Includes special features of this country’s banking system and rules/laws that might impact U.S. business.

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 32 percent of total lending.  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 19 banks in the area administrated by Turkish Cypriots, of which 14 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 the following links for more information about banks (website available only in the Turkish language) and the banking system in the area administrated by Turkish Cypriots.

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