Judo leads Australia's neo-banks with a national advertising campaign

By Chris Pash | 10 September 2019

Neo-bank Judo, now with a full banking licence in its pocket, has hit the Australian market hard with a national advertising campaign. 

Judo Bank, following a strategy of pointing at holes in the behaviour of the big players, says one in four SMEs struggle to get finance from the major banks.

The campaign in the major capital city markets of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane is running across press, outdoor, radio, digital and social.

This is the first time Judo Bank has advertised on such a scale.

Joseph Healy, a co-founder and co-CEO of Judo, says Australian SMEs have been taken for granted for too long by large banking institutions.

Research commissioned by Judo shows that Australian SMEs are facing a credit crisis, with the funding gap growing from $83 billion to $90 billion in just 12 months. 

“In fact, the research confirmed that one in every four SMEs has been knocked back for bank finance, which means that every year, thousands of SMEs have had their business dreams quashed," he says.

Judo Bank has raised a record $540 million of capital -- the largest raising by a start-up in Australian corporate history -- in the last 18 months.

It has also been granted a full banking licence, been awarded LinkedIn’s number one start-up company to work for, and last week started its market-leading retail term deposit.

Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer Kate Keenan says SMEs are so conditioned to hearing NO from their big bank, they no longer ask for funding.

“We are saying to Australian SMEs: don’t let the big banks kill your business dreams," he says.

The advertising campaign was created by agency Us&Us with design direction from Bastion Collective.

The campiagn from Judo comes as another neo-bank, Xinja, was granted a full bank licence. 

“It’s enormously exciting that Australians have a new, independent bank," says CEO and founder Eric Wilson. "It’s time Australia's very old banking model was disrupted.

“We are 100% digital; we want people to have a real alternative to the incumbent banks, to have real choice to be able to bank with a bank that really looks after them.”

The neo-bank this week launched transaction accounts and will soon launch Stash, a savings account. It plans to add lending products in the first quarter of 2020. 

Xinja also made the top ten LinkedIn startup list along with Volt Bank, the first neo-bank to get a full banking licence in Australia, and Athena Home loans.


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