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Member dividends: It's all about sharing

Member dividends are a reflection of the cooperative difference

You might not have heard of member dividends, but they're one of the cooperative advantages of choosing a credit union over a bank. For 2022, Desjardins Ontario Credit Union paid out $13.7 million in member and community dividends.

But what exactly are they and how do they work? Read on and let Desjardins help you understand them better.

What are member dividends?

Member dividends are a reflection of the cooperative difference, and one of the advantages of being a credit union member. They're paid out every year to personal and business members who meet certain conditions. The dividends come from Desjardins Ontario Credit Union’s and Desjardins Group’s year-end surplus earnings, some of which also go into the credit union's Community Development Fund and finance local community projects.

There are 2 categories of member dividends: volume dividends and product dividends.

Volume dividends

The volume dividend is based on a member's business volume in each of these 3 product lines:

  • Accounts
  • Loans, lines of credit and credit cards
  • Savings and investments

For accounts, loans, lines of credit and some investment products, volume dividend calculations are based on the average balance maintained during the year. For credit cards, they're based on total net purchases, and for wealth management investment services, they're based on the fees and commissions paid. For every $1,000, an amount will be added to the volume dividend.

Product dividends (personal members)

Product dividends reward loyalty and engagement. The maximum amount that can be paid out is $50. To qualify, members must have had at least 1 eligible product throughout the previous year in each of these 3 product lines:

  • Accounts
  • Cards, loans and credit
  • Savings and investments
  • Community dividends

Another reflection of Desjardins' cooperative difference is their members' commitment to shared prosperity and positive social change.

One way they do this is by supporting local projects through the credit union's Community Development Fund. In July 2023, $500,000 from the fund was allocated to support 20 standout initiatives across Ontario, several of the projects come from Sudbury and Northern Ontario including Camp Jeunesse en marche, Kivi Park well, Whitewater Lake Park, and the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Greener Spaces program.

For more details about the 2022 dividend payment and its terms and conditions, visit