Montréal - The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) has published the 2011 report on financial services cooperatives (pdf - 5 MB)This link will open in a new window, tabled today in the Québec National Assembly. The report presents a portrait of financial services cooperatives carrying on business in Québec and their financial condition.

The report confirms the importance and soundness of cooperatives in Québec through the presence of 402 cooperatives affiliated with the Desjardins Group and the Caisse des Mutuellistes Épargne et Crédit. During the 2011 fiscal year, financial services cooperatives overall posted a satisfactory increase in surplus earnings after taxes and before member dividends. For the Desjardins Group, affiliated cooperatives significantly contributed to its surplus earnings.

In terms of assets, the size of cooperatives has increased overall over the past few years. This phenomenon, combined with several mergers (23 in 2010 and 21 in 2011), has led to the emergence of credit unions with considerable clout.

Cooperatives are still among the key financial players in Québec's economy, particularly in the personal deposits market. In addition, based on market share, cooperatives are the type of deposit institution most used by Quebeckers.

For all these reasons, the AMF keeps a close watch on cooperatives, in particular by overseeing the application of its guidelines. The purpose of the guidelines is to ensure compliance with solvency and capital adequacy requirements as well as to maintain sound and prudent management practices.

Solvency and capital adequacy are assessed using capital ratios set forth in the Basel II accord. In Québec, financial services cooperatives boast greater ratios than that of the industry median (Canadian banks) and high-quality capital.

The AMF is adapting the regulation of financial services cooperatives by updating its guidelines and anticipating the impact of the new capitalization rules which will be introduced by the Basel III accords. The guidelines published by the AMF are available by clicking on the Deposit Institutions Guidelines tab under the Deposit Institutions menu.

For more information about financial services cooperatives in Québec, please consult the 2011 report on financial services cooperatives (pdf - 5 MB)This link will open in a new window (in French only).

The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec's financial sector.

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