Money transfers conducted locally between North Cyprus banks are quick to complete and shouldn't present a problem to the sender, or receiver. International money transfers however, either in, or out of the 'country', are a different matter and occasionally, they may present a problem to the sender/receiver (usually, the receiver).
North Cyprus banks do not usually have their own Swift code, or an IBAN number which the banking sector relies upon for conducting international business and money transfers and so, in order to be able to transact at this level, they usually rely upon the Swift code and/or IBAN number of the intermediate bank who they have chosen to use to complete such transfers on their behalf, usually a mainland Turkish Bank.
Expat's living in North Cyprus, especially those in receipt of a UK private, or state pension, or expat's who expect to be able to regularly receive funds from the UK for example, may wish, when choosing a North Cyprus bank, to ask them whether they have their own Swift Code, or IBAN number and if not, ask them how they will handle international money transfers on their behalf. Usually, North Cyprus banks provide their customers with the Swift code, or IBAN number of the intermediate bank and request a reference (for each transaction) from their customer, which their intermediate bank uses to forward the transfer from the intermediate to the local bank.
Scenario : A married couple living in North Cyprus for six months of the year, wish to regularly transfer funds from their UK bank account to their North Cyprus Bank account. They use an online banking facility in the UK and find that it is simple and straightforward to log onto their UK based, online bank account and complete a money transfer between their UK and North Cyprus accounts. They are able to complete the transaction online quoting the intermediate bank's Swift code and/or IBAN number together with a reference which is used to forward the money transfer to the bank in North Cyprus.
Scenario : A married couple living permanently in North Cyprus are in receipt of private pensions which they would like to be transferred monthly, into their North Cyprus bank account. They have cut all ties with the UK and do not therefore, have a UK bank account. They complete the relevant forms with their pension provider in the UK, to arrange for the monthly transfer, but discover that the pension provider cannot complete the transfer, unless it is to a bank with their own Swift code and/or IBAN number.
There are a number of mainland Turkish banks operating in North Cyprus who do have their own Swift code and IBAN numbers who can receive international money transfers without 'any' difficulty and who can provide their customers with a facility to receive direct payments from UK pension providers (as an example).
It's outside the scope of this article, but there are other ways and methods to transfer funds from the UK to North Cyprus and as with all banking facilities, check the cost of completing the transaction before entering into an arrangement with the bank.