MONTREAL – BUSINESS – “We’ve all been affected by COVID-19, and Desjardins wants to make sure everyone gets the help they need. A lot of young people are struggling right now too. Their studies have been put on hold, they’re isolated from their friends and their plans have been put off, perhaps indefinitely. Some are experiencing high levels of anxiety. If we’re going to support our youth, that means being there when it counts. That’s exactly what we’re doing with the measures we’re announcing today,” said Guy Cormier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins Group.
Everyone is feeling the effects of COVID-19, and young people are no exception. Their school year has been interrupted. Many of them have lost their jobs or seen a significant drop in income and don’t know how they’re going to pay their bills, make rent or cover tuition. That’s why Desjardins is announcing measures to support our young people.
Support for youth:
Psychological and legal hotline for members and clients 30 and under
For some young people, the isolation created by the current situation can lead to psychological distress. Desjardins wants to support members and clients who are 30 and under by providing a psychological support hotline. They’ll also have access to legal support during this difficult time.
$210,000 to Kids Help Phone and Alloprof
With schools closed, more young people are using support services like Kids Help Phone and Alloprof. Desjardins wants to support these organizations by contributing $210,000 to help them keep operating and handle the increased call volumes they’re receiving.
Desjardins Foundation increases 2020 scholarship fund to $1.8 million
Desjardins Foundation has added another $500,000 to its scholarship fund this year, bringing the total to $1.8 million. Scholarship applications need to be submitted on the Foundation website by April 15, at www.desjardinsfoundation.com/scholarships.
Relief measures for all Personal members and clients:
In addition to the support measures for members and clients between the ages of 18 and 30, Desjardins is expanding relief for all Personal members and clients, including youth. As of March 30, a deferred payment request form is available www.desjardins.com/ca/covid-19/personal-relief-measures so members and clients can apply for relief online.
Desjardins offering loans of last resort of up to $3,000 to Personal members hit hard by COVID-19
Many people have lost their jobs in the past few days and weeks, and Desjardins members are worried. Starting next week, Desjardins Group will be supporting those hit hardest by COVID-19 by offering loans of up to $3,000, for a maximum of 12 months, at a special interest rate of 4.97%. Members who take a loan will have the option to repay it in full at maturity or convert it to a traditional loan.
As with other relief measures announced by Desjardins, the loan is in addition to the measures announced by different levels of government over the past few weeks. Advisors will assess applications on a case-by-case basis to find the best solution for the person’s situation. The loan is in addition to other relief measures already available to Desjardins members.
Desjardins offering reduced interest rate to Personal credit card holders
As always, Desjardins is listening to its members and clients and wants to continue doing its part to help Canadians, many of whom are experiencing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning April 8, Desjardins will automatically grant a temporary reduced interest rate of 10.9% to all Personal members and clients with a Desjardins credit card who obtain a payment deferral for a financing product.
“Desjardins was the first financial institution to put various relief measures in place for its Personal and Business members and clients affected by COVID-19. We continue to support our members and clients by announcing additional measures like loans of last resort and temporary reductions in interest rates on our credit cards,” said Guy Cormier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins Group.
Unwavering support for communities
Desjardins provides $475,000 in funding to combat humanitarian crisis spurred by coronavirus
To support communities through the COVID-19 pandemic, Desjardins is providing funding to large organizations that meet basic essential needs. Knowing that some members and clients may have to turn to these partners over the coming weeks, Desjardins is donating a total of $475,000 to United Way/Centraide Canada, the Canadian Red Cross, Food Banks of Quebec and Feed Ontario.
Desjardins donates 20,000 N95 masks and 40,000 surgical masks to Quebec government
Aware of the issues facing Quebec given a possible shortage of supplies like protective masks, Desjardins recently donated 20,000 N95 masks and 40,000 surgical masks to the Quebec government for use by frontline healthcare workers. Desjardins purchased the masks a few months ago after updating its business continuity plan in the event of a pandemic.
About Desjardins Group
Desjardins Group is the leading cooperative financial group in Canada and the sixth largest cooperative financial group in the world, with assets of $313.0 billion. It has been rated one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers by Mediacorp. To meet the diverse needs of its members and clients, Desjardins offers a full range of products and services to individuals and businesses through its extensive distribution network, online platforms and subsidiaries across Canada. Ranked among the world’s strongest banks according to The Banker magazine, Desjardins has some of the highest capital ratios and credit ratings in the industry.
SOURCE Desjardins Group