Judo is a neobank established in 2016 aiming to challenge the oligopoly that dominates Australian banking. Small-to-medium enterprise (SME) lending is Judo’s principal focus, but it also offers some personal banking services, having received its Authorised Deposit-Taking Institution (ADI) license in 2019.

Its shares were listed on the ASX in November 2021, which was two years ahead of the company’s initial plan to go public in 2023.

A neobank success story

Neobanks were all the range a few years ago, with many start ups confident of upsetting the established order in Australian banking. Several neobanks launched in Australia from 2018 onwards, but results have been mixed. Xinja ended up handing back its ADI licence, 86 400 was absorbed by UBank, while Volt was shut down in 2022.

Judo though has remained strong, and is one of the operational neobanks in Australia in 2023, along with Alex Bank and Up Bank. In the 2023 financial year, Judo achieved or exceeded all of its targets, with a sevenfold increase in before tax profit.

CEO Joseph Healy said Judo built up its funding base in 2023, setting itself up to expand moving forward.

“We have exceeded our original target of $2.5 billion of committed warehouse capacity,” he said.

“With a further $500 million committed facility successfully executed in July-23, we now have $3 billion in warehouse capacity, most of which remains undrawn, giving us a huge amount of flexibility for our business ahead of repaying the Term Funding Facility by June 2024.”

Mr Healy also said Judo had achieved profitability faster than any other challenger bank he was aware of.

SME lending at Judo

In the SME (small-to-medium-enterprise) landscape, Judo is establishing itself as a serious challenger to more established institutions. It provides business lending tailored for small to medium companies, with the following services available.

Business loan

Judo offer business loans starting at $250,000. Fixed and variable rates are both an option, as well as interest only repayments. It also offers fixed loans specifically for the purchase of equipment, with the option of incorporating a balloon payment.

Line of credit

Judo also offer a credit facility where clients can borrow up to an approved limit without a repayment schedule. Lines of credit with Judo are reviewed on an annual basis, with variable rates and flexible options to access credit.

Bank guarantee

The other service Judo offers is a guarantee to landlords, customers or suppliers that your company can meet its obligations. These agreements can have a fixed term, or can be on an ‘until further notice’ basis, reviewed annually. There is a wide range of options for what the bank will use as a security, including Judo Business term deposits.