When you purchase a property with North Cyprus International (NCI) you may be thinking about opening a local bank account.  Here are some FAQs about North Cyprus bank accounts.

Do I need to open a North Cyprus bank account as a TRNC property owner?

It’s not always necessary to open a North Cyprus bank account as a TRNC property owner.  When you purchase your villa or apartment you will send the funds by international bank transfer to your lawyer.  However, if you plan to spend regular periods of time in North Cyprus you may like to have a local bank debit or credit card for local shop and restaurant purchases without worrying about any commission charges on overseas purchases.   

Should I open a North Cyprus bank account with a mainland Turkey bank or a local bank?

There are both branches of larger mainland Turkey banks in North Cyprus (such as Garanti Bank and Is Bank) as well as branches of excellent local North Cyprus Banks (such as Credit West and Near East bank). 

If you travel regularly in both Turkey and North Cyprus, you will obviously wish to choose a branch of a Turkey mainland bank.   

Otherwise, both are good options. 

Will the staff in banks speak English?

Some of the banks offer superior ex-pat services and better English speaking staff as their services are targeted to ex-pat property owners.  The British Residents Society holds their regular “clinics” in the Catalkoy Branch of the Credit West which many of our NCI clients and other British ex-pats use and where most staff speak English.

How will I know which bank to open a bank account with?

Our North Cyprus International (NCI) staff can advise you which TRNC bank to choose on this during your North Cyprus Inspection trip or property viewings.  We can also introduce you to selected local bank branches in the Kyrenia area where we know the staff give an excellent English-speaking ex-pat service.

Can I transfer money by IBAN to and from my country to a North Cyprus bank?

Transfers to and from countries such as the UK can be carried out by both types of bank. There will be charges for doing this at both ends – it might be worth checking with one or two banks as to the lowest rates if you are going to make transfers regularly.  North Cyprus banks may charge less than larger Turkish banks for transfers.

Should I open a pound sterling, euro or Turkish Lira bank account in North Cyprus?

Most of NCI’s ex-pat property buyers open both a Turkish Lira and Sterling account and transfer money regularly between the two. There are also euro accounts available.  If you are using a local card, these are linked only to the Lira, so you need to have Lira in your TL account to fund these purchases.  You can easily transfer money online between your North Cyprus Turkish Lira and Sterling bank accounts.

Can I earn high interest on my bank account?

The rates of interest for bank savings accounts in North Cyprus are currently (2020) far higher than in the UK or other European countries.  You will earn very high interest on a Turkish Lira account, but please note the Lira is liable to fluctuate rapidly in value so you have to watch the exchange rates carefully. The rates on pound sterling accounts are higher than in the UK and the pound is a more stable currency which is why the property market in North Cyprus is linked to the pound sterling and not the Lira.

Do banks offer mobile internet banking?

Yes, most branches of Turkish Banks in North Cyprus, as well as North Cyprus local banks, offer internet banking.  Credit West and Garanti bank both have excellent mobile internet banking options.

Do I need an address to open a bank account?

Yes, you usually need a North Cyprus address to have a North Cyprus bank account.  You will need to supply various documents upon opening the account, which our NCI staff can advise you about during your inspection trip.

Do I need a bank account for managing my property?

If you are managing your own property, you will need a local bank account from which to pay various standing orders for Kibtek electricity payments and local Belediye council taxes etc.  However, if you own an apartment on a fully managed complex, many management companies will organise all these payments for you in which case you do not need a local bank account.  Please enquire with NCI about which property sites offer this type of fully managed service.

Will I get a credit or debit card with my bank account?

Yes, most banks will offer the option of some kind of ATM &/or payment card.  There will be additional paperwork to complete and there is often a time period delay for receiving the card – so if you are only coming for short periods you may need to wait until your next visit to collect it.  For Credit Cards, some banks will ask you to deposit and “block out” certain funds in a separate credit card-linked account to cover your credit card purchases.

If you have any further queries about opening a bank account in North Cyprus in connection with a property purchase, please contact North Cyprus International (NCI) in the UK or Cyprus on +44 207 112 8086 or +90 548 861 0600

List Of Banks

Details correct as of early 2020 – please check bank websites for updated information and telephone numbers.

Some Turkey Mainland Banks with Branches in North Cyprus.

Is Bank (Branches in Girne/Kyrenia and Lefkosa/Nicosia)

Kemal Aşık Cad. No.56/A Küçükkaymaklı/Lefkoşa

Closes 5pm

Telephone: : +90 392 227 04 15

Garanti Bank (Branches all over North Cyprus)

Garanti Bankası Girne Çarşı Şubesi

Kyrenia, Cyprus

Closes 4:30pm ·Telephone: +90 392 815 01 14

Halk Bank (Branches all over North Cyprus)

Halkbank Lefkoşa Şubesi

Nicosia, Cyprus

Closes 5PM. Telephone: +90 392 228 85 45

Ziraat Bank (Branches all over North Cyprus)

Nicosia, Cyprus

Closes 5pm. Telephone: +90 542 889 57 66

TEB Bank Türk Ekonomi Bankası  (Mainland Turkish Bank)

Famagusta, Cyprus

Closes 4pm. Telephone: +90 392 365 59 30

Local Banks include:

Those which are used most frequently by ex-pats are the

* Credit West bank (who also offer mortgage advice),

* Near East Bank and the

* Koopbank. 

There are other local North Cyprus banks including Albank, Fortress Bank, Universal Bank and Nova Bank.  Please check the internet for those details.  Contact us to give us feedback from ex-pats on which banks offer great service and which do not and will update this article as required.

Creditwest Bank (Branches all over North Cyprus)

Nicosia, Cyprus

Telephone: +90 392 600 20 00

Creditwest Bank – Catalkoy

Yıldırım Sokak, Ozanköy 99320

Telephone:  +90 392 824 56 20

Koopbank – Girne/Kyrenia

Telephone: +90 392 815 24 69

Near East Bank (Branches all over North Cyprus)

Kyrenia, Cyprus

Telephone: +90 392 444 06 32

We look forward to being of help with your North Cyprus property purchase and offering you North Cyprus bank advice during your NCI inspection trip.

North Cyprus International (NCI)

+44 207 112 8086 or +90 548 861 0600