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Partnership with the Myriam and J.-Robert Ouimet Library from HEC Montreal and upcoming new Website for the IOFSC

February 2016

A partnership was developed with the Myriam and J.-Robert Ouimet Library at HEC Montreal for the management of the IOFSC tool and the organization, acquisition and processing of documents of the Virtual Library. This will help professionalize the processes developed by the IOFSC for the Virtual Library to the highest international standards, facilitate development of new methodologies and rapidly increase the content. In addition, the IOFSC team is currently redesigning the website. The new site will provide functionalities far superior by replacing the current IT platform of the IOFSC by a more adaptable technological infrastructure; by increasing the data formats supported; by adding interoperability between systems and by offering advanced search and analysis functionalities.

Institutionnal partnership with the International Summit of Cooperatives

June 2014

The International Observatory on Financial Services Cooperatives (IOFSC) of the Desjardins Centre at HEC Montreal is proud to join the International Summit of Cooperatives Quebec 2014 as an institutional partner. This agreement will allow the Desjardins Centre to disseminate the summaries of its most recent studies on the Summit’s Web site. In addition, the Desjardins Centre will be able to participate to some invitational events during this important gathering which will be held in Quebec City from 6 to 9 October 2014. These events will be an opportunity to strengthen our network of international partners and to promote the OICSF as a hub for the organization and the dissemination of knowledge on financial services cooperatives.

The IOFSC welcomes Assistant Professor Alessandro Gustavo Souza Arruda of the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul (Brazil)

September 2012

The IOFSC is pleased to welcome Alessandro Gustavo Souza Arruda, Assistant Professor at the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul and Doctoral Student at the Municipal University of São Caetano do Sul. He will be present at HEC Montréal for a period of six months as part of his doctoral thesis, which compare the Brazilian system SICREDI and the Desjardins Group regarding their governance structures and transaction costs. His expertise and knowledge of the FSCs sector in Brazil are very important assets for the IOFSC.

Workshop "Promoting and disseminating research on FSCs in the digital age"

July  2012

Some of the key researchers and stakeholders related to research on financial services cooperatives (FSC) in the world, are meeting for the first time at the workshop "Promoting and disseminating research on FSCs in the digital age". The Workshop will be held on October 7 and 8, 2012 in Quebec, as part of the activities preceding the International Summit of Cooperatives. It will focus on strategic issues and special challenges regarding research and development on FSCs and on initiatives to overcome these difficulties. It aims to better define needs and priorities for research on FSCs and to establish mechanisms for ongoing collaboration and partnership.

Presentation of the IOFSC portal at the 80th Congress of Acfas

May  2012

As part of the conference "Digital libraries: at the crossroads of disciplines and institutions" of the 2011 Congress of Acfas, Elias Rizkallah, professor of sociology at UQAM, presented "The International Observatory on Financial Services Cooperatives (IOFSC): more than a digital library". The presentation focused on three main components: system management, Database on Institutions and the Virtual Library, as much on the administrator side than on the end user side.

Click here to view the presentation (in French).

Results of a study of interest on registered users of the IOFSC portal

May 2012

A study of interest was conducted during winter 2012 with 114 people currently registered at the IOFSC portal. This research was aimed at assessing the needs and interests of users to the site content in general, the Virtual Library (VL) and the Database on Institutions (DBI). The study also aimed to obtain feedback leading to suggestions for improvements that are relevant to further enrich its contents. The main results show that 75% of respondents believe that the VL and the DBI meet their needs in terms of relevance of content.

File deposit, a new interactive feature of the IOFSC

May 2012

The Deposit file, a module of documents acquisition, is now available on the IOFSC portal. Besides being able to gather qualitative and quantitative information, members of institutions who have an agreement with the IOFSC will now be able to submit information and deposit their own documents on the portal in order to enrich the content of the Virtual Library. This project was the subject of a grant from the SSRHC in March 2010.

Acquisition of the Desjardins’ magazine in digitized version

April 2012

The Virtual Library of the IOFSC now includes the numbers of the last 40 years of the magazine "Desjardins: la revue des dirigeants et du personnel" and its English version "Desjardins: magazine for Elected officers and employees". Indeed, an agreement was reached with Desjardins Group to digitize and make accessible all the issues of the magazine from 1935 to 2011. The older issues of the collection will be integrated in the upcoming months.

Obtaining a Grant for a Project on Governance of Financial Services Cooperatives

March  2012

Under the SSRHC program "Grants Public Awareness", Benoît Tremblay, and co-researchers Elias Rizkallah, Université du Québec à Montréal, Jean Roy HEC Montréal and collaborator Inmaculada Buendía Martínez Universidad de Castilla La Mancha received a total of $ 71,990. This grant was awarded for the project "Governance of Large Financial Services Cooperatives: Modeling and Challenges". The objective of this research is to describe the structures and rules of governance of large financial services cooperatives. The establishment of these structures and the development of a general model will identify as specifically as possible the various economic, social and regulatory challenges influencing the choices of governance of these institutions.

Presentation of the Database on Institutions in Berlin

March 2012

As part of the international conference "Cooperative Responses to Global Challenges", Jean Roy, Professor of finance at HEC Montréal, presented "A New Database on Financial Services Cooperatives: Description and First Results".  This presentation aimed to present the IOFSC Database on Institutions and disclose the first results of analysis, demonstrating the opportunities to conduct quantitative research on financial services cooperatives.

Click here to view the presentation (in English).

Meeting partners in Brasil and Mexico

November  2011

Professors Benoît Tremblay and Inmaculada Buendía Martínez conducted numerous meetings in Brasil and Mexico between November 7 and 18, 2011 in order to develop partnerships to furtherance the IOFSC and training activities of the Desjardins Centre for Studies. The institutions met include SICREDI confederation, SESCOOP, OCB, BANCOOB, Banco Central do Brasil, Université Federal Rural de Pernambuco, BANAMEX, Federación Nacional de Cajas Solidarias and Confederación de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Préstamos de México, Asociación Mexicana de Instituciones de Seguros, BANSEFI, CNBV, HSBC and ITAM.

 Agreement between the IOFSC and the journal RECMA

June  2011 

An agreement was reached between the IOFSC and the journal RECMA (International Journal on Social Economy). This allows users of the IOFSC portal to access directly from the Virtual Library to articles on financial services cooperatives published by the peer reviewed journal.

Agreement with the International Labour Organization (ILO)

February  2011

An agreement was reached with the International Labour Organization (ILO) to disseminate its documents relating to financial services cooperatives on the IOFSC portal. Considering that the ILO has the third largest library in the world on the cooperative sector, such an agreement will enrich advantageously the Virtual Library.

Agreement with the Journal Cooperativ

December 2010

Professor Jean Roy met the Dr. Hermann Fritzl at the Coordination of national banks and public relations, redactor in chief of ÖGV-Online and ombudsman at the National Financial Services Cooperative Austrian OGV (Österreichischer Genossenschaftsverband).The meeting helped to establish an agreement in order to disseminate electronic versions of issues of the prestigious journal Cooperativ of ÖGV in the Virtual Library of the IOFSC.

Presentation of the IOFSC during the 27th CIBP Congress

July  2010

The IOFSC was presented at the 27 Confédération Internationale des Banques Populaires (CIBP) Congress, which was held from July 7 to 10, 2010 in Quebec under the chairmanship of the Desjardins Group. Partner of the IOFSC since 2005, the CIBP represents cooperative banks from a dozen countries in the world. The nature and activities of the IOFSC were put forward in plenary and terminals were installed, allowing access to the portal during the entire conference. Delegates were very impressed by the tool, the information it provides, the quality of the financial databases on institutions that allows comparing institutions and its ease of use.

A grant for public awareness from the SSHRC

March 2010

SSHRC awarded Benoit Tremblay and co-researchers Elias Rizkallah of HEC Montréal, Olivier Gerbé of HEC Montréal and Yves Marcoux of Université de Montréal the amount of $ 70,385 as part of its program "Grants of public awareness – Management, Administration and Finance for the project "Institutional Deposit of Gray Literature for Cooperative Banks". This grant will help the development of a trilingual form of online entry instructions adapted to external users and preceded by a page of acceptance of terms and confirmation of permission from copyright holders to deposit the document.

SSHRC awards a grant to a project tool for decision support

March 2009

SSHRC has awarded an amount of $ 92,324 for the project "Interactive Tool for Decision Support for Managers of Financial Services Cooperatives" as part of its program "Public Awareness Grants – Innovation, Leadership and Prosperity". The objective of this project is to develop a pattern of quantitative and qualitative variables to copare the financial services cooperatives in terms of insitutional information and financial data through the IOFSC Database on Institutions. This grant was awarded to Benoît Tremblay andco-researchers Elias Rizkallah of HEC Montréal, Pierre Toth of HEC Montréal and Yves Marcoux, of Université de Montréal.