Since 2003, the Central Bank of Cyprus has maintained a
database known as the Central Information Registry (CIR) to
record details of issuers of dishonoured cheques. It is
administered by a committee, which has the sole competence to
register, maintain, update and delete data regarding registered
A dishonoured cheque is any cheque drawn on any bank or
co-operative credit company which remains unpaid after
representation to the paying bank or co-operative credit
company 15 days after it was first presented for payment due to
the lack of funds to meet it, or due to its issuer having
ordered the payment institution concerned to stop payment.
All banks and co-operative credit companies are required to
submit data on dishonoured cheques each month to the Central
Bank of Cyprus for registration in a preliminary list. Once it
has been included in the preliminary list as dishonoured, a
cheque cannot be deleted, even though it may subsequently have
Any individual or legal entity will automatically be
registered in the CIR if they issue three or more dishonoured
cheques, or fewer dishonoured cheques amounting to €2,000
($2,100), in the course of a year. Persons who are convicted of
an offence relating to the issuing of a dishonoured cheque for
any amount are also registered in the CIR. Directors of
companies issuing dishonoured cheques may also be added to the
register if they have caused or participated in the issuing of
the dishonoured cheque.
Banks and co-operative credit companies are obliged to
freeze all current accounts maintained by persons included in
the CIR, and to notify the persons concerned. No withdrawals or
debits are allowed in relation to such accounts, except for the
payment of debts owed to the institution concerned, to pay
insurance premiums for any insurances issued for its benefit,
or to meet dishonoured cheques which were issued before the
issuer was notified of registration in the CIR.
No bank or co-operative credit company may open a current
account for anyone who is registered in the CIR.
Deletion from the CIR is possible only after three years
from the date of registration, and only after a year has
elapsed since all dishonoured cheques issued by the person or
entity concerned have been settled. The administrative
committee has discretion to allow removal within less than
three years if all dishonoured cheques have been settled within
a period of one month from the date they were recorded as
dishonoured and at least a year has passed since the last
dishonoured cheque was settled.
Details of deleted individuals and entities are retained
indefinitely and are accessible to all banks and co-operative
These arrangements have contributed to a sustained decline
in both the number and the value of dishonoured cheques in the
period since they were introduced.