Opening a bank account in Cyprus

By Marios Konstantinou

Updated: February 09, 2024

To open a bank account in Cyprus, you only need to complete a form and submit certain documents.

However, note that the process for opening a personal bank account in Cyprus has changed over the last few years. The recent amendment to money laundering laws and regulations and the directions of the Central Bank of Cyprus have made the process more demanding. Still, anybody with the necessary documents and guidance will not have any issues.

Opening a Cyprus bank account for residents or non-residents and local or foreign companies is possible.

The takeaway

Opening a bank account in Cyprus is simple, but documentation and compliance with anti-money laundering requirements are necessary. Banks offer a range of facilities for individuals and businesses. All individuals, whether permanent residents or not, are entitled to a basic bank account unless they already have an account with another bank or serious considerations exist against this. Therefore, the most accessible bank account to open in Cyprus is the basic one.

The Cyprus banking system at a glance

  • The Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) licences the Cyprus credit institutions. The CBC reports to the European Central Bank (ECB). The ECB authorises the institutions established in the Member States, including Cyprus. The CBC keeps the register of the licensed credit institutions on their website.
  • The banking sector in Cyprus comprises domestic and international banks with Cyprus-based branches and subsidiaries. It is an essential pillar of the Cyprus economy, carrying out domestic transactions and enabling Cyprus to act as a global business and financial centre.
  • In 2014, Cyprus became a participating country in the EU Single Supervisory Mechanism. It has enacted all necessary legislation to harmonise banking with the relevant EU Regulations and Directives.
  • In recent (21 March 2023) statements to the Financial Mirror, Central Bank governor Constantinos Herodotou confirmed the banking system’s resilience, noting that “Cypriot banks have a robust capital adequacy and liquidity”.

Types of bank account in Cyprus

For individuals

Cyprus has three main types of bank accounts: basic, current and savings. Banks may offer variations of these accounts, such as a youth account, but this depends on the bank. Most banks also have the option of a joint account.

The basic account allows you to carry out all the necessary transactions: receiving and making payments, buying goods and depositing money. It also gives you a card with which to make payments but which does not have credit. You do not need employment or a permanent residence to open a basic bank account. You may be a bankrupt, an asylum seeker, or a person without a residence permit. The bank can only reject you if you already have a basic account with another bank or for another serious reason, such as national security. They must respond to your application to open an account within ten days. If they reject your application, they must give reasons unless it is a matter of national security.

The current account may or may not have an overdraft facility. It allows you to do the same things as a basic account and gives you a chequebook and overdraft facilities.

The savings account operates like a basic account but gives you the right to interest.

For businesses – Corporate bank account

Most banks give you a corporate or business account with various facilities that allow you to carry out business transactions effectively and conveniently. These facilities include standard products like loans for firms, letters of guarantee, letters of credit, and more specialised services like business credit cards and unique features for shipping companies.

European business bank account

Cyprus offers highly efficient business accounts with specialised products and services. Though there is no type of account called a European business account, all services and products of Cyprus banks comply with the detailed requirements of the EU and the ECB, which guarantee safety, quality and protection against money laundering and fraud.

Non-resident bank account requirements

Can a foreigner open a bank account in Cyprus? The answer is yes. Foreigners and non-residents can open a bank account in Cyprus. However, you will need documentation, like a passport, ID, asylum confirmation, or alien registration certificate.

Process of opening a bank account in Cyprus

  • In most cases, you need to visit the bank in person.
  • Some banks allow you to open a bank account remotely, provided you download their app and scan your documentation, such as your passport and/or ID.
  • Most banks offer online banking and mobile app options.
  • Banks have their tables of commissions and charges available online.

Documents required to open a bank account

Personal bank account

To open a personal bank account in Cyprus, you will need:

  • Passport copy
  • Recent utility bill as proof of address not older than 3 months
  • Bank/Financial institution reference letter not older than 3 months
  • Detailed CV
  • Information & documents concerning annual income (tax declaration if applicable, company documents, income/payslips, profits/dividends, etc.)
  • Information & documents concerning source/value of wealth and relevant supporting documents (bank statement, title deeds, etc.)

Business bank account

For business or corporation bank account opening, you will need:

  • Recent Certificate of Incumbency and Letter of Good Standing from its official registrar
  • The full address of the company/principal trading address and description of activities(website)
  • Certificate of Registration
  • Certificate of Directors and Secretary
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association
  • The documents showing the corporate structure of the legal entity leading up to the UBO should be provided and presented in case of complex structures
  • Recent Annual Audited Financial Statements &/or Management Accounts
  • Information & other documents regarding the source of funds
  • Good Standing Letter, Bank reference letter not older than 3 months
  • All the above documents are required for personal bank accounts for the owners of the company

All documents must be in English or, if in another language, to be officially translated.

Our Services

Contact us for a free personal consultation and learn about our competitive fee services.

Frequently asked questions

Can I open a bank account in Cyprus online?

Most banks have online facilities for opening an account. However, they also request a personal meeting to finalise the process. Some banks have mobile apps which you can download to avoid personal meetings. In such a case, you must scan your ID card or passport and receive your card on your phone.

Can a foreigner open a bank account in Cyprus as a non-resident?

Yes. A non-resident foreigner may apply to open a basic bank account.

What is the procedure for foreigners to open a bank account in Cyprus?

It is the same as those concerning Cypriot citizens. They must fill out an application and submit documentation. However, they may need documents like a passport, the alien registration certificate and a copy of their residence permit.

What are the requirements for opening a corporate bank account?

Opening a corporate bank account in Cyprus requires two types of information: 1) information you will give when you complete the application and 2) information contained in the documentation you will give to the bank. In the application, you must mention, among others, the company’s registration details, registered address, physical address, address of primary business activities, tax details, details about the directors and owners, expected turnover, and purpose for opening the account. The documentation includes, among others, copies of the memorandum and articles of association, the certificate of incorporation and a certificate of good standing.

Which bank is best for foreigners to open an account in Cyprus?

It is impossible to recommend a specific bank because it depends on your lifestyle and needs. All bank personnel can speak English, and all banks deal with foreign clients. Therefore, you should expect professionalism and expertise no matter which bank you choose.

What is needed to open a bank account with the Bank of Cyprus?

You need to apply by submitting personal details and documentation. Personal details include, among others, a copy of ID/ passport, proof of residential address, and tax residency. Documentation includes, among others, a copy of a clean criminal record (for foreigners) and a copy of the alien registration certificate.

How much does opening a personal bank account in Cyprus cost?

The standard processing of an account opening is usually free.

What is the bank account limit in Cyprus?

If you mean the overdraft limit, this depends on bank policy and the amount of your salary. You will need to apply for an overdraft account with the bank. If you mean how many accounts an individual can have, you can have as many accounts as you like. Note, however, that the bank is not obligated to accept your application and open an account for you unless it is a basic account and you do not have a basic account in another bank.

How long does it take to open a bank account?

It takes 3 to 4 weeks.

Can a foreign company open a bank account in Cyprus?

Yes. A foreign company can open a bank account in Cyprus and must provide the same information as a Cypriot-registered company. Within the application form, you are required to provide various details, including the registration specifics of the company, its official and physical addresses, the primary location where business activities are conducted, taxation information, and details about the directors and owners. You should also specify the expected revenue and the reason for setting up the account. Supporting documents to include with your application consist of, but are not limited to, copies of the company’s memorandum and articles of association, its certificate of incorporation, and a certificate confirming its good standing.

Why must I open an international bank account in Cyprus?

Some Cypriot banks have an International Banking Unit (IBU) dealing with international companies and non-resident foreign clients. These IBUs are experts in the field, highly professional and efficient at global business. They provide a large variety of services, such as local payments, digital payments, fast international payments, foreign exchange services, and international lending and have special products and services for shipping companies.

How We Can Help?

We have been serving clients since 1983 with measurable success.
Follow us
Members of:
Cyprus Bar Association The Legal 500