Australian challenger bank Judo will receive AUD 500 million (approximately USD 310 million) from the country’s government to invest in small and medium-sized entities (SMEs) facing unprecedented disruption during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM) will allocate the funds to a Judo lending warehouse, which will then supply Australian SMEs directly.
An initial AUD 250 million (approximately USD 155 million) is coming from AOFM’s Australian Business Securitisation Fund (ABSF), with the remainder coming from the national government’s recently announced AUD 15 billion (approximately USD 9.3 billion) Structured Finance Support Fund.
Judo Bank co-founder and co-chief executive officer David Hornery called the Australian government’s intervention and investment “particularly timely”, as the country’s more than 800,000 SMEs attempt to stay afloat following the implementation of social gathering restrictions in many states.
Hornery said: “At a time when the availability of credit has never been more important to tens of thousands of Australian SMEs, Judo is delighted to be able to announce such a substantial investment by the AOFM.”
“The relationship banking model sits at the heart of the Judo story, and it is at times like these, that the provision of that one on one support and advice, alongside the extension of funding really comes to the fore.
He continued: “The investments by the ABSF and the SFSF, which have been set up by the Federal Government to provide funding to SME lenders, and in turn to the SME community, are particularly timely.”
“They will have a direct and positive impact on small and medium-sized enterprises nationally.”
Judo became Australia’s first challenger bank dedicated solely to SMEs in 2019, following receipt of its banking licence.
The challenger bank has debt facilities in place with Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse totalling USD 450 million (approximately USD 279 million), and has raised $540 million (approximately USD 335 million) in capital since its launch in 2018.