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The Caisse d’économie solidaire is Québec’s main financial institution, which is dedicated in social and solidarity economy. Also the Caisse specializes in responsible investments. Over the years, the Caisse has become the social movements, collective enterprises, and commited citizens’ financial institution.
The Caisse d’économie solidaire’s mission is to
- Support the development of the social and solidarity economy by focusing on collective entrepreneurship;
- Advise citizens seeking to manage their personal finances inways that are both financially sound and socially responsible;
- Contribute, along with other national and international players, to the development of the solidarity finance movement.
A unique financial institution
- While operating under the relatively traditional legal status of a financial institution and within Québec’s statutory framework, the Caisse d’économie solidaire Desjardins (Desjardins Solidarity Credit Union) is one of the rare savings and credit co-operatives to use this financial framework to develop the social and solidarity economy.
The Caisse d’économie solidaire was founded in 1971 by union organizers; just 60 people investing $ 5 000 altogether. Besides meeting their need for a financial institution, the Caisse also strove for social transformation through financing groups and collective projects.
The Caisse solidaire provides services across Québec, Canada’s second largest province.
Since its founding, the Caisse’s financial strength has been working for both individuals and collective enterprises.
As Québec’s main financial institution specializing in social and solidarity economy, the Caisse d’économie solidaire works alongside 15 000 individual members, cooperatives and non-profit organizations. The financial support it offers is made possible thanks to the savings of a multitude of socially conscious associations, labor unions and citizens who are looking for guidance in the field of socially responsible investments. With assets of over $ 831 million as of December 31, 2016, the Caisse generates a business volume of over $ 1.6 billion.
Our banking services are a means to an end, and the Caisse has become the only financial institution in Québec dedicated mainly to collective entrepreneurship and solidarity-based group action. We also invest more than $ 500 million in social and solidarity economy in Québec, with a view towards sustainable development.
Over the years, these funds have been made available to satisfy basic human needs: cooperative housing, Co-Operations for Urban Development; employment, entrepreneurship and social innovation as well as educational, ambulance and funeral services; youth integration into the workforce, group consulting and day-care; circus, theatre, artistic and cultural centers, museums, and community media.
Being firmly based in collective action and a collective vision doesn’t make the Caisse solidaire any less professional. Within the Desjardins network, the top cooperative financial group in Canada, the Caisse d’économie solidaire is one of the leaders among some 313 Desjardins caisses in terms of average assets.
- Gérald Larose, Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer (In French only)
Board of directors (In French only)
- Marc Picard, General Director
Products and Services
RESPONSIBLE FINANCING: AT THE HEART OF OUR OPERATIONS
Socially responsible investing is at the heart of the Caisse’s operations. Of all of our savings products, 86 % of those chosen by our members are responsible investment (RI) products.
The Caisse helps guide those seeking to contribute to society through loans, savings and investment solutions. It’s our duty to help all individuals and organizations discover investment solutions tailored to fit their needs
Social Return Investment offers competitive returns on deposits while also making these funds available for sustainable development and vibrant local economies. Social Return is available as Investment RRSP-eligible investments with different terms and rates.
Expanding social economy through offering: our financial expertise within the social economy sector; accompaniment to collective projects every step of the way through to their completion; financial services tailored to meet the needs of collective projects.