Managing finances and banking in Cyprus

money in Cyprus
Updated 2021-07-20 15:21

Opening a bank account is one of the first things you'll need to do in Cyprus. Thankfully, the banking system in Cyprus is very sophisticated and friendly towards expats. Opening a bank account is straightforward and hassle-free, and you can choose between numerous local banks or one of the many international bank branches you will find on the island. What is best, you can even begin the banking process before you even arrive in Cyprus.

Opening a bank account as an expat

To open a bank account in Cyprus, you will, of course, need some documentation. The exact type of documentation may vary depending on whether you are opening a bank account as an individual or for your company as well as on which bank you choose. In general, for individuals, all you will be needing is a valid passport or ID, proof of residence in Cyprus (utility bills showing your address) and, in most cases, a reference letter from your old bank to assure you have good credit. Documentation for companies is more extensive, as you will also need to provide documentation by your shareholders and company incorporation documents.


For individuals and companies alike, the address of your residence/company base should be within the official part of Cyprus, i.e. not in the Turkish-occupied area.

If you don't have an address in Cyprus yet, it is still possible to open a bank account as a non-resident. You will, however, need to show your reason for wanting to open a bank account, either with proof of employment or investment and with the help of several references. Note that you will definitely need to visit the branch yourself, have a sufficient amount ready for deposit and be prepared that the process will take around two weeks.

Cyprus also gives expats the opportunity to open a bank account before their arrival at the country. Simply choose your bank of preference, and you can start the process online ' although you may need to visit the branch when you reach Cyprus to sign and complete the process.

Good to know:

The Bank of Cyprus, which is the largest bank in the country, also has four branches in the UK, so if you are a UK resident, you can open a Cypriot bank account without leaving the UK.

The banking system in Cyprus

Cyprus has a plethora of local banks, but the most well-established are Bank of Cyprus, Hellenic Bank, Eurobank and Alpha bank (Greek banks) and Astrobank. There are also several international bank branches, such as Expobank, Bank of Beirut, Jordan Kuwait Bank, Societe Generale and Banque SBA. As is to be expected, there are numerous branches in the bigger cities than in small villages and rural areas, where you will probably only be able to find ATMs.

Banks in Cyprus close early, at 13:30, so you should make sure to schedule your visits and transactions accordingly. It should also be noted that depending on the location of the branch and the personnel, things may not always move very fast. You should be patient and confident that you are in good hands, despite potential delays. And even if the bank's opening hours are not convenient for you, you can perform most transactions online through your bank's website.

Useful links:

Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission
Bank of Cyprus
Hellenic Bank
Astro Bank

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