Prior to a 2013 banking sector crisis that brought Cyprus to the brink of bankruptcy, the east Mediterranean island nation, which is an EU member, was hounded by allegations that it was a tax and money laundering haven.
Kammas said the crisis hit home with Cypriot authorities that they had to clean up the banking system and that pressure to do so had come “as much from political commitment within as it has from outside authorities.”
He said Cyprus is working closely with foreign supervisory authorities from the EU and the US to ensure that financial sector legislation is fully in line with international best practices.
Some of the key reforms include obligatory face-to-face meetings between banks and account owners and strong regulations on disclosing the individual who is the ultimate holder of a bank account.
Earlier this year, Cyprus also introduced new shell company regulations that prohibit Cypriot banks from doing business with entities that are identified as shell companies. [AP]