Authorities warn about ‘time banks’

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The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) made an official announcement on April 19 about the risks of time banks in China.


Recently, there have been heated discussions on Chinese social media about the concept of time banks, where people can volunteer to help senior citizens and put the time they have served in time banks in exchange for similar services when they become old.


The CBIRC said some websites had released false information such as “China Time Bank will be listed”, and some mobile APPs suggested time banks had carried out investment activities to support charity services for the elderly.


In the announcement, the CBIRC stated that it has never approved the establishment of a “China Time Bank”, and that the content on the websites, social media, and APPs is false. In addition, the related investment activities are suspected to be illegal. Therefore, the public should be cautious and avoid being deceived.


Meanwhile, the CBIRC also warned that the term “bank” can only be used with its permission, and any social entity or individual shall not use this term without permission.


In the near future, CBIRC plans to work with other departments to regulate the use of the term “bank”, clean up false information online, rectify illegal practices and maintain good market order.


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