Desjardins co-op hails strong growth as it reports surplus earnings of CAD $581m

The Canadian finance giant said in its second-quarter results it had benefited from good investment decisions and a decrease in actuarial liabilities

Desjardins Group has increased its second-quarter surplus earnings by 36% to CAD $581m as its caisse network continues to grow.

The business, Canada’s largest co-operative financial group, attributed the positive results to good investment performance and a decrease in actuarial liabilities arising from changes to credit ratings of the securities matched to these liabilities in the Wealth Management and Life and Health Insurance segment.

Its Property and Casualty insurance segment also benefited from favourable development in prior years’ claims.

Overall, Desjardins returned $74m to members and the community, up from $52m in the same period last year. Members received $40m in dividends while another $23m was given in sponsorships, donations and scholarships, plus $11m in member advantages.

Reporting the results for the second quarter of 2017, the group revealed it has increased its operating income by 11.4% to $398m. Outstanding residential mortgages also increased by $3bn since December 2016.

The Group had a total capital ratio of 17.5% as of June 2017 while Desjardins funds now total $30bn in assets under management.

The co-op also increased its income from lending fees and credit card service revenues, which totalled $154m, 13% more than in 2016 ($136m). Its income from brokerage and investment fund services also stood at $307m, a 7.3% increase from $286m in 2016.

Desjardins’ total assets went up $13.6bn to $272bn (5.3%) since December 2016, an increase determined by growth in the securities portfolio and the net loans and acceptances portfolio. During the second quarter of 2017, Desjardins employees volunteered almost 2,000 hours in support of people affected by the floods in Quebec.

“Our co-operative financial group’s performance over the last quarter is a great achievement, and reflects strong business growth,” said Guy Cormier, chair of the board, president and chief executive.

“When Desjardins succeeds, all its members and clients succeed as well. This allows us to play an even larger role as a socioeconomic leader and to give back even more to our members and the community.”

The group has also received some accolades. It was ranked second in Corporate Knights’ 2017 Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada. It also won two OCTAS awards in recognition of its innovative solutions, such as the My Saving Plan tool, which encourages young people to save.

And Desjardins’ Economic Studies team received top honours from the international firm FocusEconomics for the accuracy of their Canadian economic and financial forecasts.

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