Cyprus - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Financing

It covers payment methods and information on, banking systems, foreign exchange controls, and U.S. and correspondent banking.

Last published date: 2021-09-30

Methods of Payment: The usual method of payment for business transactions is by letter of credit, with 90-days credit.

Credit rating reports are available through the following firms:

Info Credit Group

Address:  Philippou Hadjigeorgiou 5A, Acropolis, Nicosia 2006

Tel.:  +357-22-398000

Fax:  +357-22-458937

E-mail:  info@infocreditgroup.com

 

Rime Information Bureau Ltd.

Address:  8 Vasiliou Voulgaroktonou, Politis Newspaper Building, Nicosia 1010

Tel.:  +357-22-768662

Fax:  +357-22-768660

E-mail:  rimeib@rimeib.com

 

Argus Information Service Ltd.

Member of Lyssiotis Group

10A Salaminos Ave.

Alexia Court, 2nd Floor

P.O. Box 21176, 1503 Nicosia

Tel.:  +357-22-348042

Fax:  +357-22-348020

E-mail:  janett@cytanet.com.cy

E-mail2:  foulla.ar@cytanet.com.cy

 

Artemis Bank Information Systems Ltd

Address:  77 Strovolos Avenue , Office 501, 2018 Strovolos, Nicosia

Tel.:  +357-22-454791, +357-99-621168 (cell)

Fax:  +357-22-454786

Email:  achilleas.amvrosiou@artemis.com.cy

 

InfoCredit Group Cyprus Ltd. and Rime Information Bureau Ltd., also offer debt collection services.

Visa, Mastercard, and American Express credit cards are widely used and accepted.

For more information about the methods of payment or other trade finance options, please read the Trade Finance Guide.

Banking Systems:

Republic of Cyprus:

The Cypriot banking system is still restructuring following significant consolidation after the 2013 financial crisis.  Demand for new lending remains constrained as the economy is deleveraging under the burden of a non-performing loan (NPL) portfolio worth 17.7 percent of total lending at the end of March 2021. Progress in addressing NPLs has been slow, but new legislation on foreclosures and insolvency passed in July 2018 is helping banks address this problem more effectively.  To support these efforts, the European Investment Bank and European Bank of Reconstruction and Development have made lending and guarantee programs available in Cyprus.  Standard banking services in the ROC compare well with other European countries and the United States.  The Central Bank of Cyprus supervises private banks and requires them to meet Bank for International Settlements (BIS) standards as well as corresponding directives by the European Union.  Bank financial statements are in compliance with international standards and audited by internationally recognized auditors.  Since 2001, a deposit insurance scheme has been in operation, under the Banking Law of 1997.  Regulations passed in the summer of 2009 raised the guaranteed amount under this scheme from EUR 20,000 to EUR 100,000 per depositor.

Area Administered by Turkish Cypriots:

Banking supervision has improved in the past few years.  The “Central Bank” oversees and regulates all branches of local banks, foreign banks, private banks, and international banking units.  In addition to the “Central Bank” and the “Development Bank”, there are 21 banks in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots, of which 16 are Turkish Cypriot-owned banks, and five are branch banks from Turkey.  Two of the five members of the “Central Bank’s” “Board of Directors” are from Turkey, as is the “Central Bank Governor.”  Turkish Cypriot banks do not have access to the SWIFT system so Turkish Cypriot banks rely on their correspondent banking relationships for foreign currency transactions.

Visit this link for more information about banks (http://www.kktcmerkezbankasi.org/en) and the banking system (http://www.bankalarbirligi.org/SPhERE/cPortal/kkbb/layouts/home.jsp?pLanguageId=238 )in the area administrated by Turkish Cypriots (Note: the banking system website is only available in the Turkish language).

Foreign Exchange Controls:

Republic of Cyprus:

There are no capital restrictions in the Republic of Cyprus.  As with other EU countries, travelers to Cyprus must declare cash sums greater than 10,000 euros upon arrival. 

Area Administered by Turkish Cypriots:

There are no capital controls in effect.  Travelers exiting the area administered by Turkish Cypriots — whether residents or non-residents — may carry up to 10,000 dollars in local or foreign currency without prior permission.  Travelers must obtain authorization from the Turkish Cypriot “Central Bank” for sums over this threshold and declare the money to the “Department of Customs” at the port of exit.  There is no restriction for the import of currency into the area administered by Turkish Cypriots.

U.S. Banks and Local Correspondent Banks:

Republic of Cyprus:

There are 30 banks in Cyprus of which seven are incorporated locally.  The remaining banks are branches or subsidiaries of foreign-incorporated banks or representative offices, conducting their operations mainly with non-residents.  Some of them have subsidiaries dealing with insurance services, investment banking, and other related services.  Most of these banks, particularly those incorporated domestically, have correspondent arrangements with U.S. banks and offer all types of services, including deposit accounts, lending advances, leasing, credit card facilities, and automatic banking machines.  Though the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and Ex-Im Bank do not offer any specific programs for the Republic of Cyprus, exporters may still be able to avail themselves of export financing assistance if the transaction meets appropriate criteria.  For more information on the banking system, please visit the Central Bank of Cyprus.

Area Administered by Turkish Cypriots:

Some branch banks have correspondent facilities with the United States.  The full list of domestic banks in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots can be obtained from the Turkish Cypriot Banks Association (Note: The website is only available in the Turkish language; http://www.bankalarbirligi.org/SPhERE/cPortal/kkbb/layouts/home.jsp?pLanguageId=238)).