Lévis, August 10, 2023 – For the second quarter ended June 30, 2023, Desjardins Group, North America's largest financial cooperative group, recorded surplus earnings before member dividends of $553 million, up $515 million from the same quarter of 2022 and restated following the adoption of IFRS 17, “Insurance Contracts,” on January 1, 2023. This increase is mainly explained by the growth of the net insurance finance result of $424 million. The latter had been adversely affected by a significant rise in interest rates in the second quarter of 20221 . The increase in surplus earnings is also explained by the growth in net interest income as well as the increase in income from insurance activities in the Property and Casualty Insurance segment.
For the second quarter of 2023, the provision for member dividends stood at $109 million, unchanged from the same period of 2022. Sponsorships, donations and scholarships came to $37 million, including $15 million from caisse Community Development Funds. This amounted to a total of $146 million returned to members and the community2, comparable to the amount for the same period of 2022.
“Desjardins Group is reporting solid financial results for the second quarter of 2023. We remain fully committed to our members and clients by listening to their needs and proposing solutions that suit their financial situations. We're also continuing to invest in technology and security for improved efficiency and greater simplicity,” said Guy Cormier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins Group.
For the first half of fiscal 2023, Desjardins Group recorded surplus earnings before member dividends of $895 million, up $406 million from the same period of 2022, as restated following the adoption of IFRS 17, “Insurance Contracts”, on January 1, 2023. This increase in surplus earnings was mainly due to a $447 million increase in net insurance finance result as explained above, and growth in both net interest income and other income. The increase in surplus earnings was offset by a rise in spending on personnel and technology to support business growth and enhance the services offered to members and clients. In addition, loss experience in the Property and Casualty Insurance segment went up, mainly due to a surge in the average cost of automobile insurance claims that was mostly related to the impact of inflation and an uptick in car thefts. In addition, the provision for credit losses increased from the same period of 2022, mainly in the personal loan and credit card portfolios.
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 $170 million to 762 projects.
Desjardins is also working to help members and clients transition to a low-carbon economy. To this end, it has announced $350 million in financing to support the Alliance de l’Énergie de l’Est, a coalition of 209 municipal and Indigenous governments, in its efforts to build wind farms. This is a singular initiative that's helping Québec municipalities invest in wind power projects via requests for proposals from Hydro-Québec.
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 major event was held in Montreal on June 19 and 20 to discuss and find solutions to issues identified by young people, including the environment, education, employment, finance and economy. More than 400 young people participated in person at TOHU, while hundreds more took part online.
The discussions were also inspired by a series of analyses published by Desjardins economists on the economic opportunities and challenges facing Canadian youth. The first study focused on the paths taken by young people when they leave home to pursue an education and start their careers. This was followed by second study that looked at the challenges faced by young adults seeking to put down roots in their community (affordability). The third and final study focused on the circumstances that will define this generation in the decades to come.
Changes to the Desjardins Group governance model
At the Federation's last annual general meeting, held on March 24 and 25, 2023, the delegates of the Desjardins caisse networks in Québec and Ontario approved a proposal to separation of the roles of Chair of the Board of Directors (the Board) and President and Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins Group.
On June 22, 2023, Desjardins Group's Board announced that Guy Cormier would assume the role of President and CEO starting in March 2024, when this separation of leadership roles at the head of Desjardins Group will come into effect. In addition to assisting the Board with its work to split the leadership roles between March 2024 and March 2026 at the latest, Mr. Cormier will continue to lead and develop Desjardins Group during this period, with the full powers granted to him as President and CEO.
At the end of the period for implementing the separation of roles, meaning no later than March 2026, the Board will select the person who will succeed Mr. Cormier as President and CEO of Desjardins Group. It should be noted that Mr. Cormier will not be eligible for this position. Meanwhile, the new Chair of the Board will be elected by their peers on the Desjardins Group Board of Directors and step into the new role in May 2024.
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 second quarter of 2023.
Giving back to the community
- For the 10th year, Corporate Knighthas named Desjardins Group one of the country's 50 best corporate citizens. Being included on this prestigious list is testimony to Desjardins's efforts to be a socially and environmentally responsible organization.
- Desjardins, Interloge, the city of Montreal and the Québec government have joined forces to save the 93-unit Manoir Lafontaine (in French only) so that it can be renovated into housing with sustainably affordable rents.
- Partnership with the Government of Québec, the Coopérative d'habitation des Cantons de l'Est and the city of Sherbrooke for the first social and affordable housing construction project in the Estrie region in order to make 56 units (in French only) available to families, low- and middle-income couples and single people in Sherbrooke.
- Collaboration between Desjardins and The Peak for a series of discussions on economic news with Jimmy Jean, Chief Economist of Desjardins Group, as part of The Peak's - Emerging Leaders Briefing podcast. The first podcast focuses on the state of education, affordability and the labour market in order to help clients aged 18 to 40 make sense of the economy.
- Desjardins Online Brokerage is honoured to have been ranked by J.D. Power as highest in investor satisfaction among self-directed brokerage firms. This is the eighth time in the last 15 years that Desjardins Online Brokerage has taken first place in this ranking. This recognition reflects well on the quality of Desjardins's customer service.
- Publication of a white paper on digital identity in collaboration with Beneva, IDLab and KPMG, aimed at developing a common understanding of digital identity and promoting its adoption in everyday life.
1. As permitted by IFRS 17, Desjardins Group has chosen to recognize the impact of the reclassification of its investments related to insurance activities as of January 1, 2023 and, therefore, not to restate the comparative period for this item. This could therefore limit the comparability of the results with the previous period.