Are you thinking of moving to Cyprus and you are in search of a house or property?
In this article, you will learn all you need to know about the procedure of how foreign citizens can open an account in the Republic of Cyprus.
Imagine that you find a huge opportunity whether it’s for investment or housing purposes, and you are not ready to make a bid. It is very important to be prepared, and ready to seize any opportunities that may come your way. This implies that a bank account has to be open before making any sort of business in the country.
First and foremost, it is good to mention that both Cypriots and also Foreign citizens can easily open an account fast without having to go through a long and never-ending procedure, provided that your country of residence is not listed as a high-risk country for AML purposes. For example, Cypriot banks are accustomed to doing business with residents of the UK and will provide you with straightforward instructions on the whole process.
Can I open a bank account online and from abroad?
Yes, you can. This may vary from bank to bank as there may be different policies associated with different banks but in general, in most banks, you can apply online and even from abroad.
How easy is the process?
The process is easy and you can even apply for e-banking online before you come to the country. Of course, it is fair to mention that if you are not coming from Cyprus, you may be asked for additional verification before the business relationship can begin. Additionally, although the account may be opened from abroad, some banks may require face-to-face communication before activating your account and removing account limitations.
What documents will I need to verify my account?
This is again up to the bank’s policy and these may differ slightly depending on the bank.
Most banks will require at least the following documents before the start of the business relationship:
- A completed application form or an online verification via the bank’s app tools.
- A valid passport or ID document (for foreign applicants a passport may be a requirement depending on the country of residence).
- POR – A proof of residence in your name which is not dated longer than 6 months old. This could be a utility bill which could also be an address in your country of current residence.
- In some cases, additional verification may be required such as a pay slip, any business-related documents if you are opening also a business account or any supporting documentation that could justify the transfer of money especially if exceeding the amount of 10000 Euros.
The financial system in Cyprus is very developed and underpins the country’s vision to become a leading international financial center. Given the fact that there are many bank options to choose from, it can help you make the best decision based primarily on your needs but also your convenience.
It is good to mention that banks based or operating in Cyprus are regulated and supervised by three authorities. The Central Bank of Cyprus, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), and also the Superintendent of Insurance control.
The types of bank accounts offered are Personal, corporate, Deposit, employment, savings, offshore, and merchant accounts.
Here is a list of some of the most popular banks operating in Cyprus:
BOC – Bank of Cyprus. This is by far the biggest and most popular bank in terms of market share on the beautiful island of Cyprus. It offers the most physical stores and ATMs than any other bank.
It also provides very good online banking and application on which you can create an e-instant account
Hellenic Bank: A very good option with solid e-banking and a great application. The process for opening an account online is easy and fast, a great option that should be considered.
Alpha Bank: Offers most of the benefits and advantages of the other two major banks but when opening an account online, it is a requirement that you must be an EU citizen and also a permanent resident in Cyprus. In a few words, you must visit a physical store if you choose to get into business with them.
Of course, there is also the option of choosing a digital-only bank like Revolut or Monese if you are more accustomed to e-wallets. The major setback is that ATM withdrawals are only free when you withdraw from the same bank ATM as your card. With these cards, you will possibly get charged every time you withdraw above a certain amount of money.
A legal representative can be appointed when the account is created remotely. This can save you time and also spare you the fuss of doing all the necessary paperwork.
Opening a bank account in Cyprus is a pretty straightforward procedure but it is still highly recommended that all paperwork and due diligence takes place before signing any contracts, especially if you are transferring money abroad.