Desjardins continues to support members and clients, posting $342 million in surplus earnings for the first quarter of 2023
Lévis, May 12, 2023 – For the first quarter ended March 31, 2023, Desjardins Group, North America’s largest financial cooperative group, recorded surplus earnings before member dividends of $342 million, down $109 million from the same quarter of 2022 and restated following the adoption of IFRS 17, “Insurance Contracts,” on January 1, 2023. This decrease in surplus earnings was mainly attributable to an increase in claims in the Property and Casualty Insurance segment, chiefly reflecting a higher average cost of claims in automobile insurance largely related to the impact of inflation and an increase in auto thefts. In addition, there was an increase in the provision for credit losses compared to the corresponding period of 2022, primarily for the personal loan and credit card portfolios. The decline in surplus earnings was also due to greater spending on personnel, technology and security to support business growth and enhance the services offered to members and clients. However, the decrease in surplus earnings was partially offset by growth in net interest income as well as by as an increase in other income.
For the first quarter of 2023, the provision for member dividends was $106 million, up $4 million or 3.9%, from the same period in 2022. Sponsorships, donations and scholarships came to $26 million, including $8 million from caisse Community Development Funds. This amounted to a total of $132 million returned to members and the community1, up $14 million or 11.9% from the same period in 2022.
"Desjardins's financial strength has allowed us to continue implementing the projects in our strategic plan and helping our operations expand across Canada. I'm also immensely proud of the work done by the whole Desjardins team to make more than 1,500 affordable housing units available by the end of 2025," said Desjardins Group President and CEO Guy Cormier.
Supporting a green economic and social recovery
Desjardins is contributing to regional development and the economy through the GoodSpark Fund, which has set aside $250 million to stimulate social and economic activity in communities.
Since the creation of the GoodSpark Fund, Desjardins has committed a total of $165 million to 741 projects.
Desjardins is also working to help members and clients transition to a low-carbon economy. It announced the introduction of cash back to encourage companies to invest according to environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria. The new ESG swap financial product is designed to cover the debt’s interest rate risk and reward companies for achieving concrete results on ESG key performance indicators. The amount of the cash back is based on the ESG impact of the commitments and the efforts required by the business to achieve them.
With more than $1 billion in investments in renewable energy infrastructure and a new responsible investment policy, Desjardins Group’s pension plan was recognized for best practices in responsible investment in Canada by Corporate Knights, magazine in its second edition of the Canadian pensions dashboard for responsible investing resources. And this is only the beginning! Desjardins currently has several initiatives underway to make the pension plan even greener.
Connecting with young people
After many meetings with young entrepreneurs across Québec to talk about the issues they care about most, Guy Cormier announced the launch of the Dream the Impossible initiative. This is a major event that will be held in Montreal on June 19 and 20, 2023 to discuss and find solutions to the issues identified by young people, including the environment, education, employment, finance and the economy. Young people will also have privileged access to influential leaders, workshops with renowned experts, and meetings with artists and other inspiring figures. More than 400 young people are expected to attend in person, along with hundreds of online participants.
In addition, Mr. Cormier continued to visit universities across Québec and Ontario to meet with students and talk about his career path and leadership approach. Since this tour began in February, he has met more than 400 participants at 6 universities.
Doing what’s best for members and clients
Desjardins is involved in people’s lives, whether by supporting community initiatives related to diversity, inclusion, cooperation, financial literacy and healthy living, or by offering innovative financial solutions to meet their needs. Here are some ways that Desjardins made a positive difference in people's lives in the first quarter of 2023.
Giving back to the community
- For the ninth consecutive year, Desjardins has been recognized by Mediacorp as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers, in particular for its alternative commuting program designed to encourage employees to use alternative modes of transportation on their daily trips.
- Grant of almost $1.2 million to support five organizations that help people experiencing homelessness in Montreal (in French only), including La rue des Femmes and Projets Autochtones du Québec.
- Contribution of more than $3.1 million to the Fondation du CHU de Québec (in French only) for health to help discover new treatments and offer a better quality of life to people who are ill.
- Web conference on the economy with Jimmy Jean, Chief Economist of Desjardins Group, for our members and clients to demystify the economy. Topics discussed included the possibility of recession, rising interest rates, labour shortages and the global economy. More than 4,000 participants attended the web conference.
- Partnership with the government (in French only) to create more than 1,000 affordable housing units. Thanks to our vast network of caisses, the Caisse d'économie solidaire and our one-stop-shop approach, Desjardins surpassed the government's goal. By 2025, more than 1,500 housing units will become available across 14 regions of Québec.
- Desjardins is expanding its responsible investing lineup by offering new unit classes for 3 Desjardins SocieTerra Funds. This initiative strengthens Desjardins's position as a responsible investment leader in Canada.
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Public relations, Desjardins Group
514 281-7229 or 1 866 866-7000, ext. 5557229