Ancoria πnsurance to start retail, SME bank
Ancoria Insurance, a Cyprus-based life insurer since 1987 that specialises in wealth management, is launching a commercial banking subsidiary that will deal primarily with retail and small to medium sized enterprise (SME) financing. Ancoria Bank has just been issued a banking license by the Central Bank of Cyprus and is expected to start its operations next year with two branches, one in Nicosia and one in Limassol. The bank’s shareholders are, by majority, Ancoria Insurance, a company of Swedish origin, one of its founders Sievert Larsson and the Sievert Larsson Scholarship Foundation, as well as a number of Cypriot investors.
The company said in an announcement that the bank will employ “cutting edge technology” and will boast a “high capital adequacy” rate, especially now that EU-wide banking supervision is transferred to the European Central Bank.
“We aim to employ 60 people and our focus will be to provide financing to primarily young professionals or other promising ventures,” said Chairman and CEO John Loizou.
“It has been our founder’s mission to support local businesses and the aim is to do that both through recruiting local personnel for the bank and also by financing solid companies,” he said, adding that the bank will not be seeking out retail depositors or savers, but will employ advanced technology systems and cater to versatile clients.
Ancoria is an international insurer with more than 22,000 clients. It employs 34 people in the Nicosia offices and specialises in customised life insurance policies that are underpinned by investments in a wide range of funds, structured products and equity trading. Ancoria was initially set up in 1987 by two Swedish visionary entrepreneurs Roger Akelius and Sievert Larsson, then called Alpha Insurance. In 1994, Alpha was renamed Akelius Insurance and formed part of the Akelius Group of Companies until 2008. Now totally independent, highly successful and with a solid background and extensive experience in the industry, the company has grown to become Ancoria Insurance Public Ltd., with its solvency margin over 300%, well above that required by the European Union directives. The company’s major shareholder is the Sievert Larsson Scholarship Foundation.