Challenger bank secures full licence

by Madison Utley24 Apr 2019

A challenger bank launched in March of last year has just been granted its full banking licence from APRA.

Judo Capital, newly re-termed Judo Bank, was founded in response to the “industrialised and dehumanised” Australian banking system and has distributed more than $100m in loans to SMEs in the past year.

Having now been granted a full licence, Judo can enter the deposit market and access additional “firepower” with which to fund its loans.

While the development is a huge step, the licence is just one component of what co-CEO Joseph Healy has termed a “hugely exciting time” for the neobank.  

At the beginning of April, Judo secured a $100m debt facility from Goldman Sachs just months after the $350m facility Credit Suisse put in place in November.

According to Healy, Judo is looking to secure wholesale funding from “at least” two more global investment banks in the near future.  

He explained, “We are thrilled not only because of the financial resources that help us grow our business, but because these are blue-chip names. [Their investment] says a lot about what they think of us as a brand, and about our prospects.”

In Healy’s opinion, the confidence that the established investors have shown in Judo speaks to a wider industry shift.

“This is a global reality. There’s a huge amount of disruption taking place. Whether it’s fintech or other forms of neobanks, we expect to see that continue,” he said.

Among the benefits provided by alternative finance options, Healy listed increased efficiency, cutting edge technology, competitive pricing, fast response times and choice.

“We’re in a very exciting era of transformation, of disruption, of alternatives in a market that has been crying out for greater choice, for greater competition.

“This is a time of great rejoicing,” Healy concluded.