Groupe Promutuel and Desjardins Group announce the signing of an agreement-in-principle towards a business partnership

Québec City, Jan. 11 2010 – Groupe Promutuel and Desjardins Group, two Québec leaders in the cooperative and mutual sectors, have announced the signing of an agreement-in-principle towards the implementation of a business partnership regarding the distribution of financial products and services, such as mortgage loans and savings products.

The terms of the agreement, subject to the approval of regulatory authorities, will be defined in the coming months.

“We are delighted to have reached an agreement with our Groupe Promutuel colleagues, which is proof of our common desire to bring two organizations that share the same values closer together. I wish to thank Groupe Promutuel’s board of directors and management for their trust. I am convinced that we have laid the foundations of a prosperous relationship, for Promutuel and Desjardins, as well as for all their members and clients,” said Monique F. Leroux, Chair of the Board, President and CEO of Desjardins Group.

As for Groupe Promutuel’s Chair of the Board, Omer Bouchard, he said he was extremely pleased to have signed this agreement. “The Board members unanimously approved Desjardins Group’s offer. We are convinced that it will be beneficial to both our organizations, to our clients and to the future of Quebec’s cooperative and mutualist movement. We are proud that two Quebecois cooperatives were able to detect the potential of such an association.”

About Desjardins Group

Desjardins Group is the largest cooperative financial group in Canada, and the sixth largest in the world, with overall assets of $163 billion. Drawing on the strength of its caisse network in Québec and Ontario, as well as its subsidiaries, several of which are active throughout Canada, Desjardins offers a full range of financial products and services to its 5.8 million individual and business members and clients. Desjardins Group is also home to a wealth of expertise in property and casualty insurance, life and health insurance, wealth management, services for businesses of all sizes, securities brokerage, venture capital, asset management and secure leading-edge virtual access methods, all part of an integrated offer that is the only one of its kind in Canada. One of the largest employers in the country, Desjardins is backed by the knowledge and skills of its 42,000 employees and the commitment of its 6,300 elected officers. To find out more, consult

About Groupe Promutuel

Promutuel is a growing group which ranks among the biggest general insurers in Quebec. Also active in financial services and financial security, the Groupe is recognized for its financial soundness, high quality products and the excellence of its customer service. Promutuel has 1,750 employees serving over 525,000 insured members. The Groupe’s mission is to promote and offer insurance and financial services products that live up to the insured members’ and clients’ expectations and that often anticipate them. To this end, the Groupe ensures customized quality services and encourages the mutualist values that have guided its actions for more than 160 years.