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Judo Capital seeks Australian bank license

A new bank is set to launch in Australia as Judo Capital Pty Ltd. applied to become a full bank under the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, The Sydney Morning Herald reported March 26.

Judo Capital plans to focus on lending to small and medium-sized enterprises and is on track to raise A$100 million. The new lender has been co-founded by two former National Australia Bank Ltd. executives — Joseph Healy, who previously headed NAB's business bank, and NAB alumni David Hornery.

Healy said Judo is on track to raise over A$100 million by mid-April and is looking to become a fully licensed bank in 2018.

The new bank will open a headquarters in Melbourne, with plans to expand to New South Wales and into Queensland. It will have an initial staff of 40 people.

Judo is aiming to capitalize on strong demand for SME lending. A 2015 Macquarie report said that there was a shortfall of A$60 billion for lending to the SME segment.