Ex-NAB MD launches fintech disruptor to take on majors

by Julia Corderoy22 Sep 2015
An ex-NAB managing director has launched a new fintech disruptor to take on the major banks, which he says could do what Aussie Home Loans did to the mortgage market in the 1990s. 

Officially launching on 28 September, Banjo is an online lender providing secured and unsecured loans to the 51% of SME’s who have no business lending product other than an overdraft or credit card.

CEO Andrew Colliver – who was most recently managing director, business performance of corporate, institutional & specialised banking at NAB – along with a team of other ex-bankers and fintech experts, has spent the last two years building the marketplace lending platform that promises to “take the pain out of business borrowing”.

The online marketplace lender will provide six month unsecured working capital finance at annualised rates similar to those provided by major financial institutions. However, loans can be paid back earlier without penalty and clients can access ongoing funds without the need to re-apply.

The Banjo platform will also allow customers to verify their identity by uploading a “selfie”, which it says will save time and paperwork. According to Colliver, the whole process is paperless, and can be completed online in just 10 questions and approved with funds deposited within 24-48 hours.

“Marketplace lenders over the next decade could achieve 15% market share akin to what Aussie Home Loans did to the Australian mortgage market in the 1990’s. Institutional funding will be needed if marketplace lending is going to live up to its potential,” Colliver said.

The inspiration to start Banjo, says Colliver, came from a desire to service a sector that remains largely underserviced by traditional lenders. He and his business partners self-funded the start-up, which has recently raised $7.5 million in seed funding from like-minded experienced tech investors.

“In the digital age, customer expectations are for anything, anytime, anywhere banking, aligning perfectly with the Banjo model; custom built for the user experience, with ease and availability on any platform 24/7,” he said.

“The vision was simple. We wanted to take the stress out of business lending by leveraging technology. Business is challenging enough as it is.”

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