22nd Desjardins Group Congress - Desjardins caisse delegates map out the route for the future of the cooperative financial group

LEVIS, QC, Sept. 21, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - The 22nd Desjardins Group Congress was held in Montreal on September 19. The theme was "Adapting and performing to benefit our members and clients," and more than 1,400 caisse participants from Quebec and Ontario were on hand to discuss current and future issues facing Desjardins and the financial sector. Participants also discussed new technologies and the development opportunities they represent, and which should allow Desjardins to adapt to the changing consumption habits of its members and clients.

Delegates engaged in discussions about several priorities that Desjardins Group decision-making bodies will use to set organizational strategic priorities.

"The priorities that came out of this Congress will shape Desjardins into a more agile, innovative and powerful cooperative financial group for our members and clients; and one that is firmly focused on the future. More than 1,400 caisse participants were actively engaged in discussions about Desjardins Group's priorities and strategies, which is another shining example of our cooperative difference," said Monique F. Leroux, Chair of the Board, President and CEO.

The Congress started off by tackling the issue of changing member/client behaviours in the digital age. A majority of delegates— 96% —agreed that Desjardins needs to continue to grow by transforming its operational mechanisms under this new context in order to be more responsive towards the changing needs of members and clients.

New technologies, far from being a threat, are an opportunity for Desjardins to build proximity with its members and clients and consolidate its cooperative difference.

Another topic that was addressed is Desjardins' ability to offer its members and clients the high-quality service they expect, in a highly competitive market where financial performance and productivity remain key issues. Delegates recognize the challenge, and 89% voted in favour of implementing Desjardins-wide measures that will help the organization become more efficient while remaining true to its cooperative values.

Lastly, 76% of delegates recognized the need to continue growth for members and clients and to inspire trust and confidence while maintaining strong capital levels and contributing more surplus earnings into the reserve. While delegates were not asked to vote on abolishing the member dividends, they did put forth a number of potential solutions and made it clear that the members' contribution to their cooperative should be recognized.

Delegates to the Congress were largely in favour of the priorities put to them for discussion, and there was a variety of comments and feedback that members of the Board of Directors and senior management will take under consideration in the coming months.

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 close to $251 billion. It has been rated one of the 50 Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt. 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. Considered North America's strongest bank according to Bloomberg News, Desjardins has one of the highest capital ratios and credit ratings in the industry.


SOURCE Desjardins Group

For further information: (media inquiries only): André Chapleau, Public Relations, 514-281-7000 or 1-866-866-7000, ext. 5557229, media@desjardins.com

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