Quebecers have positive perception of socially responsible investing

             Nearly 60% of respondents are thinking of investing
                     part of their savings in SRI funds

    LEVIS, QC, Jan. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - According to a survey conducted by the
firm SOM and sponsored by Desjardins Group, 71 % of Quebecers say they are
interested by the concept of socially responsible investing (SRI). Up to 59%
of survey respondents say they are thinking of investing part of their savings
in SRI funds. This poll, carried out from July 23 to July 28, 2008 with 1074
Quebec adults, has a margin of error of 5.7%, 19 times out of 20.
    The survey also brought to light a certain lack of awareness about SRI
among Quebecers since only 23% of respondents had already heard of this
approach previously. Nevertheless, as soon as the concept was explained to
them, many survey respondents indicated that they were in favour of this
concept as mentioned above (71%).
    Furthermore, this survey also revealed that some 35% of Quebecers believe
that the returns for SRI funds are equal or higher than traditional funds, 21%
think that the returns would be lower, while 44% of respondents were not able
to answer this question. In regards to risk, some 40% of Quebecers believe
that SRI funds are equally or less risky than traditional funds, while 42% did
not know and 18% believe that the risk is higher.

    Quebecers are concerned by social and environmental issues

    In addition, Quebecers also showed that they are concerned by numerous
social and environmental issues. In the survey, 92% of respondents said they
are worried about air quality, while 90% are concerned about nature and forest
preservation. Water, greenhouse gas emissions, toxic waste and global warming
are at the heart of Quebecers' concerns.
    The survey also revealed that 62% of Quebecers say they would be proud to
own an SRI fund, while 69% believe it is important to be able to influence the
behaviour of companies. Furthermore, for 57% of Quebecers, the financial
performance of funds in general appears to be what matters when it comes to
investments. This apparent contradiction can be interpreted by the fact that
the majority of the individuals questioned would not be ready to sacrifice
returns to invest in accordance with their values. That being said, 46% of
respondents also affirm that there is genuinely a difference between SRI and
traditional investing.
    Lastly, some 64% of Quebecers are of the opinion that financial
institutions have the duty to offer their clients SRI funds.

    About Desjardins Funds

    With some $10 billion in assets, Desjardins Funds is among the largest
mutual fund families in Canada. Desjardins Funds offers members and clients
investment products and solutions that meet their requirements, expectations
and needs for wealth protection and growth.

    About Desjardins Group

    Desjardins Group is the largest cooperative financial group in Canada,
with overall assets of $150 billion, as at September 30, 2008. It comprises a
network of caisses, credit unions and business centres in Quebec and Ontario,
and some twenty subsidiary companies in life and general insurance, securities
brokerage, venture capital and asset management, many of which are active
across the country. Drawing on the expertise of its 40,000 employees and the
commitment of more than 6,500 elected officers, Desjardins offers its 5.8
million individual and corporate members and clients a full range of financial
products and services. Its physical distribution network is complemented by
leading-edge virtual access methods. To find out more, consult site

For further information:

For further information: (for media only): André Chapleau, Director,
Information and Media Relations, (514) 281-7229, 1-866-866-7000, ext. 7229,

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