For those who like to stick to the tried and tested, - despite it usually taking a bit longer and requiring an often substantial amount of paperwork - we’ve chosen the largest, the most popular banks to give you an idea of what traditional institutions can potentially offer businesses in Cyprus. Some people prefer traditional institutions because they have a longer history, fall under familiar regulations and are seen by some as being more ‘respectable’ when conducting business. Let’s take a look at 3 banks in Cyprus:
This is the second largest Greek bank in terms of popularity and it also operates in Cyprus. It provides a business account tailored for professionals and small businesses, while also caters to the banking needs of medium to large businesses with its comprehensive business banking services.
Highlight features for business banking in Alpha Bank include:
- Green solutions for small business
- Alpha payroll Sectoral programmes
- Tailored accounts depending on the size of business
Eurobank Cyprus is a notable bank in Cyprus, which has demonstrated substantial growth and offers a wide range of financial services. Eurobank Cyprus is dedicated to serving individuals, businesses, and corporate clients, providing them with tailored solutions. The bank is particularly committed to supporting SMEs through various financing options, including business loans and credit facilities.
Hellenic Bank offers ‘more than just traditional banking’ with tailored accounts and loans for businesses of all sizes. A business bank account can be opened locally or from abroad.
Highlight features for business banking also include an overdraft limit, multi-currencies available, SMS banking which allows for convenient mobile access and management of accounts. Additional services such as online banking, secure transaction options, and dedicated relationship managers for personalized assistance are also made available in Hellenic Bank.
RCB Bank, a leading financial institution in Cyprus, stands out for its extensive range of banking services designed to meet the diverse needs of both individual and corporate clients. With a strong commitment to providing reliable and efficient customer service, RCB Bank has built a reputation for its unwavering dedication to client satisfaction.
Catering to the requirements of businesses of all sizes, RCB Bank also places a particular emphasis on supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with their financial needs. Recognizing the crucial role that SMEs play in driving economic growth and fostering innovation, the bank offers tailored financial solutions to help these businesses thrive.
RCB Bank's commitment to sustainable growth is an integral strategy to its long-term vision and self-attained responsibility towards the environment and society. The bank actively promotes environmentally friendly practices within its operations and supports sustainable projects that contribute to the well-being of local communities. By incorporating sustainable principles into its business model, RCB Bank demonstrates its dedication to making a positive impact beyond the realm of traditional banking services.
Societe Generale Bank of Cyprus branch is a well-known banking institution operating in the island. With a strong focus on delivering exceptional banking services, the bank has built a reputation for reliability and innovation, meeting the diverse needs of its individual and corporate clients.
Considering that some precise asset information may not be publicly disclosed, Societe Generale Bank offers a comprehensive range of financial services, covering various aspects of personal and business banking. For individual clients, the bank provides a multitude of services, including current and savings accounts, loans, mortgages, and investment products. With a customer-centric approach, Societe Generale Bank ensures that individuals have access to a wide array of tailored solutions to manage their finances effectively and achieve their financial goals.
Astrobank has a modern business appeal with an emphasis on SMEs.
What sets Astrobank apart is its team of dedicated relationship managers who possess specialized expertise in working with SMEs. These professionals understand the specific challenges faced by small and medium-sized businesses and are equipped with the knowledge and experience to provide personalized guidance and tailored financial solutions. By developing deep relationships with their clients, Astrobank's relationship managers act as trusted advisors, helping SMEs navigate the complexities of financial management and make informed decisions.
Bank of Cyprus is one of the largest and most prominent banks in Cyprus. It offers a wide range of banking services and products to individuals, businesses, and corporate clients. Bank of Cyprus is known for its comprehensive portfolio of business loans and financing options. If you are interested in growing your business assets and activities through loans, Bank of Cyprus can be a nice point of business for you. The bank also provides personalized services through its team of relationship managers, who possess specialized expertise in serving small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In recent years Bank of Cyprus started offering innovative features such as biodegradable cards, reflecting its commitment to sustainability.
General Financial Services Scene in Cyprus
The general financial services scene in Cyprus has undergone notable changes in recent years, particularly in terms of improving accessibility and streamlining the process of opening business accounts. Traditional institutions have recognized the need to simplify account opening procedures, which were once notorious for their complexity. We’re providing an overview of the evolving financial service management landscape in Cyprus, focusing on the enhanced accessibility and document requirements associated with opening business accounts.
In response to the demands of businesses and entrepreneurs, Cypriot financial entities have taken significant steps to make business account opening easier. Recognizing the importance of reducing bureaucratic hurdles, providers have streamlined their processes, resulting in a significant reduction in waiting times. Previously, entrepreneurs encountered considerable delays in obtaining business accounts. In recent years, several institutions in Cyprus have managed to reduce the waiting period to an average of two weeks. This improvement has been instrumental in promoting a favorable business environment, allowing companies to commence their operations swiftly.
While the waiting time for opening business accounts has been considerably reduced, an essential step for prospective clients would be to familiarize themselves with the specific document requirements of each entity. Document requirements can vary among different options, necessitating due diligence on the part of business owners. To ensure a smooth and efficient account opening process, individuals should consult the respective providers for detailed lists of necessary documents.
In general, the typical document requirements for opening a business account in Cyprus include proof of identification, such as passports or national identity cards, proof of address, such as utility bills or rental agreements, and details of the company's registration and incorporation. Some institutions may still request information regarding the nature of the business, including its activities, anticipated transaction volumes, and sources of funds, so preparation is still vital for speedy processing. In the eyes of the traditional institutions, by providing comprehensive documentation, you are expected to demonstrate their commitment to transparency and financial responsibility, facilitating the account opening process.
Several Cyprus institutions have recently embraced technological advancements to enhance accessibility and streamline the document submission process. Online financial services platforms enable clients to submit necessary documents electronically which reduces the need for physical visits to the branch and cuts down waiting time for the overall process. This digital transformation has significantly contributed to the ease and convenience of opening business accounts in Cyprus.
All in all, these developments have contributed to a more favourable business environment in Cyprus, promoting economic growth and encouraging entrepreneurship.
One growth factor we’d like to mention is that it has recently become much easier to take your business financial services account needs online. With challenger banks in Cyprus like wamo, and alternative banking and financial management providers like wise, Revolut, wittix, and 3s money. It’s possible to get a business account in days and hours, if not minutes at providers like wamo.
What are the procedures for opening a business account in Cyprus for 2022?
The procedure for opening a business account in Cyprus has been relatively simple and easy, provided you have all the necessary documents in place. In fact, you can also open an account remotely, without the need to be present during the bank account opening process
Step 1: Research and choose the financial service provider you want to open an account with
Step 2: Gather all the necessary documents required
Step 3: Fill out the application form
Step 4: Submit the form along with the required documents
What documents do I need to open a business account in a Cyprus branch of an institution?
In order to open a business account in Cyprus in person, you will need to provide the following documents:
- Your passport or national ID card.
- Proof of address, such as a utility bill or rental agreement.
- Documentation about your business, such as your business registration certificate, Memorandum and Articles of Association, etc.
- Some institutions may also require additional documents, such as a business plan
- Information and documents related to annual income, like a tax declaration, company documents, income and payslips, profits and dividends etc.
- You may also be required to bring in a letter of recommendation from any bank where you have your account
Once you have submitted all the required documents, the provider will usually take 2 weeks to process your application and open your account for business.
It’s important to note that, institutions in Cyprus are strictly prohibited to open a business account in these cases:
- If you fail to show them your clean accounting records
- You are under the blacklist of the OECD, EU or FATF
- You are not a tax resident of any country
Challenges of Financial Services Landscape in Cyprus
- Stricter Compliance Requirements: In recent years, Cyprus has implemented stricter compliance and due diligence measures to combat money laundering and adhere to international regulatory standards. This means that businesses may encounter more rigorous Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures and increased scrutiny during the account opening process.
- Currency Controls: Cyprus has imposed certain capital controls following the financial crisis in 2013. While these controls have been gradually eased, there are still restrictions on capital movement, including limitations on the transfer of funds outside of Cyprus. This can affect businesses engaged in international transactions or those requiring foreign currency exchange.
- Geopolitical Considerations: Being located in a region with geopolitical tensions, Cyprus may face some associated risks. Political instability, economic volatility, or changes in regional dynamics can impact the business environment and potentially affect financial services management operations.
- Foreign Exchange Risks: For businesses dealing with multiple currencies, fluctuations in exchange rates can introduce risks and impact the value of international transactions, import/export costs, and overall profitability.
- Limited Local Market: Cyprus has a relatively small domestic market due to its small population. This may limit growth opportunities for businesses that primarily target local customers and rely heavily on the local market for revenue generation.
- Increased Competition: As a business-friendly jurisdiction, Cyprus attracts entrepreneurs and companies from various industries. This can result in increased competition within the local market, requiring businesses to differentiate themselves and adapt to a competitive landscape.
What are the alternatives if I don’t qualify for a bank account for business?
If you are not eligible to open a business bank account in these banks, Cyprus still does not hold you from running your business. There are options for you to open a business account in digital-only banks or financial services management or payment platforms.
These platforms are comparatively faster and more flexible with their requirements. Additionally, they can offer you a wide range of features at very low cost, easier access to your business account, multi-currency accounts, easy card issuances to run a smooth business in Cyprus and financial management platforms that function just like others but aren’t official banks are generally easier to get an account with as they are not lumbered with the same traditional processes, procedures and more exclusionary requirements of official banks.
Two of the better known neobanks you can look for
and popular financial services provider platforms (not banks)
If you’re looking for a full-suite business account in 10 minutes and great customer service forever, try wamo. An account can be opened fast with basic personal and business details and an ID. No credit check needed. wamo offers limitless cards and accounts, EU and GB IBANs and a smooth, easy app and desktop experience. Choose between sole trader and company accounts with the starter plan for sole traders being free.
Revolut is geared for borderless payments and making business banking across the globe and on the move. Choose between a business bank account and a company account. Revolut offer multiple currencies (150+), automated accounting tool integration and multiple accounts among many other features. A good choice if you do international business and want an officially registered bank that’s wholly digital.
Wittix offers a business account with SWIFT payments, unlimited cards and multi-currency conversions. This is a financial management platform and a good choice for those who want a simple solution for managing their finances.
3s money is a payments platform that was initially created to make international business payments easier. Make and take payments in over 190 countries worldwide without the hassle involved when trying to do the same through traditional and challenger platforms. You can quickly check your eligibility on the 3s money website.
The business account you choose for starting your business in Cyprus will depend on the type of business you have and the features you most appreciate from a business account. At wamo we believe that everyone should have a fair chance at accessing a business account to make their business vision a reality. If you’re a non-resident wanting to know how to open a business account in Cyprus, this article might be helpful too.