1980 – 2009
The mission is the reconstruction of the country and the recovery of the economy! The 1980s kicked off with the acquisition of Chartered Bank in Cyprus and finds the Bank in full steam ahead, activating the entire spectrum of its mechanisms, leading the country's economy to a rapid recovery. Its contribution to what came to be referred to as the ‘economic miracle’ is undeniable.
In 1982, the Group founded the Cyprus Investment and Securities Corporation (CISCO), before acquiring the company ‘Kermia’ the following year. In 1983, it issued the CyCard, leading the way in plastic money transactions. But the real breakthrough comes in 1988 with the introduction of the CYTEL service, that provides its customers with the opportunity to use a wide range of banking services over the phone. The press hails the move as stepping into the “World of Tomorrow”. In the following years, it spreads it network across the world at a rapid pace, building an international profile and strengthening its power and economic scope. It is represented with offices in Greece, Australia, South Africa, Canada, Russia, and Romania. Through its cooperation with Canada’s Manufacturers Life, the insurance company EuroLife is born, aiming to take the Life Insurance Sector by storm. In 1991, it opens its first branch in Greece, while in the following year it establishes the Bank of Cyprus Factors in Cyprus. Two years later, it shakes things up again with the opening of the first Unmanned Branch in Makariou. Customers enter the premises, make their transactions without a human presence, and leave. The move was pioneering not only for Cyprus standards but also internationally. In 1996, the Group reached the shores of Normandy, as the first Greek-speaking offshore bank in Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands, and in 1997 the first Bank of Cyprus branch in the United Kingdom opened its doors.
Despite its continuous conquests in the financial landscape, the Bank of Cyprus did not sit back and enjoy the fruits of its successful economic role. Realising the dynamics that it could establish in the country, it channelled the stock of forces that it had built with strategic moves into other sectors that were neglected in Cyprus, leaving an indelible social imprint in the fields of Culture and Health. The establishment of the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation (1984) and the Oncology Centre (1996) were milestones in its course.
In 1999, the Restructuring Plan of the Group is implemented. Bank of Cyprus Ltd takes over as parent company from Bank of Cyprus (Holdings) and shares are replaced. The move is significant, as it coincides with the year that the Bank celebrates the 100th anniversary of its establishment. An additional 3% dividend is paid to shareholders on the occasion of the anniversary. In September of the same year, 16 million new shares are issued to shareholders, at a rate of one new share for every eight shares they hold at a price of 2.50 pounds per share.
The centenary is solemnly celebrated with an exhibition entitled ‘Bank of Cyprus, the first 100 years’, which was hosted at the Faneromeni building and featured a modern outlook and state-of-the-art technology, a second impressive exhibition entitled ‘100 years of Design’, and many other events. As part of the celebrations, sections of the Nicosia walls, the Limassol Water Tower, and Larnaca’s Medieval Castle are illuminated with beautiful lighting.
Within the same year, the ‘Chain of Life’ institution was created with the aim of organising annual events in support of the Cyprus Anti-Cancer Society and the Christodoula March. In fact, as a symbol of the Management’s appreciation for the general contribution of its employees, but also for their participation in the Chain of Life events, a concert featuring the popular Greek singers Marinella and Dalaras is organised exclusively for the employees of the Bank of Cyprus.
The new century, in 2000, finds the Group on the Athens Stock Exchange with the listing of its share. In the same year, after 12 years of presence in the Australian market with four Representative Offices, Bank of Cyprus Australia Ply Ltd is established, and opens the doors of its first branches, becoming the first such venture in the Greek and Cypriot banking landscape. Four years later, the operations of the subsidiary Bank of Cyprus (London) are merged with those of the Bank's Branch in the United Kingdom. 2007 marks the start of banking operations in Russia and Romania. In 2008, Bank of Cyprus proceeded to provide banking services in Ukraine by acquiring AvtoZAZbank, while in the same year it acquired 80% of the capital of Uniastum Bank in Russia. Meanwhile, it began preparing to reach as far as India with a Representative Office, but also to set up a banking unit in Dubai.