Bank of Cyprus to freeze assets of those sanctioned

Bank of Cyprus to freeze assets of those sanctioned

Cypriot individuals and entities included in British and American sanctions lists will see their assets in the Cypriot banking system frozen and will not be able to carry out any banking transactions in Cyprus, Marios Skandalis, chief compliance officer at the Bank of Cyprus, the island’s largest lender, has said. 

Last week, the US Department of Treasury and the UK Foreign Office imposed sanctions on Cypriot individuals and legal entities in connection “with the Russian Federation’s unlawful and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, including facilitators of sanctions evasion.” 

Skandalis recalled that the Cypriot banking system voluntarily implements sanctions imposed by both the US and the UK as “a step further,” in a move which has been rewarded with the increase of correspondent banks clearing transactions in US dollars from one to four. 

He explained that Cypriot banks could opt not to implement US and UK sanctions but only those of the European Union and the United Nations but wondered what that would mean for the Cypriot economy if correspondent banks could not proceed with clearing transactions in US dollars, creating problems for the economy.

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