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The Association of Cyprus Banks (ACB) was first established in 1969, as a liaison body for the commercial banks in Cyprus. Since 1999, ACB has acted as the secretariat and executive body of member banks on sectoral issues and policies.
Cyprus accession negotiations with the European Union and the globalization process characterizing the financial market have seriously influenced the local banking sector. This necessitated the revision of the Association’s policies and responsibilities towards member banks in order to meet the sweeping challenges of the liberalization process. As a result, the Association has decided to proceed with the upgrading and radical restructuring of its functions. In 1999, the Association decided to develop the necessary infrastructure and prepared a Strategic Plan, which was oriented towards internal organisational changes, and focused on the formulation of structural policies and objectives; this was meant to assist its members to the maximum possible extent in meeting the new challenges effectively, efficiently and with high professional standards. The role and mission of the Association was therefore redefined in light of the international financial set up and the need for formulating common positions and collective policies concerning legislative reforms and policy measures introduced by the public sector.
In the year 2000, in accordance with the Strategic Plan, the Association decided to register under the Cyprus Company Law as a non-profit organization. The institutionalization of the Association was linked to the preparation of an upgraded Constitution, which reflects the rights and obligations of both the Association and its members. This legal establishment has enabled the Association to successfully become an authoritative institution, to participate actively in promoting the interests of its members and pro-actively influence the formulation of policy-making on behalf of the domestic banking industry.