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You are here: Home > Personal > Caisse Desjardins des Etchemins > About the caisse

About the caisse

A financial cooperative with deep roots in the community, Caisse Desjardins des Etchemins has 12,723 members. Each caisse member is also a co-owner of the caisse.

Find out more about caisse operations

  • As a cooperative institution, the caisse prioritizes meeting all the needs of its members, since the caisse property, power and surplus earnings sharing belong to the members.
  • As a community leader and partner, the caisse promotes action that improves social and economic well-being, quality of life and real economic responsibility for the community.

To fulfill its mission, the caisse educates its members, officers and employees about democracy, solidarity and individual and collective responsibility.

An experienced team

Working within the largest cooperative financial group in Canada, the seasoned team of officers, managers and employees of Caisse Desjardins des Etchemins is committed to offering first class specialized services: a friendly and personalized approach that means being there for members at every stage of their financial lives.

Today's Caisse Desjardins des Etchemins is the result of the merger of the Langevin, du Sud de l'Etchemin and Saint-Just-Saint-Camille-Saint-Magloire, in 2011.

When life was hard

In the late 19th century, life was hard and banks only served merchants, business owners, and wealthy families. Ordinary people had very limited access to loans and savings. Many fell victim to greedy lenders who often ended up seizing property that belonged to their unfortunate clients.

Alphonse Desjardins, a stenographer in the House of Commons, first learned about this practice during a House debate, when a member described a case where the interest charged hit 3,000%! Shocked by such an injustice, Alphonse Desjardins decided to find out what other countries were doing to address the problem. This was in April 1897.

Plans for a cooperative

Desjardins's research led him to a book by Henry W. Wolff entitled People's Banks, which described people's banks and rural credit unions in Europe. He contacted the author, who put him touch with officers at these institutions. Through correspondence with the officers, he came up with an idea for a new kind of savings and loan cooperative.

He met with a small group of fellow citizens at his home in Lévis to present his idea, and together they drafted bylaws for a caisse populaire—or people's bank—which opened its doors on December 6, 1900.

Over one hundred years later, the vast caisse network is still driven by the same ideal—to provide people with financial services based on people's savings.

Source: Société historique Alphonse Desjardins.

Desjardins at Les Etchemins

1912: Alphonse Desjardins establishes the Sainte-Justine and Sainte-Germaine caisses populaires.

Caisses open at Sainte-Rose (1913), Saint-Luc (1918), Sainte-Sabine (1919), Saint-Just (1942), Saint-Cyprien (1944), Saint-Magloire (1945) and Saint-Camille (1953) to meet local demand.

1919: Many caisses close their doors when the wood industry goes into a slump. They reopen a few years later.

Several caisses merge in 1992 and 2002.

January 1, 2011: The Sud de L'Etchemin, Langevin and Saint-Camille-Saint-Just-Saint-Magloire caisses officially merge to create a new legal entity, Caisse Desjardins des Etchemins.

Noticeably different

Over the years the caisse has provided financial support for many local organizations.

Without a doubt, the most ambitious project has been the Show Business des Etchemins benefit concert. The first benefit in November 2013 raised $7,200 for a young girl named Gabrielle afflicted with Prader-Willi syndrome. In March 2015 Show Business des Etchemins 2 raised almost $11,000 for another sick child in the community. A new show is slated for 2018.

In 2011 and 2015, Caisse Desjardins des Etchemins won the acclaimed “Outstanding Partnership” category at the Gala of Excellence held at the Lévis Convention Centre. This prestigious event, organized by Coopérative de développement régional Québec-Appalaches, recognizes the achievements of cooperative and mutual organizations in the Québec City and Chaudière-Appalaches regions.

The caisse also received the Service Company trophy at the Les Etchemins Tribute Awards in 2011, the Jury's Pick Award at the Bellechasse-Etchemins Chamber of Commerce Gala in Recognition of Cooperatives in 2012, and recognition for exceptional corporate citizenship in 2017.