Mouvement Desjardins

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Image:DesjardinsLogo.png

The Mouvement Desjardins (Desjardins Movement or Desjardins Group in English) is the largest association of credit unions in North America. It was founded in 1900 in Lévis, Québec by Alphonse Desjardins.

Located mostly in Québec but also in Ontario, it is composed of 572 local caisses populaires, which serve almost 5.4 million members. It also has 40 caisses in New Brunswick and Manitoba, for about 220,000 members. The entire system is regrouped into 11 regional federations.

Total assets at Desjardins Group currently reach $103.6 billion CAD. This ranks it as the sixth-largest financial institution in Canada and the largest in Québec, ahead of National Bank of Canada which had assets of $77 million CAD as of oct. 2003. It has 38,000 employees and close to 7,500 elected and volunteer officers. In 2004, it gave caisse members $424 million CAD in patronage allocations and $52 million CAD in donations, sponsorships and academic bursaries. Most of this latter sum went to regional economic development and health purposes.

Desjardins Group has recently started trying to expand outside the province of Quebec, its biggest push being deployed in brokerage services, regrouped under a unit it now calls Desjardins Financial Security. This brokerage operation is based in Montreal but has a notable presence in Toronto.

Desjardins has been working in developing countries such as Burkina Faso and Cameroon, but in 1992 also opened Desjardins Bank in Florida to cater to southbound Quebecers.

Desjardins is a member of:

Sources: http://www.ica.coop/ica/digest/29-digest.pdf http://www.desjardins.com/en/ (Mouvement Desjardins website)

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