contribution tax'. Even as a Cyprus resident, this 'defence contribution tax' is far lower than what tax you would normally pay in other countries around the world.

Most foreign owned companies or foreign individuals in Cyprus have a bank account in another country. In this case, when you open a Cyprus bank account you can choose not to have details of the account(s) exchanged, in which case tax will be deducted at source, i.e. in the country of your non-Cypriot bank account. Each country differs of course, but in non-EU signatories (where offshore accounts are commonly established and held) such as Switzerland, the Isle of Man and Channel Islands, tax at present reaches around 20% to as high as 35% of the income (as at 2011). This is much higher in other countries around the world. And even then, all income must still be declared in Cyprus. Failure to declare income to the Cypriot tax authorities will be seen as tax evasion in Cyprus. You can also opt for an exchange-of-information regarding your other account with Cyprus. In this case, you will receive the income gross.

Please note, countries within the EU exchange information about ownership of bank accounts automatically, under the terms of the EU Savings Tax Directive.

Clearly, Cyprus based banks offer an attractive option for any type of company or individual, and significantly help in completing a global tax planning solution. With a Cyprus bank, you will pay a lot less tax and receive far more banking benefits for you funds. Above all, funds are secure, entrusted in banking institutions with international credibility.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Banking Offshore in Cyprus

Cyprus is a credible EU and Eurozone jurisdiction that offers financial and professional service solutions with a low corporate tax rate for companies – lowest in the European Union and lowest non-offshore tax jurisdiction in the world – among other corporate and individual benefits. As such, banking and bank transactions in Cyprus are also highly rated around the world, driven by globally recognised and reliable banks, as well as the Central Bank of Cyprus. Indeed, the Cyprus banking sector has been well set up to support other financial and professional services, namely company formation, global accounting-auditing-tax planning solutions, and international investment strategies.

Remember, Cyprus is not a tax haven and is not considered to be an offshore jurisdiction. All Cyprus based companies are technically onshore, and receive the same benefits. A Cyprus company is the ideal gateway to global tax planning and investment solutions, particularly to the EMEA region; a Cyprus bank is then the ideal tool to securely complete the transaction.

Key advantages to banking abroad via Cyprus:
  • Part of an overall tax planning solution, i.e. tax-efficiency.
  • Major restructuring recently, as guided by the Euro group, and supported by Troika lending trio of the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, reducing the size and impact of the banking sector on national economy, thereby also making it more sustainable for the long term, better in line with Eurozone and European Union standards, and indeed a lot more credible..
  • Support tool for an investment company or group of companies, and required for international investment activities.
  • Confidentiality and anonymity – for individuals and for company owners/directors.
  • Global investment strategy: targeting new markets and facilitating financial growth.
  • Opportunities to seek and target unique investment opportunities.
  • Lack of foreign exchange controls. Bank accounts can usually be opened in multiple currencies.
Key advantages to banking investment via Cyprus:
  • Cyprus has a strong banking sector, very robust, liquid and operating with a strong capital base that is well over the minimum required by the EU. In fact, leading banks in Cyprus have a capital ratio of 10%-12% compared to the EU average of 8%, i.e. more bank deposits than loans. The whole banking system also has many more deposits than loans, again well over the EU average.
  • Well structured banking system, upheld by the Central Bank of Cyprus and leading banking brands. The baking system is also supported by excellent infrastructure in professional services, such as labour force, company set up structure, accounting and law firms, pro business government, IT and telecommunications infrastructure.
  • Cyprus is a credible financial jurisdiction having adopted International Financial Reporting Standards over three decades and has passed Anti Money Laundering legislation (Law188(I)/2007), Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFiD), and Transparency Law and Anti Money Laundering Law.
  • Cyprus has completely liberalised capital movements, enabling the former IBUs to provide credit and full banking services as branches or subsidiaries of foreign banks.
  • Cyprus has a stable economy and political environments, with great mid to long term growth potential. Over the last decade and more, Cyprus has consistently performed better than the EU average. Now, recent findings in natural recourses should boost economic growth significantly. The Cyprus banking sector should also benefit greatly from these developments.
  • Cyprus is geographically close to many key source markets, such in the Middle East, Africa, EU-Europe, Russia and many CIS and Central Asian countries. Ideal for telecommunications during standard business hours, as well as for a quick personal visit.
  • International bank accounts in Cyprus provide efficient funds transfer via multi-currency accounts for both companies and individuals.
  • Secure and legitimate solution for tax-efficient financial transactions and asset protection, including low or zero taxation on bank interest.

Bank Services for Cyprus Companies and Individuals

There are two key services offered by Investment Gateway associates: Assistance with opening a Cyprus bank account, and maintaining/administering a Cyprus bank account. Both of these services are almost always required (and compliment) when setting up any type of company or group of companies in Cyprus, together with subsequent company administration and maintenance, as well as accounting-auditing-tax services. Investment Gateway associates provide a complete solution.

Each associate usually has a closer relationship with certain Cyprus banks, or rather prefers to work with certain banks. Which bank they recommend will be clearly stipulated in their communications and quotation, together with their reasoning. Regardless, all banks are approved and monitored by the Central Bank of Cyprus.

Key banking services offered by Investment Gateway associates:
  • Assistance with opening a Cyprus bank account/s, as well as assistance with opening bank accounts in other jurisdictions around the world. This applies to both companies (all types of Cyprus companies) and individuals.
  • Assistance with selecting the client's preferred currency for the new Cyprus bank account/s.
  • Bank account maintenance and administration, including intermediary services, communications between client and bank, and assisting signatories.
  • Bank transfers on behalf of the client.
  • Closing the Cyprus bank account, if and when required.

Obtain a quick quote or further advice and direction on international banking for companies and individuals with a Cyprus bank account/s. Complete the quick-and-easy Investment Gateway quotation form to receive a number of options from leading and certified experts in Cyprus.

Get Quote

Open an International Bank Account with a Cyprus Bank

Opening a bank account in Cyprus can be relatively quick and easy provided applicants meet clear-cut certain requirements.

Cyprus is not a tax haven, nor is considered to be an offshore jurisdiction. As such, banks in Cyprus must closely scrutinise applications for bank accounts by companies and individuals alike, therefore preventing any money laundering, high banking risk or other illegal banking practices. All banks in Cyprus follow stringent procedures, adhering to EU directives and international best practice as stated by the OECD. Sometimes, intense due diligence will be undertaken, evaluating business activities conducted by the applicant's resident or non-resident Cyprus company or companies. This includes identifying source of funds, monitoring banking transactions and a risk assessment.

Note: banks in all credible jurisdictions and not just Cyprus do not respond well to unexplained bank account transfers or transactions activity. In fact, computerised banking systems automatically pick up on any major irregularities for safety and security issues. These are seen as being shadowing and not in line with best global banking practices or the bank's own corporate reputation. Thus, it is best to remain in constant communication with the banker and/or via Investment Gateway's associates, regularly informing them of any major banking activities, in advance or at the time. This avoids any suspicion by the bank.

Common due diligence with opening a Cyprus bank account:
  • 100-point (certified) proof of identification by the applicant, this applies to the Cyprus company's owners, directors and other members.
  • Proof of residence of all parties associated with the Cyprus company, i.e. original bank statement, credit card statement and/or other similar approved documents.
  • A professional reference from another bank for the company and individual.
  • Documentation of the applicant's banking and business activities. This includes a detailed description of the Cyprus company's proposed business activities, such as contracts, geographical reach, business marketing and PR material, previous audited accounts, sales, investments, etc. Certified evidence as to the source of funds will also be necessary.
  • An initial meeting with the bank might also be required, as well as possible regular meetings.

Obtain a quick quote or further advice and direction on international banking for companies and individuals with a Cyprus bank account/s. Complete the quick-and-easy Investment Gateway quotation form to receive a number of options from leading and certified experts in Cyprus.

Get Quote

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