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Judo Bank: The Refined Business Banking Extraordinaire


The rise of software solutions put the ways of standard banking to rest. The traditional-to-technological switch somewhat forced countless businesses to urgently grow accustomed to the new banking innovations. Be that as it may, a large portion of banking - lending - was left unmanaged and uncared for. That is until Joseph Healy came into the picture.

Unable to find a modernized lending provider and packed with over 35 years of banking experience, Joseph was determined to create his customized banking platform that does lending superbly!

Based in Australia, Judo Bank sounds as strong as it operates. The platform boasts an array of AI-boosted lending banking solutions, fit for small and medium-sized enterprises, and offers a catalog of personal term deposit products to choose from.

Creating a lending bank from scratch was not a one-man show, which is why Joseph recruited a team of seven experts to conduct Judo Bank’s mission of becoming the utmost Australian banking and loaning service leader!

A Footballer at Heart, a Banker by Choice

Born in Scotland, the UK, Joseph never learned to stand still and roamed the world from a very early age. The globetrotting escapades allowed Joseph to acquire different kinds of experiences, and ultimately settle in Australia as an adult. Today’s international banker, Joseph was once a vibrant child with a road of opportunities ahead of him. Raised in a modest, middle-class Scottish family, Joseph was almost stereotypically infatuated by football and even considered it a career option at one point.

Joseph’s parents were quick to notice their son’s talent and encouraged him to pursue his passion from the very get-go. After enrolling at a professional football academy, Joseph’s skills caught the eye of sports scouts and he was soon called to join Scotland’s national youth football team.

Sadly, Joseph’s happiness was short-lived as he began attending high school. Guided by his father’s advice, that, perhaps, football was not the ideal career move for him, Joseph began looking into the hit industry trend of the 70s - banking.

Determined to make this career path work, Joseph began skipping football practice to study more intensely. Noticing his growing interest in economics, one of Joseph’s high school teachers even suggested that he read ‘The Economist’, which further fortified Joseph’s determination to make it big in banking.

Important Lesson: Progress Takes Time

Before Joseph was able to prove his professional skills in the banking industry, he had to earn them. Therefore, Joseph gathered a handful of degrees throughout the years, including a Master’s in Finance, an MBA, and MSc in International Management from China. Additionally, he obtained an MBA in banking, and an MA in Contemporary Chinese Studies from the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies, University of Nottingham, and London Business School in China.

If that’s not enough, Joseph also acquired an MSc in Neuroscience of Mental Health and Psychology at King's College in London and became an Adjunct Professor at Queensland Business School. Despite the rainbow of expertise under his belt, Joseph still oriented towards banking and held several executive positions at CIBC World Markets, NAB, ANZ, Lloyds Bank, and Citibank over the years.

Along with fulfilling his banking dreams, Joseph also managed to incorporate his passion for football into his career and went on to win five international football caps for Scotland’s national youth team. On top of it all, Joseph also took on the role of the Director of Australia’s Football Federation (FFA), which he managed for eight years. In the midst of all professional multitasking, Joseph also miraculously found the time to become an author and write three major books on business, economy, and banking.

Judo Bank is Happening

One of the key driving forces of Joseph’s banking vision was to make the process of lending simpler and easier. Equipped with more than 35 years of practice in the industry, Joseph was able to develop the kind of banking platform he wanted to use.

Initially, Joseph considered creating a banking and lending platform for small to medium-sized businesses, mostly due to the market’s lack of entrepreneurialism and innovation, as well as the rising industry bureaucracy. Not wanting to regret the things he never did, Joseph felt somewhat threatened by failure but used it as his stimuli to work harder.

Joseph next partnered up with his colleague and friend, David Hornery, who also shared the same banking market opinions. The one thing both men were certain of in designing their banking system was that they wanted to waste no extra time on fixing legacy, culture, infrastructure, and data problems and instead wanted a unique brand that did things differently from the get-go.

In 2016, their project finally became a reality and Joseph and David launched Judo Bank. Lending them a helping hand in the process and functioning as co-founders were a handful of field experts: Alex Twigg, Chris Bayliss, Tim Alexander, Kate Keenan, Mal Hiscock, and Jacqui Colwell.

As Australia’s first challenger bank for SMEs, Judo Bank is leveraging the latest technology to connect with its customers on a more personal level, and that tending to their clientele is what made the biggest difference in Judo Bank’s market survival. The platform breaks the habits of traditional banking in order to rejuvenate lending, banking, and loaning across Australia. The company’s digital technology mindset has put the evolution of SME as a market priority and consequently created a multi-cloud that lets clients pick between a line of personal term deposit products.

Judo Bank Through Numbers

Seed rounds were the first big step towards success for the Melbourne-based startup. It came from the Australian consortium of family offices and was led by Geof Lord, a leading Aussie businessman.

Today, Judo Bank counts around 250 employees helping Joseph and the team to deliver the best SME offers and banking products to consumers. Aside from Melbourne, the platform also operates in other Australian capitals, such as Perth, Southbank, Brisbane City, and Sydney.

Thus far, Joseph’s concept has been recognized by 14 investors, whose findings earned the company $1.7 billion. In 2018, the company announced the launch of Judo Capital, a sister tool and platform that arranges all manageable funds and bank investments.

A few leading companies have bought shares in Judo Capital as well, including Canadian pension fund manager OPTrust, Abu Dhabi Capital Group, Camboya, Credit Suisse, Esson CH Warman Group, and Ironbridge Capital.

From its beginnings until now, Judo Bank has received many acknowledgments and awards, like The Best Aussie Startup, based on LinkedIn’s choice in 2019, and the 33rd place on the H2 Ventures Global Fintech 100 list, awarded that same year. Most recently, in 2020 the company was declared the winner of the Mozo Experts award choice for Term Deposits.

The Bank That Lasts

Since its launch, Judo Bank has become a business engine and an essential pillar of Australia’s economy. The platform’s almost ensured longevity on the market is all due to their systematic, personalized, and designated customer support system, which ensures that the company meets every client’s business needs.

Aside from customers themselves, Judo Bank also takes the time to properly educate and train its team to work cohesively and keep up with ever-changing online banking trends. The creation of Judo Bank is not only a united effort stemming from seven superb minds but also a lifelong purpose to facilitate, renovate and restructure Australian banking for days to come.

From football arenas to fruitful business banking - Joseph’s story in creating Judo Bank proves that, sometimes, the ball will hang in a totally unanticipated corner of the field - and wait to be flung in the right direction - judo style!