I was one of the unfortunate customers of FBME bank in Cyprus. The ministate that got in trouble by investing in Greek debt. I should have known by then that holding a bank account for my Seychelles company in Cyprus was not such a good idea after all. I got into trouble but found some assistance. You can read about the cry for help and solutions provided here. But that is not what we are talking about here. Because I learned my lessons.
FBME bank and Cyprus are not the first things that come to mind when you think about opening a bank account for your offshore company. At a birthday I heard about the bank from a previous friend. Since most banks do not know how to handle companies incorporated in a tax haven, I decided to open the bank account at FBME. Friendly staff, nice customer service but at the end of the day it turned out that they had no clue about banking and the law.
I am fortunate that I only had 45,000 euro on the account at FBME. In a short period I have been able to recover my funds. I called a local representative and went through the process very smooth. Opened a new bank account, got the advice to shop for a better bank but that we needed an account in Cyprus for the first stage in liquidation. And so we did. On a weekly basis I received deposits on my new account while I could just focus on my core business. Luck in a bad situation.
Things could get worse if I had more money on my account. Fortunately I run just a small trading business. As I heard currently the deposit protection scheme is opened and customers receive up to 100,000 euro after they file their claim. It is good after such a long time of silence and indistinctness.
During the recent year and a half there was exasperation caused by FBME in general. The unilateral information from their website got annoying and pesky overtime. Does the bank think we are idiots?
It is like it is and they will be blaming immigrants and poor people as they say in the famous movie The Big Short. Well, in this case it was a consortium of idiots we can blame. Amateurs should not think they can play in the major league. The small banks cannot play in this level playing field. So be careful if you bank with one of the small offshore banks.