MONTREAL, Canada (2/12/09)--Desjardin Group is attempting to conserve its capital amid the recession by cutting its cash dividend roughly 44%. Canada’s largest credit union will pay about 30% of it 2008 margins to members--down from 53% of its earnings in 2007, Andre Chapleau, Desjardin spokesman, said last week (Bloomberg.com Feb. 4). During the past six years, Desjardins has paid about $1.8 billion to members. Desjardins is attempting to bolster its capital base, and the most economical way to accomplish that is by placing more money in reserves, Chapleau told Bloomberg. The 5.8 million-member Desjardins reported a profit of about $448 million for the first nine months of 2008--a 33% decline from a year earlier. Desjardins Group is based in Montreal, Quebec, but also serves other Canadian provinces.