The Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) has responded to the ‘Cyprus Confidential’ reports by severing ties with 42,728 shell companies and closing around 125,782 bank accounts since the end of 2018, conducting audits, probes, and monitoring to combat financial misuse and ensure compliance with international sanctions. The CBC’s actions come in the wake of allegations that Cypriot banks were used to manage over $31 billion of Russian money, sparking a global investigation into corruption and sanctions evasion.
How has the Central Bank of Cyprus responded to the ‘Cyprus Confidential’ reports?
The Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) responded to the ‘Cyprus Confidential’ reports by severing ties with 42,728 shell companies and closing around 125,782 bank accounts since the end of 2018. It has conducted rigorous audits, emergency probes, and remote monitoring, resulting in thirteen cases with fines, to combat financial misuse and ensure compliance with international sanctions.
CBC’s Response to Alleged Violations
Amidst the swirling revelations brought forward by the ‘Cyprus Confidential’ reports, the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) has stepped into the spotlight to affirm its stance and actions. The reports in question put a sharp focus on how Cyprus has been a nexus for Russian wealth, particularly in the period leading up to the 2022 invasion of Ukraine.
The CBC has not stood idle. It announced that since the end of 2018, its concerted efforts have led to the closing of ties with a staggering 42,728 shell companies. Adding to this crackdown, about 125,782 bank accounts have been sealed off.
The Unraveling Influence of Russian Money
An investigation, intense and global in scope, was published last Tuesday, unraveling the threads of Russian influence within Cyprus’s economic framework. This probe, known as ‘Cyprus Confidential’, was no small undertaking. Imagine, over eight months, more than 270 journalists pooled their skills, hailing from a network of 68 news organizations, to peel back layers of corruption, sanctions evasion, and covert wealth management.
They voiced strong allegations: Cypriot banks, brimming with over $31 billion of Russian money, an amount outstripping the nation’s GDP. The funds, often tagged as dirty, were managed by an expanding local industry of professionals who, allegedly, didn’t ask too many questions.
Rigorous Audits and Fines
In response, the CBC detailed its regulatory muscle-flexing. With a series of in-depth audits, emergency probes, and ongoing remote monitoring, they’ve shown a commitment to cleaning house. Since 2015, thirteen cases have resulted in fines, showcasing the CBC’s resolve to deter financial misuse.
International Compliance and Strengthening Sanctions
The CBC stands as the gatekeeper for ensuring compliance with the financial sanctions set by powerhouses like the United Nations Security Council and the European Union. In 2023, they’ve upped their game by partnering with a reputable solutions provider to rigorously audit and assess the compliance systems against sanctions.
The Moneyval Assessment Report
In the grand scheme of things, Cyprus’s efforts against money laundering and terrorism financing are being tracked. Moneyval, in its fifth evaluation round, published a report in 2020, which highlighted the progress made by Cyprus and pinpointed areas ripe for improvement.
As the CBC continues to navigate through the murky waters of financial regulations, the focus remains on diligent oversight and robust compliance. With Cyprus under the microscope, the CBC’s recent actions signal a steadfast commitment to transparency and integrity within the financial sector.
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- The Central Bank of Cyprus has severed ties with 42,728 shell companies and closed around 125,782 bank accounts since the end of 2018 in response to the ‘Cyprus Confidential’ reports.
- The CBC has conducted audits, probes, and monitoring to combat financial misuse and ensure compliance with international sanctions.
- The ‘Cyprus Confidential’ reports allege that Cypriot banks were used to manage over $31 billion of Russian money, leading to a global investigation into corruption and sanctions evasion.
- The CBC has implemented rigorous audits, emergency probes, and remote monitoring, resulting in thirteen cases with fines to deter financial misuse.
- The CBC is partnering with a solutions provider to assess compliance systems against sanctions and strengthen international compliance.