Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Cyprus banking

Banking in Cyprus has some good points, and some not-so-good.

It's definitely better than it was when we first arrived. Internet banking works pretty effectively, for one thing. Well, mostly. I can't - for some reason - use my usual Firefox browser to pay bills or transfer money, so I have to launch Internet Explorer for that. But it's a minor glitch. This IS Cyprus, after all.

We've got used to the fact that it isn't free. No interest on current accounts, and they charge us for cheque books. They would charge for statements, too, except that I've now cancelled those and just print out online statements once a month. I wrote more about banking in Cyprus in May last year, when we were thinking about transferring large amounts to buy our house.

But then, for our personal accounts, everything was relatively straightforward. Try anything more complex - or even unusual - and the banks don't seem to know how to cope at all. I very much enjoyed 'Tales from the Cyrus Bank' which was posted by another blogger from Larnaka a few weeks ago. All familiar stuff.

And should you wish to start a business account... well, in a nutshell, don't expect it to happen rapidly, or efficiently. It's eighteen months since Richard first tried to start up business accounts for his office. In April this year he thought he had all the paperwork, only to discover that the bank had lost something vital. More letters and communications have passed, since then, until a few weeks ago when he finally was able to open the accounts.

Then he asked if he could access them online.

And... well, he wrote about it here: Internet banking in Cyprus.

When he arrived back for lunch today, he had spent ALL MORNING trying to sort this out.

I do still like the fact that there is no glass between the bank tellers and the customers, and that they're so friendly.

But I hope I don't ever have to set up a business account of any sort in Cyprus!

1 comment:

Rajaram S said...

Banking in Cyprus is not strange only to me, i guess!
I had a similar funny experience last year and had written abt it..