QUÉBEC CITY, March 29, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Over the next few years,
Desjardins Group will continue to be at the leading-edge, innovating
for members and clients and pursuing growth. Growth for Desjardins
means being able to invest in technology, to develop new products and
services that meet the changing needs of members and clients, to
provide officers and employees with training opportunities and to be
the largest contributor to the communities that it serves.
Desjardins' performance in 2013 validates its recent business decisions.
With record surplus earnings of $1.5 billion, a large portion of which
has been reinvested in the organization, and with total assets of $212
billion, a 7% increase. Thanks to a high level of capitalization, the
company strengthened its financial position—proving to members and
clients that they're in good hands.
Desjardins is Québec's first choice for savings, mortgage financing,
card services and business loans. It's also an insurance leader in
Québec and the rest of Canada.
Desjardins Group Chair of the Board, President and CEO, Monique F.
Leroux told some 2,000 caisse delegates present for the Desjardins
Group Annual General Meetings: "We are here today because we are first
and foremost an organization of individuals working together to serve
our members and clients. We reject complacency. We adapt. Because we
provide our members and clients with the solutions they need."
Innovating for our members and clients
In terms of innovation, Leroux talked about the new products and
services rolled out in 2013, including the Desjardins mobile services available for smartphones and tablets. She also mentioned the
successful launch of the prepaid card.
This spring will also see the introduction of a brand new tool, Hop'n
S@ve. Designed for our youth clientele, the tool will help them save in
just a few clicks. "Impulse buying can be balanced with impulse
saving," according to Leroux.
She also spoke about the complimentary services caisse members can
already access, including Travel Assistance and Identity Theft Assistance. More exclusive features will be rolled out for members during the
"We want to go that extra mile for our members, especially in today's
market. We want the experience of being a Desjardins member to mean
even more and to be even more beneficial," added Leroux. "To be a
Desjardins member is to contribute to the growth and strength of a
large private company that cannot be controlled externally."
In the same vein, Desjardins will provide entrepreneurs with new tools
to support them through their various business cycles. These tools will
be available on the Desjardins website and help entrepreneurs create a
"Family, public and collective businesses all create wealth and jobs,
benefiting our communities. And we are committed to supporting our
entrepreneurial members and clients," stated Leroux.
She also invited the Desjardins elected officers and employees to
contribute to building a promising future for the cooperative
institution. She added that being the largest financial cooperative
group in Canada, Desjardins must bolster its growth for the benefit of
all its members and clients over the next few years.
"Growth is another big part of our goals. Developing new markets and new
business will further diversify our financial foundation; increase our
capacity for investment," said Leroux.
Generating growth is also a way to contribute to developing the
cooperative model—a model Desjardins strongly believes in. That's why
it uses its expertise and financial strength to support other
cooperatives: school, funeral, forestry and housing cooperatives. It's
also a major financial partner of the largest cooperatives and mutual
in Quebec, including Agropur, la Coop Fédérée and Promutuel.
As part of its efforts to strengthen the Canadian cooperative movement,
Desjardins also has a number of business partnerships with credit
unions across the country such as British Columbia's Coast Capital.
Earlier this year, Desjardins announced its planned acquisition of State Farm Canada. State Farm Canada is a U.S.-based insurance mutual with a network of
500 agents serving 1.2 million clients across the country. The
transaction was made possible thanks to the participation of two major
organizations: the U.S. mutual State Farm and France's Crédit Mutuel, a
long-standing partner of Desjardins Group. As part of the deal, State
Farm and Crédit Mutuel have invested in the Desjardins property and
casualty insurance subsidiaries.
"We believe in the power of cooperation. And we are confident that it
can only lead to a more just, more balanced, more inclusive world. We
want our children to have the same confidence in a strong, modern,
growing cooperative that will be in their hands," concluded Leroux.
About Desjardins Group
Desjardins Group is the leading cooperative financial group in Canada and the fifth
largest cooperative financial group in the world with assets of $212
billion. It has been rated one of Canada's top 100 employers by
Mediacorp Canada. To meet the diverse needs of its members and clients,
Desjardins offers a full range of products and services to individuals
and businesses through its extensive distribution network, online
platforms and subsidiaries across Canada. The group has one of the
highest capital ratios and credit ratings in the industry. It is considered as the fourth safest and strongest
bank in North America according to Global Finance magazine and Bloomberg News respectively.
SOURCE: Desjardins Group
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