One of the founders of a fledgling Australian bank has announced it has lent more than $1 billion to small and medium-sized businesses since gaining a licence last year.
Judo Bank co-founder Joseph Healy believes the big four banks have neglected SMEs, which have an unmet need for credit of $90 billion, according to Judo research.
The former NAB and ANZ executive said while the big four were using call centres to assess loan applications, Judo staff and brokers were meeting clients to understand them.
"Banking with SMEs is all about the judgement of experienced bankers," he said.
He said Judo was "swimming against the tide" of an industry increasingly relying on technology to determine whether a loan be approved.
The bank's clients work across a range of industries, from publicans in country NSW to beauticians in Melbourne.
Judo investors include Abu Dhabi Capital Group, Bain Capital, Credit Suisse, and the Fairfax and Myer families.