Latest Judo Bank News
Sep 14, 2021
Sep 14, 2021 – 2.07pm Share The economic recovery is being crimped by lumbering and risk-averse lenders whose actions are widening the gulf between the haves and the have-nots according to challenger Judo Bank, as it readies itself for listing before the end of the year. Judo Bank CEO Joseph Healy: “It’s never been a better time to buy another business.” Cole Bennetts Research commissioned by Judo Bank revealed significant appetite among SMEs for funding, with 48 per cent applying for credit in the past six months. However, around a quarter were knocked back and those that were successful had to wait 43 days on average. Judo CEO Joseph Healy said the SME sector was showing remarkable resilience in the face of lockdowns, but the reluctance of some lenders to think outside the square and back businesses was hard to stomach. “SMEs are still finding it difficult to get access to credit. It’s something banks need to have a good look in the mirror about,” he said. “The irony is that it’s never been a better time to buy another business.” Advertisement Judo surveyed 1751 business with annual revenue of between $1 million and $50 million. The businesses employed an average of 127 full-time equivalents and had lending facilities of $3.3 million on average. One out of every three rejected borrowers had plans to add another three FTEs. The findings arrive as the big four banks commit to supporting the sector through the latest revamp of the federal government’s SME lending scheme. Under the fifth iteration of the scheme businesses need not have accessed JobKeeper in the March quarter or been affected by a weather event. “We do anticipate there is going to be a big uptake in this,” Mr Healy said, praising the scheme. “But the businesses that want to borrow above $5 million are not eligible, and they will continue to find it difficult to get credit, particularly in sectors that are impacted by COVID.” Companies in the hospitality and tourism sectors struggled to attract funding, and businesses in the CBDs of Melbourne and Sydney were also finding it “very difficult”. Successful loan applications were also divided along state lines, with four out of every 10 SME loan applications in Victoria being approved compared to six out of 10 in Queensland. Advertisement Judo’s chief relationship officer, Angelo Manos, said the risk-averse nature of incumbent lenders was throttling the economy. “With unmet funding needs and significant delays in accessing funding even when successful, the SME business sector is often slow-walked by the major banks. Stifling the full potential of SME businesses and their role in economic recovery,” Mr Manos said. Judo is pushing ahead with plans for an initial public offering potentially before the end of the year. Mr Healy has confirmed the conclusion of a non-deal roadshow and meetings with potential investors next week. “Should market conditions be supportive we want to be prepared to list this company – it’s a case of watch this space,” he said.