Cyprus has a sophisticated and advanced financial services sector, which is expanding rapidly year on year.
Banking is the largest component of the sector, having emerged strong, fully recapitalised and well-regulated out of the financial crisis of prior years. The banking system is fully harmonised with EU legislation and directives. Commercial banking arrangements and practices follow the British model and there are currently over 40 Cypriot and international banks operating in Cyprus. All banks maintain correspondent networks around the world and carry out both traditional and specialised financial transactions.
The Cyprus financial services sector is diverse, comprising of domestic banks, International Banking Units (IBUs), insurance companies, and other companies that offer financial intermediation services. A significant number of international banks operate subsidiaries, branches or representative offices in Cyprus. Banks located in Cyprus offer an array of services ranging from asset management, private banking, international, corporate and investment banking, retail banking, syndicated loans, custodian services and more. In line with business changes, Cyprus’ banking infrastructure has rapidly evolved and adopted the use of advanced technology systems, implemented measures to improve risk management and acquired highly-trained personnel.
For a complete list of credit institutions operating in Cyprus, visit the website of the Central Bank (www. centralbank.gov.cy).
Cyprus’ banking and financial services sector legislation is in line with international best practices and has a simplified. Combined with an effective and transparent tax system, which is fully EU, OECD, FATF, FSF and MONEYVAL compliant, the banking sector is in a position to service clients of all sizes and industries.
The Central Bank of Cyprus, an autonomous institution established in 1963, is the supervising authority of the banking system in Cyprus. The Central Bank of Cyprus follows the Basel Committee and European Union banking regulation directives. In January 2008, the Central Bank of Cyprus was integrated into the Eurosystem under the European Central Bank.
Other regulatory authorities involved in the monitoring of financial institutions include:
- The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission
- The Co-operative Credit Societies’ Supervision and Development Authority
- The Commissioner of Insurance Companies (Ministry of Finance)
- Authority for the Supervision of Pension Funds (Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance)