Date: February 16, 2016
Temples play a key role in the daily lives of many Taiwan people, offering
spiritual guidance and serving as venues for important rituals.
One such facility in central Taiwan has taken this a step further by providing public microloans with zero collateral. Zinan Temple in Nantou County is issuing NT$600 (US$18.18) in “Land Lord’s Cash” to those in need with a valid ID.
Chuang Chiu-an, head of the temple’s administration office, said the practice dates back to the decades before Taiwan’s economy took off.
“During this tough time, such financial assistance really made a difference to the people in the rural community,” he said. “While the debt was not legally binding, the great majority of borrowers paid back the money as promised.”
According to Chuang, as Taiwan’s economy improved, the money lost its importance but retained its appeal. “The number of recipients grows by around 3 percent every year,” he said, adding that during the Lunar New Year vacation, around 14,000 people came to Zinan for the loan each day. [FULL STORY]