Ireland's newest bank is based on time
The last bank to open in Ireland has been a success thanks to the economic crisis and despite one of their goals being people getting into debt: the Clonakilty Favour Exchange is a bank created in County Cork where transactions are not in money but in time and the trade is based on skills, services and favours. The initial goal was to end the year with 40 members but a week after opening there are 90 “clients” that have already joined.
The basic idea is that members exchange time in their respective professional fields starting with their counter at zero and if, say, an accountant spends two hours managing the accounts of a painter, he/she will credit two hours into his/her personal account. Then the painter will be debited by the same amount of hours and, in turn, will paint the house of someone else, not necessarily the accountant’s, to get out of the red.
According to the coordinator of Clonalkity Favour Exchange, Miriam Cotton, there will be a credit limit of 25 hours and in case of abuse the matter will be reviewed by the bank’s "director". She reminds that one of the most important principles of the system is that one hour is worth the same regardless of the activity done.
Another positive outcome that had not been spotted before the bank’s implementation is that when people get in touch with each other there is a sense of community arising that did not exist before. This success has meant that two new time banks have been set up, one in Stillorgan (South Dublin) and another one in Killarney (County Kerry) which already has 9 members.
Source: Irish Independent
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