TMG Financial Services, the card portfolio purchasing and agent issuing subsidiary of The Members Group, will start an agent-issued card portfolio for the Desjardins Bank of Florida.
The Desjardins Bank of Florida is a U.S. subsidiary of the Desjardins Group of Canada, which bills itself as "the largest financial cooperative group in Canada." The bank serves primarily Desjardin Group members who spend all or part of each year in Florida.
"This is an historic agreement for TMG Financial Services as we are partnering with one of the world's largest and most well-known cooperative financial institutions," said Jeff Russell, president/CEO of TMG Financial Services. "With more than $173 billion in assets and 5.8 million members in Canada, Desjardins Group is a model for cooperatives across the globe."
Russell said the CUSO would follow the bank's policy of offering its disclosure documents only in English and that the bank would retain responsibility for customer service conducted in French.
During a meeting in the offices of Desjardins Group in Quebec earlier this week, officials from Desjardins Bank of Florida and TMG Financial Services signed the agreement, TMG said. This partnership opens the door to discussions regarding future opportunities for the Canadian cooperative and a U.S.-based CUSO to work together for the benefit of consumers, the CUSO added.
Daniel Veilleux, president of Desjardins Bank, Florida, said, "We are pleased to have another way to serve our clients in the U.S., especially through a cooperatively based organization like TMG Financial Services. Their philosophy and approach to business is consistent with ours-making this a great partnership."
The Desjardins Group issues credit cards in Canadian currency, according to a TMG spokesman, but members in the U.S. want access to a card in U.S. currency to avoid being disadvantaged by exchange rates.
Russell said that the Desjardins Group had sought out TMG when seeking to start a dollar credit card program and that the bank would start offering its 10,000 current existing customers a single platinum credit card product with other cards possibly on the way, including small business cards.
The Desjardins bank has three branch locations in Florida.