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The concept of a cooperative financial institution - a bank owned and operated by the people - was brought to North America by Canadian Gabriel-Alphonse Desjardins (1854-1920). He was the co-founder of the Caisses Populaires Desjardins (today Desjardins Group), a forerunner of North American credit unions and community banks. The Desjardins Group (or Mouvement des caisses Desjardins in French) is the largest association of credit unions in North America. Located mostly in Quebec, and in Ontario, Alberta, and New Brunswick, it is a federation of 376 local Caisses populaires Desjardins, which serves 5.8 million members.
The crowned portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the George IV State Diadem.
ELIZABETH II D·G·REGINA
Alphonse Desjardins' house in Lévis. It was headquarter of the Caisses populaires in North America.