WIR Bank

The WIR is a complementary currency system that serves small and medium-sized businesses and retail customers in Switzerland


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WIR Bank Genossenschaft Auberg 1 4002 Basel
CH Switzerland
Web http://www.wir.ch/


About the project Edit

Founded in 1934, the WIR Bank is a cooperative society whose headquarters are located in Basel, Switzerland. It uses the WIR, an independent complementary currency system that serves small and medium-sized businesses and retail customers.

As of 2005, the bank's total assets were 3.0 billion CHF with more than 75 000 small and medium businesses as its clients.


In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

The WIR Bank uses a complementary currency system based on the bartering principle, inconstrast to currency that is issued on the basis of credit. This complementary system renders the economy independent from financial and monetary crisis, allowing firms to use WIR currency instead of the Swiss franc in hard times.

The WIR currency system also exists only as a bookkeeping system with no scrip to facilitate transactions.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

Complementary currency like the WIR promotes the local and regional economies. Businesses and customers who use the WIR are more keen to exchange between themselves since they use the same currency.

Moreover, the WIR is not linked to any global financial market which makes it more stable in times of crisis, thereby protecting small businesses that might otherwise collapse.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

Nation-wide complementary currency projects like the WIR have been replicated in other countries. For example, in Belgium, the Euro-RES has been implemented with success.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

In the aftermath of the financial crash of 1929, Swiss businessmen Werner Zimmermann and Paul Enz created the WIR Bank becuase of the then existing currency shortage and global financial instability.

What is the business model of this project? Edit

smash or pass sommer ray



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