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The Desjardins Group (French: Mouvement Desjardins) is a Canadian financial services cooperative and the largest federation of credit unions (French: caisses populaires) in North America. It was founded in 1900 in Lévis, Quebec by Alphonse Desjardins. While its legal headquarters remains in Lévis, most of the executive management, including the CEO, is based in Montreal.
|Founded||1900 in Levis, Quebec|
|Headquarters||Lévis, Quebec, Canada|
|Guy Cormier, President & chief executive officer|
|Total assets||$282,0 billion CAD (2017)|
Number of employees
As of 2017, Desjardins Group consists of 293 local credit unions operating 1,032 points of service and serving more than seven million members and clients, mostly in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario.
In addition to retail banking, the Group has over twenty subsidiaries offering products and services related to insurance (Desjardins Financial Security, Desjardins General Insurance), real estate (Complexe Desjardins), venture capital funds (Desjardins Venture Capital), and brokerage (Desjardins Securities). The Desjardins Group, through subsidiary Développement international Desjardins, is also active in over 30 developing countries through technical assistance programs and various investments. In October 2020, Desjardins launched a social impact fund, Aequitas, which could grow to 115 millions dollars and help women and youth in developing countries.
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In the late 1990s, the number of caisses was reduced from 1275 to 800.
Between 2008 and 2010, total assets at Desjardins Group grew over 15% from C$151.9 billion (when it ranked sixth in Canada and first in Quebec among financial institutions ahead of the National Bank of Canada) to over $175 billion in 2010. In 2006, it had 6,500 elected and volunteer officers and employed over 40,000 people and gave its members $483 million in patronage allocations and $64 million in donations, sponsorships and academic scholarships. Most of the latter sum was used on regional economic development and health programs as well. In that same year, in March 2008, the election of Monique Leroux at the head of the group marked the history of Canada by becoming "Canada's largest company headed by a woman".
In 2014, Desjardins Group acquired the Canadian operations of U.S.-based insurance giant State Farm. The policies were transferred to be underwritten by Desjardins Insurance on January 1, 2015. The State Farm brand continued to be used for agents and marketing until 2018.
On January 3, 2017, Desjardins Group announced the closing of the sale of its pet health insurance company, Western Financial Insurance Company to Economical Mutual Insurance Company. Western Financial Insurance Company and its flagship brand, Petsecure were purchased in 2011 as part of the Western Financial Group deal.
On July 5, 2017, Trimont Financial, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company, announced the completion of its purchase of the remainder of Western Financial Group from Desjardins Group for $775 million. Included in the sale were Western Financial Group's Brokerage Network, Western Financial Group Insurance Solutions, and Western Life Assurance.
2019 Data BreachEdit
On June 20, 2019, Desjardins Group reported a data breach involving personal data of 4.3 million individual users and 173,000 businesses, more than 40% of Quebec-based credit union's clients and members. The security breach, detected in December 2018, was not linked to a direct cyber attack, but the result of a disgruntled corporate employee. The data leaked was assembled over a certain period of time after unauthorized access to banking systems and copied customer data. Police investigation is still ongoing.
Credit agency ratingsEdit
As of September 2017, Desjardins long-term debt is rated Aa2 by Moody's, A+ by S&P, AA by DBRS, and AA- by Fitch. S&P and Fitch considered the company's outlook "stable," while Moody's and DBRS rated it "negative."
- "Desjardins Figures". Desjardins Group. 2017. Retrieved 2017-08-27.
- Martin, Joseph E. (Oct–Nov 2017). "Titans". Canada's History. 97 (5): 47–53. ISSN 1920-9894.
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- "Desjardins en chiffres". 2017.
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- Jacquie, McNish (24 February 2011). "Desjardins' quiet revolution". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
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- Barbara Shecter and John Greenwood (1 March 2011). "Meridian, Desjardins agree to merger". National Post. financialpost.com. Retrieved 2013-03-15.
- "Montreal's Desjardins Group takes over State Farm Canada | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 2018-10-19.
- "Change | Desjardins Insurance". Desjardins Agents. Retrieved 2018-10-19.
- "Economical Insurance completes acquisition". www.petsecure.com.
- "Western Financial Group - News". westernfinancialgroup.ca.
- "State Farm brand in Canada to become Desjardins Insurance". www.newswire.ca. Retrieved 2018-10-19.
- "Mouvement des Caisses Desjardins -- Company History". www.company-histories.com. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
- "Desjardins says info for 2.9M members shared outside of organization". www.ctvnews.ca. Retrieved 2019-06-20.
- "Personal data of 2.7 million people leaked from Desjardins". www.cbc.ca. Retrieved 2019-06-20.
Media related to Caisses Desjardins at Wikimedia Commons