With one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the EU (and the world), plus an exceptionally business-friendly regulatory environment, makes it a dream destination for starting a business. As one of the essential components in any organization, you’ll be happy to learn that Cyprus also offers a robust, modern, and diverse banking system to support your operations.
Cyprus has a modern and diversified banking system that is regulated by the Central Bank of Cyprus. Businesses in Cyprus have access to a wide range of banking services from these institutions, which can help them manage their finances, access credit, and conduct international transactions. Like many countries with a robust banking sector, Cyprus has a three-tiered banking system, comprising of commercial banks, cooperative banks and electronic money institutions (EMIs). You can find a detailed guide on these systems in our earlier article.
How to open a corporate account in Cyprus
As one of the most business-friendly jurisdictions in the world, opening a corporate account in Cyprus is relatively easy. This is particularly true if you want to open a foreign-owned business in Cyprus. While it’s possible to do it on your own, you can ensure the process will go smoothly and quickly by working with a corporate service provider that specializes in helping businesses register in Cyprus.
Some of the requirements and steps for opening a corporate account may vary depending on the bank and the type of business you have. It’s recommended to check with the individual bank for their specific requirements and procedures. However, you can follow this checklist as a guide that will help you successfully open a new corporate account in most instances:
1. Choose a bank: Research and choose a bank in Cyprus that meets your business needs.
2. Gather necessary documents: Gather the necessary documents required by the bank, which may include:
- 4 Certificates: Certificate of Incorporation, Certificate of Directors&Secretary, Certificate of Shareholders, Certificate of Registered Address
- Memorandum and Articles of Association
- Certificate of Good Standing (if the company exists more than a year)
- Certificate of Incumbency issued less than 6 month ago
- Passport copies and proof of address of directors and authorized signatories
- Business plan or proposal
- Relevant financial documents
3. Schedule a meeting: Schedule a meeting with a representative of the bank to discuss opening a corporate account.
4. Attend the meeting: Attend the meeting with the bank representative and bring all your documentation.
5. Submit documentation: Submit all necessary documentation to the bank for review (see above).
6. Wait for approval: Wait for the bank to review your documentation and approve your account. This may take several days up to several weeks, depending on the bank and the complexity of your business structure.
7. Activate the account: Once your account is approved, you will receive instructions on how to activate the account and start using it.
Bank and neobank options in Cyprus
This list contains some of the best and most popular financial institutions for corporate banking services in Cyprus. We will cover the most important ones in more detail in the following section:
- Bank of Cyprus: As one of the largest commercial banks in Cyprus, it provides a wide range of corporate banking services, including account opening, credit facilities, cash management, and trade finance. Businesses can also benefit from a superb digital banking platform and dedicated relationship managers
- Helleniс Bank: Comes close behind Bank of Cyprus with a similarly extensive profile of corporate banking services. For convenience, Helleniс Bank also offers customers the benefit of dedicated relationship managers and digital banking solutions.
- Astro Bank: Formerly known as Piraeus Bank (Cyprus), it offers a range of corporate account services, including account opening, cash management, trade finance, foreign exchange, and investment services. It also provides personalized relationship management, online banking, and other digital solutions. Additionally, Astro Bank offers specialized services for industries such as shipping and energy.
- cdb Bank: CDB Bank is another large commercial bank in Cyprus that offers corporate account holders services like account management, lending, trade finance, treasury services, and cash management. On top of online and mobile banking, it also offers personalized customer support through dedicated relationship managers.
- EUROBANK: Headquartered in Athens, Greece, Eurobank also has a strong presence in Cyprus. On top of the usual corporate services, they also offer international banking services and online banking platforms for corporate clients.
- Unlimint: This fintech company offers a range of payment solutions and services for businesses, including multi-currency accounts, card issuing, payment acquiring, and other payment solutions. They also offer a variety of digital payment tools and integration options for businesses looking to streamline their payment processes.
- Payabl: This fintech company provides online invoicing, payment processing, and cash flow management solutions, as well as customized financial reports and analytics to help businesses better understand their finances. Additionally, Payabl provides a virtual card solution that helps businesses to make secure online purchases and manage their expenses.
Pros and cons of the top banks and neobanks in Cyprus
Let’s see what you should consider before partnering with some of these curated top banking options in Cyprus.
Bank of Cyprus
Bank of Cyprus was founded in 1899, making it the oldest bank in Cyprus. It’s also the country’s largest bank, with €24,962.79 under management.
- An established bank with a long history in Cyprus and a wide range of services.
- Offers online banking services for corporate accounts, making it easier for businesses to manage their accounts and transactions.
- Provides expert dedicated relationship managers who work with businesses to understand their needs and provide customized solutions.
- Some clients may find the bank’s fees and charges to be relatively high compared to others.
- As a long-standing financial institution, Bank of Cyprus may have a bureaucratic or slow-moving culture compared to neobanks.
Established in 2008, Astro Bank is one of the newer commercial banks operating in Cyprus. Despite its focus on the industries such as shipping and energy, it has a total assets under management of €3 billion.
- Wide range of corporate banking services, including trade finance, cash management, and treasury services.
- Personalized approach to banking, with dedicated relationship managers for corporate clients.
- Ability to conduct transactions in multiple currencies.
- Limited online banking services for corporate clients.
- Minimum balance requirements for some corporate accounts can be relatively high.
- May not be the best option for businesses with primarily international operations.
Founded in 2009, Unlimint is new compared to commercial banks but a well-established and pioneering player in the Cyprus fintech scene. It has a growing international presence, especially the UK with convenient cross-border payment solutions.
- Allows businesses to transact in more than 150 currencies, making it a suitable option for companies that operate globally.
- Unlimint offers a variety of flexible payment methods, including credit cards, bank transfers, e-wallets, and more.
- Unlimint can tailor solutions to meet the specific needs of businesses, including customized payment processing and fraud prevention tools.
- As an EMI, it isn’t licensed to provide all the financial services of a traditional bank.
- Businesses with high transaction volumes may find Unlimint’s fees high.
- While Unlimint offers 24/7 customer support, some businesses may find that the level of support provided does not meet their expectations.
Payable follows hot on Unlimint’s heels, being founded in 2010. Payabl is a fintech company that offers payment and financial management solutions for businesses, including convenient corporate debit and virtual cards.
- A user-friendly platform that is easy to navigate and provides a streamlined experience.
- Payabl offers a range of payment options, including bank transfers, credit cards, and e-wallets.
- Payabl’s pricing structure is relatively competitive compared to other payment service providers.
- Payabl’s international coverage is not as comprehensive as some other payment service providers.
- Payabl’s platform may not offer as many features compared to some competitors or commercial banks.
- Payabl relies on third-party providers for some payment processing services.
Cyprus has a diverse and modern banking system consisting of commercial banks, cooperative banks, and electronic money institutions (EMIs) that can help businesses manage their finances, access credit, and conduct international transactions. Bank of Cyprus, Hellenik Bank, Astro Bank, cdb Bank, and Eurobank are some of the best financial institutions in Cyprus for corporate banking services that should be on the radar of every potential corporate account holder. The process of opening a corporate account in Cyprus is relatively easy, thanks to it being a business-friendly country.