About Us > History

Major Milestones

USB Bank is a bank with a vision, built on solid foundations, followed by a long history and ambitious strategies. It is the transformation of the Yialousa Savings Bank, which was established and commenced operations in 1925, in Yialousa, a town today occupied by Turkish troops. Yialousa Savings Bank Limited (YSB) was amongst the first limited companies - the 10th - registered on the island.

In June 1974 became an 'Authorized Financial Institution' under the supervision of the Central Bank of Cyprus. The development of YSB was brought to an abrupt halt due to the Turkish invasion of 1974.

Following the Turkish invasion of 1974 the company remained idle until 1 March 1990, when through government financing it revived its activities and began operations with a branch in the capital of Cyprus, Nicosia. Expansion followed, with the opening of the Bank's 2nd and 3rd branches, in the towns of Limassol (1995) and Larnaca (1996) respectively.

In 1996 "Universal Life" acquired 30% of YSB and on the 10th of July 1996, YSB was renamed Universal Savings Bank Limited.

In October 1997, Universal Savings Bank registered its new trading name: "UNIVERSAL BANK" and its logo changed accordingly, the registered company name remained as stated above.

In May 2001, the Central Bank approved the changing of the company name to "Universal Bank Limited", and the new corporate name had been officially adopted from 22 November 2001. Following the implementation of a new legislation regarding Cyprus listed companies on 28 June 2004, the Bank's name changed to “Universal Bank Public Ltd”.

The 3year period 2006-2009 was marked by significant new developments concerning the ownership structure of the Bank.

The Bank following the change in the shareholder structure in February 2009 and within the framework of its strategic plan for innovative and efficient redevelopment and growth, created a new, contemporary and dynamic corporate identity and was renamed to USB BANK PLC, responding to the new challenges of the continuously changing financial sector. The new name maintains the usb acronym, noting our legacy, Universal Savings Bank, and communicates the respect for our heritage and at the same time the way we glance at the future, with drive and professionalism. A new dynamic era has started for the Bank, investing in people, in new technology with new processes and in new products and services that offer real solutions to our customers and high quality services.

In September 2010, BLC Bank SAL acquires 9,9% of the share capital of USB Bank PLC and until June 2011 acquired 94,14% after the completion of the public offer for the acquisition of up to 100% of the market share of the Bank. Today BLC Bank SAL has 98,39% of the Bank’s market share.

A new era begins with a new solid partneship. The new ownership structure gives impetus to USB Bank which focuses on growing its business locally and internationally. The satisfactory capital adequacy and the strong liquidity of the bank, the increase of productivity and the expansion of the banks operations to offer a broad range of banking services for national and international clients, represent important strategic priorities of the bank for its future development and profitability. As a member of the BLC Bank Group, USB Bank is expected to gain expertise and know- how from an international organisation as well as exploit opportunities arising from the international network of the BLC Bank clients.

Today, customers of USB Bank have access to a full range of personal and business banking products and services both in Cyprus and abroad in all the major international currencies either directly through the Bank or through its network of foreign correspondents. We offer daily services to our clients through our network of 15 branches throughout the island, through our Customer Teleservice Centre at 8000 2323, through 17 Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) throughout the island and via ibank, the electronic bank which offers easy, fast and safe banking 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from the customers own time and convenience.

BLC Bank SAL operates in Lebanon with a network of 40 branches and is a member of the FRANSABANK GROUP.
It is one of the best performing banks in Lebanon. During the last years it has exhibited continuous and significant growth, as a result of the Bank’s clear vision and strategic direction. Its financial results since 2007, have been exemplary and the Bank has been recently ranked by CPI Financial as the ‘fastest growing Bank in Lebanon, by percentage growth in Profitability and Assets’.

FRANSABANK GROUP was established in 1924 and is today the fourth largest banking group in Lebanon with the biggest branch network. It maintains presence in 9 countries: Lebanon, France, Cyprus, Algeria, Syria, Belarus, Libya, Sudan and UAE (Abu Dhabi). It has been able to consolidate its leading position both in Lebanon and in the countries where expanding, providing leading financial services to its clients and always having the customer at the heart of its activities.