MADISON, Wis. (4/29/10)--World Council of Credit Unions’ (WOCCU) board of directors accepted--with a unanimous vote--the Federation of Savings and Loan Societies (FESALOS) in Papua New Guinea as a direct WOCCU member. The new membership, voted on by the board at its April meeting, is effective immediately. “We are delighted and thankful that the WOCCU board has accepted the Papua New Guinea Federation of Savings and Loan Societies Ltd. as a direct member,” said Michael Koisen, FESALOS president and board chair. “WOCCU’s continued support of Papua New Guinea and the Pacific is indeed acknowledged.” FESALOS, founded in 1962, today represents all 20 of the country’s credit unions--still referred to locally as savings and loan societies. The 20 institutions serve 250,000 members and hold $249 million in total assets. The federation provides advocacy, information, technical assistance, management information systems support and training services to its credit unions. Dave Grace, WOCCU vice president of association services, noted WOCCU already has “long, historical connections” with FESALOS. Over the past several years, WOCCU has assisted FESALOS in reviewing legislation for Papua New Guinea’s credit unions, and the federation sees its membership with WOCCU as critical to maintaining a strong connection with the international credit union movement, said WOCCU. FESALOS has been an active participant in WOCCU’s Pacific Technical Congress program in past years and has maintained a long-time partnership with Credit Union Foundation Australia (CUFA). This year, FESALOS and CUFA will co-host WOCCU’s Pacific Technical Congress, scheduled for Sept. 13-Sept. 17 in Papua New Guinea.