Offshore Banking Cyprus
The Island of Cyprus, historically a part of ancient Greece, is located toward the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. Nicosia is the capital of Cyrpus. The spoken languages of Cyprus are officially Greek and Turkish, and English is widely used in commercial practice. Established offshore banks in Cyprus offer multi-currency trading and investment accounts with full operation via the internet, fax or telephone. Cyprus offshore banks also provide debit cards which provide global access to Cyprus offshore bank account. Cyprus Banks will accept applications with introductions, normally conducted by intermediaries with whom an IBC is formed, for which the account name will be in. Many banks in Cyprus do not offer personal accounts and only open corporate accounts. Banks in Cyrus which offshore bank account normally require:
Offshore Banking Units (OBUs) operate as fully staffed entities and are licensed to transact banking business with non-residents of Cyprus, in currencies other than the Cyprus Pound. They may also engage in banking activities with the Central Bank of Cyprus or with onshore banks which are authorized foreign exchange dealers. OBUs may also extend loans or guarantees in foreign currencies to residents of Cyprus, provided that the resident concerned obtains the requisite Exchange Control authority from the Central Bank of Cyprus. At present 21 banks have a banking business license to operate on an offshore basis from within Cyprus (19 of which are in the form of a branch) and 3 foreign banks maintain a representative office in the Island.
Cyprus has an association agreement with the EU. Although Cyprus has currency exchange controls, these do not apply to offshore entities, which may hold and manage assets in any foreign currency.
Cyprus is an excellent offshore jurisdiction — the only major problem is the potential political stability because the Greco-Turk dispute. Thus, even if a corporation or trust is formed in Cyprus, all assets should actually be held elsewhere. Cyprus is, therefore, really only good for the formation of holding entities, which intrinsically have no "valuable" assets to be maintained in Cyprus, but it is very good for this purpose.
Cyprus Law strictly regulates the disclosure of information. Every person associated with a Cyprus bank is required by the Central Bank to give an oath of secrecy, violation of which is a criminal offense. Having said that, Cyprus does have information sharing agreements with many nations, including the United States of America. Cyprus has double-taxation treaties with more than 25 countries, including Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the USSR.