The company commenced operations in 1925 under the name Yialousa Savings Bank Ltd (YSB) (the tenth registered limited company in Cyprus).
In June 1974 YSB became an Authorised Financial Institution under the supervision of the Central Bank of Cyprus with license to accept deposits, operate current accounts and grant loans or hire purchase in local currency.
After the Turkish invasion in 1974, the company was idle up to 1st March 1990, when it began operations further to obtaining government financing to revive its activities, with the first Banking Centre in Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus.
In 1995 YSB opened its second Banking Centre in Limassol and in 1996 it expanded by opening a third Banking Centre in Larnaca. YSB was a listed public company and its shares are currently traded in the Cyprus Stock Exchange under the new Universal Savings Bank name.
In 1996 Universal Life Insurance Co. Ltd, the biggest Life Insurance Company on the island, acquired 40% of YSB and on 10/7/96, YSB was renamed to Universal Savings Bank Ltd (USB). After the acquisition Universal Life decided to perform an organisational restructuring to enable USB to become a fully-fledged Bank, that is, to expand its activities to foreign currency operations and commercial business. Universal Life's current shareholding in USB stands at 50.2%.
Universal Life is an insurance public company listed in the Cyprus Stock Exchange with a subsidiary in Greece (Universal Life Hellas). Its major shareholders are the two largest Banks in Cyprus, namely the Bank of Cyprus Group (28%) and Cyprus Popular Bank Group (35%).
In October 1996, Central Bank authorised USB to deal in buying and selling of foreign notes.
Beginning of 1997 the Institution began its organisational restructuring in order to achieve its dynamic targets. The new General Manager was recruited and proceeded with recruiting all other managers and staff essential for the expansion of the Institution and to carry out full banking operations.
In February 1997, USB became a full member of the Cyprus Clearing House, operating as a clearing bank, in line with the commercial banks in Cyprus.
In April 1997, the Central Bank of Cyprus authorised USB to operate foreign currency accounts, external and blocked accounts, international payments for credit cards, establishment of foreign correspondents etc., as a special authorised dealer in foreign currency.
In April 1997, the Ministry of Finance authorised USB to act as Trustee of Insurance Companies and accept certain amounts of deposits from Insurance Companies as approved placements under article 20 of the Insurance Companies Law of 1984 and 1990.
From May 1997, USB began signing correspondent's agreements regarding international relations and banking transactions, as well as exchanging bilaterral keys. USB has also made agreements with local banks, namely, Hellenic Bank and Bank of Cyprus. A full list of all our Correspondent Banks can be found in our Customer Services.
In May 1997, USB renewed its agreement with Hellenic Bank Ltd covering the commercial banking business i.e. opening of letters of credit and also signed a new agreement with Bank of Cyprus regarding the opening and advising of Letters of Credit.
In June and July 1997, USB proceeded with the opening of Banking Centres in Paralimni and Paphos respectively, thus being represented on a pancyprian basis.
USB has also established a SWIFT connection since 8th September 1997, further to SWIFT membership approval and has become a Principal Member of Visa International on 24th October 1997 issuing the first cards in 1998.
Our history together with the rapid expansion of the Bank during the last year shows our committment and differentiation from other Banks, as well as our guarantee to provide the best services and products to our customers.
In November and December 1997, USB proceeded with opening two more Banking Centres in Nicosia, one in Strovolos and the other at Universal Tower respectively. Today USB has 14 Banking Centres and a Call Centre based in Nicosia.
After the passing of the Banking Law of 1997 of the House of Parliament on 18/7/97, USB is operating as a Bank in line with the other Cypriot Banks under the Supervision of the Central Bank. USB received its new Banking License under the provisions of the new legislations on 20/10/97.
In October 1997 USB registered its new trading name being "UNIVERSAL BANK" and its logo changed accordingly.
In December 1997, the Central Bank extended, even further, USB's license as an authorised dealer under the Foreign Exchange Control Law to offer on its own a complete range of International Services covering international payments, negotiation of import documents, open letters of credit etc.
|Member of||Cyprus Clearing House|
Andrea Chaliou street, 2nd floor 1 , Egkomi , Nicosia , 2408 , Cyprus
info [ at ] usb.com.cy
(+357) 80 002 323; (+357) 22 883 333
(+357) 22 754 387