A registered member of the Federation of Savings and Loan Societies Limited (FESALOS) in Papua New Guinea, the Teachers Savings and Loan Society Limited was established in 1972. The Society is registered under the Savings and Loan Societies Act (Amended 1995) and regulated by the Registrar of Savings and Loan Societies, who is also the Governor of the Bank of Papua New Guinea.
The establishment of this Society provided an avenue for registered teachers and employees of the Department of Education to be actively involved in savings and to assist each other in times of financial need. In the early years, the Society had about 3000 members with a total cash turnover of K2 million per annum.
TSL and Credit Unionism
Teachers Savings and Loan Society is a part of the International Credit Union Movement that began in the 18th century during the birth of the industrial revolution in Europe. The invention of machines and modern equipment replaced much of the human labor. There was free competition in large scale production while small scale entrepreneurs were slowly put out of service. Farmers and average laborers could not seek assistance from established banks to keep their businesses. The banks at that time would rather invest in large scale entrepreneurs.
This gave birth to Credit Unionism. While there were quite a number of small Credit Unions in those early years, the basic aim of these organizations were to provide short term financial assistance, to alleviate extreme financial stress, experienced by farmers during the industrial revolution.
The basic idea was to raise funds for farmers and subsequently, introduce a credit scheme where farmers sought assistance and later reimbursed the fund. Consequently, the first funding cooperative was founded by Schulze Delitzch in 1850.
The initial associations started by Delitzch were;
1) An association for Mutual assistances upon illness and death,
2) A carpenter association for cooperation in seeking raw materials for production.
By 1958, he formed 183 cooperatives’ with 19,000 members; and founded the National Confederations of Cooperatives.
Savings and Loan Societies in Papua New Guinea
In Papua New Guinea, savings and loan societies have served the communities since 1962. Savings and Loan Societies are democratically controlled and owned by members. There are 21 registered savings and loan societies in PNG. Teachers Savings and Loan Society Ltd, is the largest, strongest, and most successful savings and loan society in the country.
Teachers Savings and Loan Society Limited (TSL)
The Society’s funds are obtained from members’ fortnightly contributions. Funds are deducted directly through payroll deductions when a member signs an authority to deduct form. These payroll deductions are arranged through the Payroll Division of the Society and the Employers Payroll Division.
Teachers Savings and Loan Society Limited holds investments in Credit Corporation (PNG) Ltd, Bank South Pacific Ltd, Airlines PNG Ltd, Capital Life Insurance Ltd and owns a number of commercial properties. Dividends and rents contribute to operational costs and returns in the form of interest and service back to members.
It is required by the Savings and Loan Societies Act (Amended 1995) that 20% of annual net operational profits must be put aside in a General Reserve Fund. All remaining operational surplus after this provision, is paid into members General Savings Accounts (S1) as additional interest.
It is the Society’s policy not to use capital gains for operational costs or deposit interest.
Membership and Branch Network
The Society has more than 36 000 members nationwide. Today, Membership consists of registered teachers and Public Servants nationwide. Current branch network extends to fourteen (14) branches nationwide. It is the Society’s intention to establish branches in all the provinces in Papua New Guinea where feasible.