The Caisse for democratic banking by Caleb Nickerson

The Caisse Populaire Desjardins sits in the middle of downtown Fort Coulonge, on the corner of rue Baume and rue Principale.
Stéphane Labine is the general director of the Caisse Populaire Desjardins in Fort Coulonge. His branch was awarded the Feature Award for Financial Services at the Pontiac Chamber of Commerce awards gala in February.

When most people think of financial institutions, they think of cold, unfeeling, Ebenezer Scrooge-types reaping huge profits off legions of Bob Cratchits that come through their gilded doors.
But one lender in Fort Coulonge is part of a movement to put the customer first and shareholder profit as a secondary concern.
The Caisse Populaire Desjardins in Fort Coulonge has been serving the community since 1944. It’s staff were presented with a Business Achievement Award at the Pontiac Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards gala in February in this year’s feature category of Financial Services.
“It’s very nice, because sometimes we get recognized among our peers through Desjardins, but having that recognition in your own community is a good feeling because it shows that the community really appreciates you,” said General Director Stéphane Labine. “I thought it was nice. This year is the first time they’ve had that specific category, for finance.”

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