Founded in 2016 and based in Melbourne, Judo Bank is one of Australia’s newest banking players with a real focus on SME lending and deposit products, including business loans, lines of credit and term deposits.
What about the name Judo though? Well according to Judo themselves, they’re all about being ‘fast and nimble’ in order to provide better opportunities for their customers while also competing with much larger, established banks.
The strategy appears to be working wonders too, as the challenger bank has reached milestone after milestone during its short life, including raising hundreds of millions of dollars in capital since its conception and obtaining unicorn status in 2020.
Judo officially became a bank in April 2019 after securing an ADI (Authorised Deposit-taking Institution) licence from the regulator APRA. Since then, Judo has moved into retail deposits with the release of term deposits for everyday Australians. But more about those below.
For a new bank Judo certainly haven’t just been content with blending in with the pack as some of their interest rates, especially their competitive term deposit offers, have made a real statement. Watch this space too, because Judo may well launch more banking products for everyday Australians in the not-too-distant future. Until then, here’s a quick look at some of the products they’re offering now:
Judo Bank Term Deposits
|5.20% p.a (5-year term)
Judo Bank’s three month to five year term deposits currently have some of the most competitive interest rates in the Mozo database, with rates as high as 5.20% p.a for a five year term paid at maturity, plus some other attractive benefits on top. In fact, Judo's product was deemed to be so good that it took out a 2023 Mozo Experts Choice Bank Accounts and Savings Award for best Term Deposit. Find out more by reading our Judo Bank Term Deposit review.
Judo Bank Business Loans
While Judo are now offering term deposits to regular Australians, their major focus is still very much on providing a range of borrowing options to small and medium sized businesses. These include business loans starting from $250,000, lines of credit, equipment loans and home loans. Judo have also announced that they will be releasing SMSF and business term deposits in the near future.
So as a challenger bank, what makes Judo Bank really stand out from the pack, aside from the name? Here are a few key differences and features of interest that you’ll want to know about them.
Judo Bank aren’t just talking a big game as a challenger bank with a difference, they’re actually following through with a real customer-first approach. That’s because Judo are making sure that their business customers have their very own specialist business bankers to help them through the application process and beyond, as well as flexible product features that can be tailored to an individual business.
We’ve already mentioned them above, but Judo Bank really are delivering when it comes to interest rates on many of their products. That’s not only with their personal term deposit offers, which are currently among the term deposits with the most competitive rates in the Mozo database, but also with their business loan and equipment loan rates.
One of the common questions many Aussies have about new banks and lenders is “how safe are they?” Well aside from offering some of the benefits of a new challenger bank that we’ve outlined above, Judo Bank is also an Authorised Deposit-taking Institution (since April 2019) which means it is regulated in the exact same way as every other bank and neobank in Australia - including the big four.
So if you were to keep your money in a personal term deposit account with Judo, that money (up to $250,000 per person) would be safeguarded under the Federal Government’s Deposit Guarantee Scheme in the unlikely event that something happened to Judo. That will also apply to any other personal (retail) deposit accounts Judo Bank launch in the future.
From Australian businesses looking for a financing solution to regular Aussies in need of a place to stash their savings, Judo Bank’s fresh approach to customer service coupled with their (current) suite of bumper interest rates could make them an appealing option for a range of people.
However, unlike some of the more established banks, Judo Bank don’t yet have the full range of everyday banking products you may be used to - think bank accounts, savings accounts, personal loans and credit cards. Judo may well move towards offering these types of accounts and products for individuals before too long, but for now they really are a dedicated business bank.
Interested in a Judo Bank Term Deposit? Make sure you check out our full review for all of the details, including interest rates across a range of terms. Otherwise head over to the Judo Bank website for more information about their business lending.