Two Russian businessmen who had been holding funds in accounts with Cypriot banks for more than ten years closed them after the Cypriot authorities demanded an explanation of the origin of the funds. The banks demanded that the Russians provide the relevant documents within a week. This is reported by Bloomberg.
Former Deputy Director General of Gazprom and owner of business in Cyprus Aleksandr Ryazanov has also confirmed that it will now be “difficult to open a new account” with a local bank.
Kyriakos Jordan, director general of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus, told reporters that the presence of Russian investors is declining. In 2012, the amount of funds in the accounts fell from 21 billion euros to 7 billion euros.
This happened in 2018, after the Central Bank announced toughening of requirements for foreign dummy firms established in low-tax countries. Banks are instructed to identify offshore companies and close their accounts. When opening a new account, preference is given to companies with offices in Cyprus. It is reported that now the Russian rich are interested in the British Virgin Islands. In the summer of 2018, transactions involving Russian assets three times more than in 2017 alone were recorded there.