AN ACTIVE AND INVOLVED GROUP. 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 activity in communities, and the Momentum Fund for businesses.
Desjardins posts excellent performance for the second quarter of 2021 while working harder than ever to help members and clients achieve their goals
Lévis, August 12, 2021 - For the second quarter ended June 30, 2021, Desjardins Group, North America's leading financial cooperative group, recorded surplus earnings before member dividends of $935 million, up $406 million or 76.7% from the same quarter of 2020. The growth in surplus earnings was mainly due to a decline in the provision for credit losses, strong performance from the caisse network, and a lower loss experience in the Property and Casualty Insurance segment. It is worth noting that surplus earnings for the second quarter of 2020 were affected by an increase in the provision for credit losses in response to the gloomier economic outlook resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the second quarter of 2021, the provision for member dividends was $90 million, up $10 million from the same period in 2020. Sponsorships, donations and scholarships came to $20 million, including $10 million from caisse Community Development Funds, while $5 million was paid out through the Desjardins Member Advantages program. This amounted to a total of $115 million returned to members and the community, up $9 million from the same period in 2020. In the second quarter of 2021, Desjardins also announced $8 million in commitments related to the GoodSpark Fund which seeks in particular to provide social and economic support to the regions.
For the first half of fiscal 2021, Desjardins Group posted surplus earnings before member dividends of $1,733 million, up $919 million or 112.9% compared to the corresponding period of 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 half of 2020 were marked by the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The provision for credit losses was affected by the gloomier economic outlook, the travel insurance provisions that were recognized and the $155 million in automobile insurance premium refunds granted to members and clients.
"Desjardins posted excellent financial results for the second quarter due, in particular, to strong performance from the caisse network and a lower claims rate in property and casualty insurance," said Desjardins President and CEO Guy Cormier. "Among other things, solid results like these make it possible for the Group to help its members and clients achieve their goals. We are also proud to play a leading role in developing the circular economy in Canada. This is why we are actively financing innovative companies, like QScale, that look for sustainable solutions. Desjardins Capital, as the manager of Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins (CRCD), invested $60 million in QScale. This is the largest investment it has made since its founding."
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 is also an active participant in the vaccination effort. The Cité de la coopération in Lévis has been a COVID-19 vaccination site since May 18, 2021. More than 10,000 doses of vaccine have been administered at the site to citizens. It should be noted that Desjardins is following the order of priority for vaccination established by the government and is not prioritizing its employees or its members and clients.
Doing what's best for our members and clients and protecting their health and safety, as well as that of our employees, will always be our priorities. For this reason, we are asking employees to continue working from home a little longer, until at least mid-September 2021. This date may shift in response to changes in public health measures.
Around 5% of our employees were already working from home full-time before the pandemic. During the pandemic, we quickly made adjustments to allow more than 80% of our employees to work from home to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Once the public health situation allows it, we will be offering several solutions to our employees, depending on their tasks and the organization's needs.The evolution of our working methods will be characterized by greater flexibility at home and in the office. Three formulas will be present at Desjardins, 100% employees on Desjardins sites, 100% home employees and employees who will work in hybrid mode.
Support for economic and social 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 activity in communities, and the Momentum Fund for businesses.
Since the creation of the GoodSpark Fund, Desjardins has committed a total of $138 million to 606 projects. Meanwhile, the Momentum Fund has also supported 860 businesses for a total outlay of close to $6 million.
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 first quarter of 2021:
- Support for the Accélérer la relance des entrepreneures project run by the Réseau des femmes d'affaires du Québec. This will put the Desjardins network to work by promoting networking among businesses and deploying dozens of representatives across Québec to support women entrepreneurs by making referrals.
- Partnership with the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec and Canada Economic Development to organize one of the largest tours of Québec's regions to focus on the theme of the circular economy, combining innovation, productivity and sustainable development.
- For the eighth year in a row, Desjardins has been included in Corporate Knights magazine's list of the Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada. The organization recognizes our cooperative financial group's community spirit and the depth of our commitment to members, clients and communities to help build a more inclusive, sustainable Canada.
Desjardins has also partnered with the Mouvement des accélérateurs du Québec to create the Continuum Startup, a program aiming to provide the best possible support for new businesses, from their founding until they reach their full growth potential.
Desjardins is constantly innovating to meet the needs of its members and clients in an environment where the pandemic is still with us. Here are just a few examples since the first quarter of 2021:
- Investment of $60 million made in Qscale by Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins (CRCD). This is one of the largest investments made by Desjardins Capital as manager of CRCD since its inception. Based on the principles of the circular economy, this project will build a computer data processing centre whose thermal discharge will be recoverable.
- Acquisition of the assets of investment firm Hexavest Inc. This Montréal-based company serves a primarily institutional clientele located mainly in Canada, and also internationally.
- Desjardins has become a major partner of Propulsion Québec, the cluster for electric and smart transportation (EST), to support its initiatives and activities in sustainable and smart mobility.