The rules for exchange of information with foreign states are a complex mixture of the local taxation laws, the network of double-tax treaties, and international agreements for mutual legal assistance and the exchange of information to which Cyprus is a signatory, now further complicated by the EU acquis communitaire which substantially worsens the position of individuals and corporations as regards secrecy. However Cyprus law does provide for normal judicial appeal procedures against treaty requests for information and cooperation.
The Cyprus Government has taken strong measures to prevent the use of the island for money laundering, partly in response to an influx of doubtful money and unwanted organizations from Russia and other CIS countries in the early nineties. The Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering Law of 1996 has been largely successful - in April 1998 Committee of Experts from the Council of Europe reported enthusiastically about the island's measures to control money laundering.
Banks are subject to the usual bank/customer confidentiality practices. In addition, in Cyprus, the International Companies Act contains secrecy provisions. These provisions mean that all parties, including banks, are not allowed to release information to third parties (including a bank's head office) without either the customer's permission or a valid Cyprus court order.