In 2011 the Criminal Code was amended by the addition of a new article 314A, which makes it a criminal offence, punishable by up to 5 years' imprisonment, a fine of up to EUR30,000 or both, for lenders to charge interest at excessive rates. The maximum permissible rate of interest, known as the reference rate, is set by the Central Bank of Cyprus based on the average interest rates charged by credit institutions plus an uplift of 50 per cent. Loans made by authorised credit institutions, loans between associated companies and loans of more than EUR 1 million to companies financed from overseas are not subject to the limit.
The Central Bank of Cyprus has announced a revision of the reference rate to 9.92 per cent with effect from 27 October 2017.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.