A corporate account in Northern Cyprus provides a number of advantages to businesses, especially those focused on developing cooperation with Turkish entrepreneurs. However, several conditions and specific requirements will need to be studied and met by an applicant for setting up a company’s bank account in North Cyprus. You are most welcome to request professional advice and assistance from our experts so that you wouldn’t have to waste too much time and could compile the entire set of documents effortlessly, quickly, and efficiently.
This article is an introduction to the specifics of working with banks in Northern Cyprus and an invitation to use our team’s recommendations and services.
Northern Cyprus Banking System
Northern Cyprus has only recently started acquiring the status of an offshore jurisdiction. This was mostly because of political reasons. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has been officially recognized in the world only by Turkey. However, it offers many advantages to non-resident entrepreneurs. It is very important to acknowledge that the banking system in Northern Cyprus, unlike in South Cyprus, has been built on the Turkish rather than the European model.
The regulator in Northern Cyprus is its Central Bank supervising all major groups of banks incorporating Turkish and joint Turkish-Northern Cypriot financial institutions, as well as branches of foreign banks. Since 2003, and especially in the last few years, against all political odds, the financial sector in the region has been progressively growing. This trend was unrolling alongside the country’s general shift towards the services-driven economy, development of tourism, education and real estate sectors into the leading sectors in North Cyprus, maturing transport, trade, construction and communication fields, and introduction of tax incentives and efficient business environment for local and international investors.
Businesses can operate in three company types in Northern Cyprus: Free Trade Zone Companies, International Business Companies (Offshore Companies), Foreign Branch Companies. As the island is strategically located at the crossroads of trade routes between Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, the following fields are particularly beneficial for international businesses: Finance, IT, Consulting, Communication, Online services, Aviation and Travel and Tourism.
Both Southern and Northern Cyprus have been demonstrating viability, quick recovery, and stable growth for several years in a row after a brief economic slump during the global financial crisis in 2008-2009.
As for the current COVID-19 pandemic impact, the TRNC authorities have eased restrictions and reopened North Cyprus for incoming international travelers since July 1, 2020. According to WHO, ‘rapid implementation of social-distancing measures, good hygiene measures and travel/gathering bans in Northern Cyprus has been effective in controlling the outbreak’. Correspondingly, since the lift of all restrictions, the business and economic activities are coming to their normal in Northern Cyprus.
Non-Residents’ Benefits of Opening a Corporate Account in Northern Cyprus
Many companies registered in the TRNC or Turkey open corporate accounts with the Northern Cyprus banks to benefit from the lowest rates charged for account maintenance and transactions. Besides, services at Northern Cypriot banks are customer-friendly and based on the principle of nearly total banking secrecy. The guarantees of respect and protection of absolute confidentiality of the clients’ financial information make Northern Cyprus banks stand out among their European counterparts.
Other major advantages of corporate banking in Northern Cyprus include the following benefits:
- information covered by bank secrecy can only be disclosed on the court decision
- quick opening of an account for non-residents, particularly if they own some local property
- support in the English language, as well as in some other languages
- absence of strict compliance requirements for clients
- complete confidentiality of clients’ information
- convenient solutions for remote management of accounts and funds
- most affordable banking fees
Who Can Open Corporate Accounts in Northern Cyprus
If you decided to set up a bank account in Northern Cyprus, you should refer to professional consultants before filing your application. Offshore-Pro Group experts can help you collect all the required documents and fill out the application forms in the right way. Please remember that banks in Northern Cyprus take client identification very seriously. If they cannot fully identify a new client, they will reject the application. We will be happy to offer our services in instructing you in advance and guiding you through preparations for the identification and verification procedure to increase your chances of success. Even though Northern Cyprus banks are customer-oriented, flexible and do not care very much about the origins of your funds, the KYC compliance is one of their priorities, particularly when the applicant wants to open a corporate account.
Limitations by Country
To seamlessly open a corporate account in Northern Cyprus, you should first find out if there are any restrictions regarding your country of origin and other matters. Banking institutions across the globe usually draw up lists of undesirable jurisdictions. Although Northern Cyprus institutions do not impose such restrictions some limitations apply anyway. Banks in Northern Cyprus will deny services to companies that are on the OFAC (Office of Foreign Asset Control) lists.
Limitations by Activity
The primary requirement that the Northern Cyprus banks put forward is complete disclosure of the client’s identity. They refuse to cooperate with or serve customers who are suspected of having earned capital through criminal or fraudulent activities or involvement in terrorism financing. This is the main if not the only limitation concerning the types of your company’s economic activities.
Corporate Accounts in Northern Cyprus for Internationals: Bank Services and Fees
A non-resident bank account in Northern Cyprus provides a scope of benefits essential for your business development. The client company (corporation, foundation, partnership, trust, etc.) will get access to a variety of banking services and products. Northern Cyprus banks are versatile. Apart from providing classical financial services, they can also advise the client on the following issues:
- how to overcome difficulties associated with the specifics of the local, regional, and international legislation
- how to develop business and resolve business issues in Northern Cyprus
- how to use the banking services to raise funds.
When you set up a corporate account with banks in Northern Cyprus, you will gain access to the following main services:
- local and international transactions
- foreign currency account
- metal account (gold, silver, platinum, palladium)
- banks guarantees
- bank loans
- leasing opportunities
- export factoring
- letters of credit
- the Northern Cyprus bank pay cards (debit and credit ones)
- deposit accounts
- intermediate financing credit accommodation
- storage of valuables.
Our experts can recommend the bank which offers clients some additional non-banking services such as trust, fiduciary services, and consultancy. The bank managers are professional experts in project financing, charitable fund structuring, and many other matters. Besides, you can have access to the stock market and commodity funds via this bank.
Companies can open a corporate account in Norther Cyprus in one of the following world currencies:
- US dollars (USD)
- Euros (EUR)
- Swiss francs (CHF).
Operations in other currencies, including the opening of deposit accounts, are also possible. In case you deposit money in a different currency with this bank, it reserves the right to place it on deposits in correspondent foreign banks, but the client will need to cover the associated costs.
Non-residents may open the following corporate bank accounts:
- corporate current account
- hard currency account
- metal account
- deposit account
- investment account.
Our experts will recommend the bank in which your corporate account can be also used for transactions with promissory notes, cheques, and other financial instruments, strictly according to instructions.
Please note: Banks in Northern Cyprus offer a wide range of services. You are welcome to ask our experts if this or that local bank provides any of the services you need. They can recommend the bank which will best meet your needs, help you open your account, and discuss with you all subtleties and prospects of developing your business.
Northern Cyprus banks are actively expanding their international cooperation and new partnerships. They have already gained experience of work with several major foreign investment banks. This is beneficial for the bank corporate clients, particularly because such an international approach has allowed to lower transaction tariffs and upgrade the promptness and effectiveness of daily performance.
The bank clients have 24/7 access to their account information via the online banking platform. You can forward transaction requests and other instructions via various media such as the telephone, fax, e-mail, and so on. Please note that banks record all telephone conversations with customers.
Therefore, you should remember that the bank assumes no responsibility for the misuse of communication media through the client’s fault. The bank cannot be held responsible if some instruction has been carried out twice because it has been given via two different channels and/ or by two different authorized account users.
You can use the following two types of bank cards popular in Northern Cyprus:
You can use these cards anywhere in the world to pay for goods and services and withdraw money from countless ATMs. Credit and debit payment cards are issued in Northern Cyprus by banks cooperating with international issuers.
Please note: The rates of cards issuing and maintenance vary for each bank. You can contact our experts for information about the ATM network and locations, the fees charged for cashing, and transactions at any specific bank.
How to Open a Corporate Account in Northern Cyprus
To quickly open a corporate account in Northern Cyprus, you need to submit a specific portfolio of documents for verification and pass the KYC check. The bank managers will want to know who the true UBO’s (Ultimate Beneficiary Owners) are. Please contact our professionals to make sure you don’t waste time on paperwork. Our staff will help you pass the verification in the best possible time without any complications.
The Procedure for Opening a Corporate Account:
- To successfully apply for a non-resident corporate account in Northern Cyprus and become a local bank client, please contact our consultants at firstname.lastname@example.org and specify your request.
- Then you will need to pay for the package of our reasonably priced services ordered by you. The flat fee starts at 3999 EUR. We accept payment made in any convenient traditional form: a bank transfer, on-site card payment, via PayPal or WebMoney, or by transfer via Western Union.
- We will help you compile the right set of documents and submit them to the bank. They must be in English and certified according to the bank’s requirements.
List of Documents for Opening a Corporate Account in Northern Cyprus
The following documents are required at the pre-approval stage:
- the legalized copy of the most recent edition of the company Memorandum and Articles of Association
- notarized copies of the company Registration or Incorporation Certificates
- photocopies of company directors’ passports with their signatures.
- utility bills for the directors and the company head office to serve as proofs of addresses
- Resolution of the Board of Directors to open a corporate account in the Northern Cyprus bank and a proxy authorizing the company representative to sign the application documents on behalf of the company
- a Power of Attorney authorizing the company representative to open the bank account with a photocopy of his or her passport attached
- the correctly completed bank application form
- the most recent financial reports certified by the company directors.
Please note the following important nuances:
The Bank’s Compliance Department may request additional documents if required.
Banks often set specific requirements regarding certification of documents. The Northern Cyprus bank that we recommend, for example, requires that the documents shall contain the following verification elements:
- “Certified as a true copy of the original”
- Name of the certifier and his or her signature.
To learn specifically about the verification procedure and the text of the verification inscription, please contact our team. We will help you fill in your bank application according to the requirements of the particular bank. For instance, they may ask for black-and-white or colored copies of your papers; they may expect the signature to appear on every or only the last page of a multipage document, etc. Besides, every bank has a list of officials who are qualified to legalize the document copies.
Timelines for Opening a Corporate Account in Northern Cyprus
As discussed above, the bank will not open an account for a client whom it has identified and verified as the one mentioned in the OFAC registry records. This refusal is announced at the stage of submission of the client’s documents to banks in Northern Cyprus. Therefore, it is necessary to handle the document collection and verification with the maximum attention to detail.
Also, please note that the bank does not open accounts for companies directly or indirectly involved in any type of online gambling and betting, as well as for pharmaceutical activities.
All transfers and payments may be made only between companies and not with individuals.
To open a corporate account in Northern Cyprus as soon as possible, you should follow instructions provided by our experienced experts. If everything is in order, a corporate account in the Northern Cyprus bank will be opened within one month. However, there is a way to open the account much faster, and our experts will explain to you the steps to be taken to accelerate the bank’s decision.
If you are interested in our service, please contact us by e-mail without delay at email@example.com.