Lévis, November 12, 2021 – For the third quarter ended September 30, 2021, Desjardins Group, North America’s leading financial cooperative group, recorded surplus earnings before member dividends of $816 million, up $87 million or 11.9% from the same quarter of 2020. The growth in surplus earnings was mainly due to a lower loss experience in the Property and Casualty Insurance segment, strong performance from the caisse network, and a decline in the provision for credit losses. This increase was offset by an increase in non-interest expense, largely due to amounts invested in Desjardins-wide strategic projects.
For the third quarter of 2021, the provision for member dividends was $90 million, up $10 million from the same period in 2020. Sponsorships, donations and scholarships come to $20 million, including $8 million from caisse Community Development Funds, while $4 million was paid out through the Desjardins Member Advantages program. This amounted to a total of $114 million returned to members and the community, up $10 million from the same period in 2020. In the third quarter of 2021, Desjardins also announced $4 million in commitments related to the GoodSpark Fund which seeks in particular to provide social and economic support to the region.
At the end of the first nine months of 2021, Desjardins Group recorded surplus earnings before member dividends of $2,549 million, up $1,006 million or 65.2% from the same period in 2020. The growth in surplus earnings was mainly due to a decline in the provision for credit losses, strong performance from the caisse network, a lower loss experience in the Property and Casualty Insurance segment and changes in actuarial assumptions related to life and health insurance operations. It is worth noting that surplus earnings for the first nine months ended September 30, 2020 were marked by the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The provision for credit losses was affected by the deteriorating economic outlook, the travel insurance provisions that were recognized and the $155 million in automobile insurance premium refunds granted to members and clients.
“Desjardins Group's excellent results for the third quarter continue the trend established early this year,” said Desjardins President and CEO Guy Cormier. “Surplus earnings and member dividends were both up, due primarily to strong performance in the caisse network and a lower claims rate in property and casualty insurance. I'm proud of the work accomplished by the entire Desjardins Group team as well as our efforts to ensure a green socioeconomic recovery. With our various commitments to carbon neutrality, we are also invested in the fight against climate change more than ever before”.
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COVID-19: Desjardins Group supports its members and clients and takes part in the vaccination effort
Desjardins rolled out a many relief measures to support members and clients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several of the relief measures implemented since March 16, 2020 are still in place and have been further developed to offer solutions for members and clients in financial difficulty at any time, regardless of their circumstances. Desjardins seeks to support members and clients experiencing financial hardship by offering them the solutions that best meet their needs at the times they need them most.
Desjardins also actively took part in the vaccination effort, with more than 10,000 doses administered at the Cité de la coopération in Lévis. It is important to note that Desjardins followed the government's directives on vaccination priority and did not prioritize its employees or its members and clients.
Support for economic, social and green recovery
Desjardins is contributing to regional development and economic recovery through both the GoodSpark Fund, which has set aside $250 million to stimulate social and economic activities in communities, and the Momentum Fund for businesses.
Since the creation of the GoodSpark Fund, Desjardins has committed a total of $142 million to 632 projects. Meanwhile, the Momentum Fund has also supported 975 businesses for a total outlay of close to $6 million.
Desjardins is also working to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. Several concrete initiatives have been undertaken since the second quarter of 2021, including:
- A debut issue of $500 million in sustainable bonds in the Canadian market. This initial issuance is part of a broader program that should lead Desjardins to solicit the sustainable bond market on a number of occasions over the next few years.
- A new partnership with Go Zero to recycle the used masks of employees, members and clients.
- An open letter signed by Guy Cormier, President and CEO, encouraging leaders to join the race to reaching zero emissions by 2050.
- The signing of two statements on the climate emergency: the Canadian Investor Statement on Climate Change and the Statement by the Québec Financial Centre for a Sustainable Finance.
Giving back to the community
During this pandemic, Desjardins has been more involved than ever in people's lives and continues to support initiatives on diversity, inclusion and cooperation. Here are some of the ways that Desjardins has been making a positive difference in people's lives since the second quarter of 2021:
- Launch of the sixth edition of Cooperathon, bringing Canadians together in one of the largest open innovation challenges in the world to find solutions for a socially responsible future.
- Launch of a news podcast (in French only) addressed to people with a keen interest in business, with Desjardins economists taking part each week to provide views on economic issues.
- Dorimène Desjardins, co-founder of Desjardins Group, was honoured posthumously at the Gala de l'Ordre du Mérite coopératif québécois (in French only) by the Conseil québécois de la coopération et de la mutualité. Among other things, Ms. Desjardins paved the way for the roles played by women in the Group to this day. In addition, the Cooperation Council of Ontario presented a special award posthumously to Alphonse Desjardins for his contribution to the cooperative movement in that province through the creation of 18 caisses network and one group caisse. This distinction will become a permanent annual award to be presented to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the evolution of this movement.
- A total of $1.7 million in new financial commitments in 8 cooperative projects involved in food, recreation and tourism, culture and education across Canada.
Desjardins is constantly innovating to meet the needs of its members and clients. Here are a few examples from the third quarter of 2021:
- Online brokerage was made even more accessible by letting clients trade stocks and ETFs on Canadian and American stock markets for free. This change affects all Desjardins Online Brokerage clients and expands on the reduced commission fees already offered to active investors and 18-to-30-year-olds.
- For a second consecutive year, Desjardins won the “Best House, Canada” prize, from UK-based Structured Retail Products, for its structured products.
For journalists only: Chantal Corbeil
Public relations, Desjardins Group
514 281-7229 or 1 866 866-7000, ext. 5557229