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Cyprus Banking Delegation Completes Successful United States Visit

Cyprus Banking Delegation Completes Successful United States Visit

A senior delegation from the Association of Cyprus Banks (ACB) has recently completed a successful visit to the United States, during which it met with senior U.S. government officials, important U.S. financial industry regulators, Members of the U.S. Congress and their key staff, global banking institutions, academics, and the financial media. The delegation consisted of senior executives from the two largest ACB member banks: Marios Skandalis - Bank of Cyprus and Matheos Charalambides - Hellenic Bank.

Building on the relationships established during the first ACB visit to the U.S. in June 2018, this year’s trip served to reaffirm to critical U.S. audiences Cyprus banking sector’s commitment in adhering to high standards of combating financial crime, and to present the effective comprehensive review of the extensive financial reforms that have been implemented in Cyprus since the financial crisis. The delegation particularly noted recent external validation of Cyprus’s progress, including assessments by the 2019 U.S. Department of State International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR); U.S. Treasury Department Assistant Secretary Marshall Billingslea, who said Cyprus has made “enormous progress and improvements”; the ranking of Cyprus on the Corruption Perception Index; and a Transparency International AML Transparency Measures and Quality of Reporting survey. Updates on the economic recovery in Cyprus and the reduction in non-performing loans across the banking sector were also shared.

Throughout the ACB’s series of meetings over the course of a week, the delegation sought to strengthen Cyprus’s partnership with U.S. regulators, further collaboration with the U.S. on AML issues affecting both countries, and reinforce and expand correspondent banking relationships.

In Washington, D.C., the delegation met with leading policymakers and regulators at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of State; officials of the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus; and senior staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Senate Committee on Armed Services, House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the Congressional Hellenic Caucus. The ACB officials also participated in two high-profile public events, each one hosted by a prestigious U.S.-based think tank, the Hudson Institute and the Atlantic Council.

In New York City, the delegation met with representatives from the New York State Department of Financial Services; several U.S.-based global banks, and financial media.

The ACB is committed to building upon the foundation laid during this productive trip to further enhance its partnership with U.S. banks and banking regulators, and to align the global understanding of the Cypriot economy and financial sector with the reality of the range of effective and in most cases model reforms put in place by the Cypriot government and banking sector over the past few years.

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