Judo.bank

  • Business loans
  • Lines of credit
  • Equipment loans
  • Personal term deposits
  • FCS insured up to $250,000

One of the initial criticisms of digital banks in Australia was that their financial products did not have enough variety compared to traditional banks. With its range of lending options, Judo Bank is one of the challenger banks bucking this trend. Coupled with its attractive rates, it can become a genuine disruptor in the Australian business banking sector.

Judo Bank Infographic

About Judo Bank

Judo was founded in 2016 by Joseph Healy, David Hornery, Tim Alexander, Chris Bayliss and Jacqui Colwell, former National Australia Bank executives. Judo Capital launched in March 2018 after raising more than $140 million, which was Australia’s largest capital raising of 2018.

Judo Bank is a digital bank that services the Australian market. It specialises in lending and financial services for small to medium enterprises (SME). This ‘challenger bank’ was granted its first unrestricted license in April 2019 by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. 

Its deposits are insured up to AUD 250,000 through the Australian government’s Financial Claims Scheme.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • A good range of financial products
  • Caters to SMEs
  • FCS insured up to $250,000
  • Excellent term deposit rates
  • Transparent costs
  • Dedicated relationship managers

Cons

  • Can’t borrow less than $250,000

Why is Judo Bank so unique?

Judo is a challenger bank that directly targets and caters to Australia’s small and medium-sized businesses that the big banking corporations neglected. The SME funding gap was reportedly $70 billion because traditional lenders focused solely on companies with a turnover of $100 million plus.

Although it provides online-only services for depositors, it also uses relationship bankers to benefit the small and medium businesses it lends to.

“The reason why we built Judo was that we strongly believed that the banking market was not providing the service that small and medium-size businesses were looking for.” Judo Bank Co-Chief Executive Officer Joseph Healy

How to open an account with Judo.bank

Judo Bank offers Personal Term Deposits. You can apply via the website and will need: 

  • Current drivers’ license, plus a Medicare card or passport, 
  • Your nominated bank details, 
  • Australian Tax File Number or exemption code, 
  • Mobile phone number,
  • Email address

You need to be over 18 and an Australian citizen or permanent resident to open a Judo Bank account.

Personal Term Deposits 

As of 16/05/2021
  • Easy online application
  • No fees
  • Minimum deposit $1,000
  • 0.10% loyalty bonus
  • Monthly, yearly or at maturity interest payments
  • FCS insured up to $250,000

The primary account product offered by Judo Bank at present is a Personal Term Deposit. The bank also provides lending options such as business loans, equipment loans, credit lines, financial leases, and home loans. 

Judo offers seven different term lengths for a personal term deposit – ranging from six months to five years. Interest rates – paid at maturity, monthly, or annually – range from 0.96% p.a. to 1.60% p.a. 

There’s also the opportunity of a 0.10% Loyalty Bonus on term deposits that mature and rollover. 

To fund your Term Deposit, you have 10 days from the day that you opened the account. The system will wait the full 10 days and then lock whatever money you have deposited as your Term Deposit, and if your account is unfunded after 10 calendar days, it will automatically close.

To fund your Judo Bank deposit, you have two options:

  • Perform a “Pay Anyone” via your bank account to Judo Bank with BSB 725-888 and your Judo Bank Account Number
  • Perform a BPAY to Judo Bank using Biller Code 274753 and your Judo Bank Account Number as the Biller Reference Code. 

You can transfer up to $250,000 per day via BPAY.

Although Judo doesn’t charge any ongoing fees on any of its Term Deposit accounts, you may incur break costs if you want to withdraw part or all of the money before reaching its maturity date.

Line of Credit

  • Up to $10M total relationship borrowings
  • A flexible source of funds
  • No scheduled repayments
  • 12 months term and then reviewed annually
  • Variable interest rate
  • Drawings and repayments to match your cash flow

Lines of credit – which have a variable interest rate – allow you to withdraw up to the approved limit with no scheduled repayments.  

Business Loan 

  • Up to $10M total relationship borrowings
  • Flexible repayment frequency
  • Monthly, Quarterly, Half-yearly and Seasonal to match your cashflow
  • Fixed and variable interest options
  • Principal and interest or interest-only terms available

Business loans offer the choice of variable and fixed interest rates with flexible repayment options.

Home Loan 

  • Up to $10M of total relationship borrowings
  • Up to 30 years
  • Variable-rate or fixed interest rate
  • Principal and interest, or interest-only
  • Secured by residential property

Home loans provide repayment options, including principal and interest or interest-only.

Equipment Loan

  • Minimum $250,000 
  • Up to $10M of total relationship borrowings
  • Flexible repayment frequency
  • Up to 5 years matched to the effective life of the asset
  • Balloon option available
  • Fixed interest rate
  • Interest and asset depreciation may be tax-deductible

Equipment loans can be used to fund a wide range of physical business assets – and financial leases offer tailored repayment frequency to fit with cash flow. It provides the advantage of a balloon payment option, allowing the borrower to save on interest.

Who owns Judo Bank?

Judo was founded in 2016 in Melbourne, Australia, with an initial seed investment from an Australian consortium of family offices, led by businessman Geoff Lord. Former National Australia Bank executives, including co-founders Joseph Healy, David Hornery, Tim Alexander, Chris Bayliss and Jacqui Colwell, serve on the board. 

David Hornery and Joseph Healy are the co-founders and co-CEOs of Judo.

The company raised more than $1.7 billion from seven rounds of funding. The last corporate round brought in $284 million in December 2020.

It has 14 investors that include Moore Strategic Ventures, Magnetar Capital, Bain Capital, Ironbridge Capital, The Myer Family Company, and others. 

Judo is placed number 10 on our ‘10 Biggest Digital Banks in 2021’ list. Find the rest of the banks here.

How is Judo regulated?

In a market that is overwhelmingly dominated by four large lenders – Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac Banking Corp, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group and National Australia Bank, Judo Bank got its ADI from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

The license allows Judo to operate without restrictions as an authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI).

Is my money safe with Judo?

The Financial Claims Scheme covers Judo Bank, and the Australian Government guarantees all your deposits up to $250,000. 

The FCS is a government-backed safety net for deposits of up to $250,000 per account holder per authorised deposit-taking institution or ADI.

Customer reviews

Judo.bank has a 3.8 out of 5-star rating on Product Review from 94 reviews. People are generally happy with the bank, with some issues arising with the technical side of the app and not being able to open a new term deposit. 

The bottom line

Most of the products offered by Judo Bank to SMEs provide a degree of flexibility, allowing growing organisations to tailor arrangements around their needs as much as possible. 

Judo Bank has put together a varied offering with financial products that can appeal to SMEs with different requirements from business and home loans to credit and finance leasing.

And while Judo Bank might not offer the same face-to-face access as a traditional high street bank, it emphasises relationships. Every customer will be assigned a relationship manager to look after their account, offering a human touch that some digital banks may have neglected.

Make no mistake, the term deposit rates offered by Judo Bank appear to be among the best on the Australian market at the time of writing. If you are primarily rate-focused, Judo Bank can offer the kind of returns you are looking for.