Desjardins Group signs a new service agreement with Bell Canada, a contract valued at 670 million dollars

Telecommunications leader to provide fully outsourced Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solutions and services

Montr�al, September 19, 2006 – Desjardins Group, the largest integrated cooperative financial group in Canada, and Bell Canada, Canada’s national leader in telecommunications, have announced that they are renewing their service agreement. The new agreement, which will go into effect on January 1, 2007, states that Bell will continue to provide Desjardins with communications services, payment services and call centre services until December 31, 2014. The contract is valued at approximately $670 million.

Desjardins has been benefiting from Bell’s expertise since 2001, and Bell has successfully provided Desjardins with a fast, effective response to its various Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) needs. For example, IP (Internet Protocol) technology, which allows voice, data and image services to converge on a single infrastructure, is already deployed for some aspects of Desjardins’ operations. It will now be necessary to broaden its scope to cover the entire Desjardins network, providing the capability to deal with their expansion needs. Bell’s expertise in this area makes it the ideal partner.

“We are delighted to be entering into an agreement of this kind with a partner of Bell’s prestige and reputation,” stated F�d�ration des caisses Desjardins du Qu�bec President and COO, Mr. Bertrand Laferri�re. “With this new agreement, we can be sure that our telecommunications platform will consistently remain both highly powerful and on the leading edge of technology. This is essential, given that telecommunications are critical to our daily operations.”

“We are extremely pleased to continue our partnership with Desjardins Group, a partnership that exemplifies the harmonious collaboration between our two organizations. Bell will provide Desjardins with scalable ICT solutions that will allow them to quickly increase bandwidth and easily add new applications to meet the needs of their ever growing business,” said St�phane Boisvert, President, Enterprise Group, Bell Canada. “A comprehensive outsourced, IP – based communications network will deliver a consistent, superior level of service while ensuring the most efficient use of the entire organization’s resources.”

The agreement also establishes a sharing of expertise in sustainable development, specifically issues related to residual materials management performance, climate change and responsible procurement. It is also aimed at identifying opportunities to work together to promote sustainable development, including awareness activities.

About Bell Canada

Bell Canada is Canada’s national leader in telecommunications, with 28 million customer connections across the country. The company provides consumers with simple solutions to all their communications needs, including telephone services, wireless communications, high-speed Internet, digital television and voice over IP. Bell also offers integrated information and communications technology (ICT) services to businesses and governments, and is the Virtual Chief Information Officer (VCIO) to small and medium businesses. Bell is proud to be a Premier National Partner and exclusive Communications Partner to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. For information on Bell’s products and services, please visit; for information on BCE, please visit

About Desjardins Group

Desjardins Group is the largest integrated cooperative financial group in Canada, with overall assets of more than $118 billion. It comprises a network of caisses, credit unions and business centres in Qu�bec and Ontario, and some 20 subsidiary companies in life and general insurance, securities, venture capital and asset management, many of which are active across the country. Drawing on the expertise of its 40,000 employees and the commitment of 7,600 elected officers, Desjardins offers its 5.5 million individual and corporate members and clients a full range of financial products and services. Its physical distribution network is complemented by leading-edge virtual access modes. For more information, please see our Web site: