Bank of Cyprus is downsizing its network by closing 15 more branches and removing ATMs by next month as it speeds up its digital presence.
Phileleftheros daily quoted sources saying the bank will be accelerating plans, closing branches across the island to cut costs by 4 July.
BoC will keep 60 out of its 75 branches in operation today. Since 2019, BoC has closed eleven branches adding another 15.
Customers of affected branches have already been informed that their accounts will be moving to other branches.
The bank will close seven branches in the capital Nicosia, three in the Larnaca district, two in Famagusta, two in Limassol, and one in Paphos.
BoC will close its branches in the Nicosia villages of Akaki, Arediou, Astromeritis, Ayia Varvara, Dali, Deftera and one in the urban area of Lykavitos.
The villages of Mosfiloti and Anglesides in the Larnaca district will see their BoC branches shut down, along with one in Paralimni and one in the Famagusta village of Liopetri.
In Limassol, the Bank of Cyprus will shut the branches on Misiaouli and Kavazoglou Avenue, the village of Pissouri.
In Paphos, the branch on the Apostolou Pavlou Avenue will also close.
Phileleftheros said that the bank is seeking to streamline its network, taking as the majority of its customers conduct their transactions using alternative means from the comfort of their homes.
“As the numbers reveal, there was a 39% decrease in the number of transactions that take place at branches, as our customers have become familiar with alternative means.
“In 2019, 724,000 transactions were conducted with the assistance of a teller, while in 2021, just 440,000 transactions were carried out, recording a decrease of 39%,” a BoC source told Phileleftheros.
Data shows that 92.5% of payment transactions and transfers in April 2022 were conducted through digital channels, such as the bank’s online payment app QuickPay.
Users of the bank’s mobile banking application and QuickPay have increased by 40% and 22.3%, respectively, in the past 12 months, most probably sparked by COVID.
BoC is backing a new service created by credit card clearing houses for cash withdrawals, which allows consumers to withdraw cash from tills at retail shops without visiting an ATM cash machine.
“In this way, the customer will be able to withdraw cash, free of charge, through their debit card.
“That way, there will be no ATM dependency, nor will a client need to be physically at a bank branch to access money”.
Bank of Cyprus has removed five ATMs from its network since 2019, leaving 156 in operation today.
With plans to remove another 15 ATMs from its network, there will be only 141 in operation by the end of next month.
Each ATM costs the bank around €30,000 every year to maintain.