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-   -   Cypriot banks - recommendation? (https://www.expatforum.com/expats/cyprus-expat-forum-expats-living-cyprus/1479118-cypriot-banks-recommendation.html)

blueparrot 22nd April 2019 12:27 PM

Cypriot banks - recommendation?
My partner and I are UK citizens and will soon move to Cyprus. We will need to open an ordinary euro bank account, for paying utility bills etc. Can anyone recommend a bank that is relatively easy to deal with? Ideally they would not impose excessive maintenance fees. Many thanks.

JonandGaynor 24th April 2019 09:21 AM

Most of the banks charge around the same; statements, account maintenance, debit cards, paying invoices using the bank tellers are also charged for, although most of the charges are fairly minimal. I bank with the Bank of Cyprus as I have found them very friendly, helpful and easy to use, all transactions are notified direct to my phone (very useful when my wife is out with the debit card!). However the bank I have heard most complaints about is the Alpha Bank who seem to charge for everything they can think off with an attitude if you don't like it tough! But no doubt others may disagree.
We use an internet system called JCC Smart to pay most of our bills online which is a very easy and simple process both to set up the account and to use and doesn't incur any bank charges. You enter the invoice details and the money is transferred from your account direct to the payee.

blueparrot 24th April 2019 12:00 PM

Very useful, thank you.

nhowarth 25th April 2019 04:57 PM

I concur with JonandGaynor - I've been with the BoC since the Laiki bank folded.

I've only had one problem. I made a claim on my health insurance and had to visit my agent to collect the cheque. I've never had to do this before as the claim money is paid directly into our account.

My agent called the insurance company who said that the bank refused deposits to the account. Some more information at my local branch - the bank wanted to confirm my wife's income, address, residency status etc. Soon sorted that out.

It seems that all the banks are checking their customers regularly following numerous allegations of money laundering.


PeteandSylv 28th April 2019 05:11 PM

Banks are banks everywhere - we have to tolerate them. I've been with Bank of Cyprus for 10 years now. Recently they closed the branch in Polemi which means that there is no BoC branch between Polis and Paphos. Not very customer friendly.

The alternative approach would to be to not bother with a Cyprus bank account and just get a Revolut card. I got one when offered by Primetel. It gives you every facility of a bank except loans via your smartphone including currency exchange that has better rates than Currency Fair and can be operated with no charges at all.


Joseph7589 13th May 2019 05:20 PM

hi blueparrot,

I moved from the states to Cyprus with wife and kids and opened an account with BOC...ultimately it is the strongest bank in Cyprus which means higher due diligence.

However, when transferring and receiving funds, I was always charged a processing fee so that may be something to review.

If you require help transferring funds from the UK to Cyprus, I own a FX company that can help with providing no costs and better exchange rates.

Thank you.

David_&_Letitia 15th May 2019 05:43 AM


Originally Posted by blueparrot (Post 14855490)
My partner and I are UK citizens and will soon move to Cyprus. We will need to open an ordinary euro bank account, for paying utility bills etc. Can anyone recommend a bank that is relatively easy to deal with? Ideally they would not impose excessive maintenance fees. Many thanks.

Itís important to consider where you are going to live here before opening a bank account. If, for example, itís going to be somewhere like Paphos, then all banks are available to you. However, that is not the case in the smaller towns and villages where there may be only one particular bank located there. Be aware that your bank will charge you for using another bankís ATM, so if you intend to live outside of Paphos, convenience may be a factor in your final decision.

Weíre with Hellenic Bank, and I have no hesitation in recommending them. They have good customer service and lots of ATMs available. Hellenic recently took over the Co-Op Bank here.

Opening an account is easy enough, but give some thought to the type of account you need. I suggest that a current account may not necessarily be the best type of account, depending on your needs, and it will certainly be a little more involved than opening a savings account, which we have after recommendation. The main difference between them, of course, is a cheque book, so you need to prove to the bank your creditworthiness to open such an account. Our savings account comes with a contactless debit card each with which to pay bills or access cash from the ATM. The cards can, of course, be used to pay bills online and we receive text notifications every time a transaction is made using them. We are also able to log-in to our accounts online for various transactions. Highly recommend!

IanJoseph 17th May 2019 02:40 AM

I concur with what David & Letitia have said above re: Hellenic Bank. We have been using them for about 6 months and are happy with the services and the fees.

blueparrot 20th May 2019 02:20 PM

Thanks for all your replies.

I spoke by phone to BOC and Hellenic. The anti-money laundering paperwork they (and I suppose all Cypriot banks) require is remarkable. But I found Hellenic to be more friendly and wanting to help, so I opened a savings account with them. I went to the Ellados Avenue Branch, which was extremely busy, but the staff, while overworked, were polite and efficient.

I will also get a Revolut card.

I would like to receive all my bills by email (or online) and pay online: electricity, water, rubbish collection, village tax and property tax. I am confused because Hellenic Bank mentioned standing orders. Someone else has said direct debits. And then there is JCC Smart. There seem to be many different ways to pay online...and I would like to see all my bills and check them before paying! Any views? Thank you.

GSmith 21st May 2019 07:55 AM

I use an Isle of Man Bank which issues Debit Cards in £,€ & $ and makes no charge for the card or ATM withdrawals anywhere in the world. They have branches in Jersey and London too. Their service is like banking was 30 years ago (helpful, knowledgeable staff). All usual UK banking facilities like direct debit, cheque book, BACS transfers, online banking and a great mobile app.

The downside, they require a minimum balance of £50,000 or equivalent but this can be made up of cash and investments so you can hold shares, investment funds to make up that balance. any income from those investments drops into your bank account.

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