Lévis, May 22, 2020 - In March, as the COVID‑19 pandemic grew and physical distancing measures were introduced to limit the spread of the virus, Desjardins asked its caisses to postpone their annual general meetings, which are usually held in April. This decision meant that the payment of member dividends also had to be postponed, as a member vote is required first.
After several weeks of deliberation, Desjardins has decided that the caisses will hold online special general meetings so that members can vote on dividend payments. More than 200 caisses will be holding online meetings through the end of September. Member dividends will then be paid out this fall. Caisses that merged in January 2020 will not hold a special general meeting: their plans for sharing surplus earnings were already approved by members when the mergers took place.
Members will receive more details about how the meetings will work and how they will vote. According to the 2019 financial results, member dividends totalled $317 million, an increase of $64 million or 25.3% from the year before.
"Our teams have worked very hard over the last few weeks to find a way for us to pay member dividends. I'm proud of the innovative solution they've found, and I'm glad that Desjardins members will be receiving their share of our surplus earnings," said Guy Cormier, President and CEO of Desjardins Group.