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Division of National Australia Bank
IndustryFinancial services
Founded1 October 2008
HeadquartersSydney, Australia
Key people
Gerd Schenkel, Founder - Greg Sutherland, Founding Chair - Ahmed Fahour, Founding CEO Sponsor.
ProductsBanking, financial and related services

UBank is an Australian direct bank, that operates as a division of National Australia Bank (NAB). It was established in 2008, and provides savings products and home loans over the Internet and telephone.

UBank operates under NAB's banking license and uses its balance sheet, risk management and technology infrastructure. UBank also participates in the Australian government's deposit guarantee scheme.[1]


UBank was launched by Gerd Schenkel and Greg Sutherland for National Australia Bank on 1 October 2008, with the purpose of establishing a presence in the "self directed" customer segment.[2]

NAB stated it aimed to attract new retail customers while operating independently to its other retail brands,[3] and in its 2009 annual report, NAB claimed that this strategy had been "successful".[4] UBank operates under NAB's banking licence and participates in the Australian government's deposit guarantee scheme.[5]

UBank is a "values based" organisation.[6] Deposits were said to exceed over $500 million in one month.[7][8]

UBank was cited as an example of effective use of nontraditional marketing such as social media,[9] but also uses traditional marketing such as print[10] and television.

NAB claimed UBank's "customer advocacy and satisfaction levels" to be "amongst the highest of any institution in Australia"[11] In its 2009 annual report, NAB claimed "almost 10,000 new customers in a month" for UBank's USaver product.[12] UBank has been acknowledged as the driver of NAB's fast growth in deposit market share compared to other major banks.[13][14]

NAB's UBank has been compared to Qantas' Jetstar in terms of a strategy of internal innovation with the objective of opening new market segments for the parent company.[15]

In February 2010, NAB stated that strong growth in UBank had positively impacted its household deposits.[16]

July 2010 Alex Twigg was named as replacement for founder Gerd Schenkel [17][18]

May 2012 Ubank scored 93.2% in a Roy Morgan customer satisfaction survey [19]

In October 2012, in a media interview about NAB's results briefing, CEO Cameron Clyne claimed that UBank had "raised $15–16 billion in deposits".[20] This compares to $18.5 billion in deposits held by ING Direct as of September 2012.[21]

December 2013 Lisa Gray announces first new product on Nextgen Oracle platform UBank's Usaver Ultra [22]

As of October 2015, UBank had $15.7 billion of customer deposits and $3.6b of mortgages.[23]


UBank allows applicants (both new and existing) to apply online or over the phone for a Term Deposit and deposit their money straight away using BPAY. This was a first for the Australian marketplace.[24]

In August 2009, UBank launched a new online savings account ("USaver") that was reported to differentiate through its online application process.[25][26]

In February 2011, UBank launched its first home loan product (dubbed "UHomeloan").[27]

In August 2013 Ubank launched USaver Ultra transaction account.[28][29]


In December 2009, UBank's USaver online savings account was awarded Money Magazine's "Best of the Best" award.[30]

In October 2011 UBank won the BAI Financial Global Product Innovation Award for its refinance mortgage UHomeloan.[31]

In the 2012 Australian Lending Awards UBank was named Best Online Operator[32]

November 2012 Ubank's people like you app wins best in show at Finovate Asia [33]

2013 AFR Smart Investor Blue Ribbon Direct Institution of the Year [34]

Brand & Marketing[edit]

Logo of UBank at launch in 2008

UBank's first TV Commercial was launched in 2009, and positioned its savings account using the tagline "Saving is the new spending", attempting to capture the spirit of the Global Financial Crisis at the time.[35]

UBank also launched a series of YouTube videos called UBank Moneybox, meant to educate and entertain.[36] In February 2016 UBank launched a new visual identity, designed to reposition the bank as a "utility".[37]


In 2016, UBank launched a controversial advertising campaign using terminally ill people which garnered many complaints.[38]

The company defended the campaign as being "disruptive".[39]


In 2019, UBank introduced the world's first "digital human", named Mia, who aimed at helping home buyers apply for their home loans. According to UBank, Mia is the "latest tech innovation, designed to answer any burning questions you have about your home loan application. Short for ‘My Interactive Agent’, Mia helps simplify your experience by giving on-the-spot answers to a huge range of the most commonly asked questions during the home loan application."[40]

This innovative piece of work was deemed to pose a potential threat to mortgage brokers and their businesses.[41] Alongside the changes to the mortgage broking industry, put forth by the Hayne Royal Commission, this digital approach was seen as inevitable by Greg Dickason, CoreLogic Global Head of Technology, as doubtful as it is that such technology could match the high levels of customer satisfaction that many borrowers have with their mortgage brokers.[42]


  1. ^ "About us". UBank. Retrieved 29 October 2008.
  2. ^ "NAB - NAB unveils UBank". National Australia Bank. Archived from the original on 4 November 2008. Retrieved 29 October 2008.
  3. ^ Lekakis, George (2 October 2008). "NAB moves into new territory with U". Melbourne Herald Sun. Retrieved 2 October 2008.
  4. ^ "2009 Annual Report" (PDF). NAB. December 2009.
  5. ^ "Who we are". UBank.
  6. ^ "Afsc 2010 Gerd Schenkel UBank Feb 2010". Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  7. ^ "UBank collects $500 m in first month". The Sheet. 4 November 2008. Archived from the original on 30 June 2012. Retrieved 22 June 2009.
  8. ^ "NAB Australian Region market update" (PDF). NAB. 17 November 2008.
  9. ^ "NAB goes online to reach people allergic to banks". Sydney Morning Herald. 23 April 2009.
  10. ^ "See more executions from UBank's USaver press campaign". Newspaper works. 20 September 2009.
  11. ^ "UBank Fact Sheet". National Australia Bank. 30 June 2009. Archived from the original on 5 July 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  12. ^ "2009 Annual Report". NAB. 1 November 2009.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "NAB deposit tactics show promise". The Sheet. 1 December 2009.
  14. ^ "Big two grab largest slice of credit". Australian Financial Review. 2 December 2009.
  15. ^ "Can NAB's Ubank emulate Jetstar?". Business Spectator. 7 December 2009.
  16. ^ "December Quarter Trading Update" (PDF). National Australia Bank Limited. 19 February 2010.
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^!%40%40%3F_afrWindowId%3Dnull%26_afrLoop%3D9212069886650887%26_afrWindowMode%3D0%26_adf.ctrl-state%3D8pyci3ema_21
  20. ^ "KGB: NAB's Cameron Clyne". Business Spectator. 1 November 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  21. ^ [1][dead link]
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Financial results - NAB". Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  24. ^ "The Bank Channel: NAB launches Ubank". The Bank Channel. 30 September 2008. Retrieved 29 October 2008.
  25. ^ "NAB pioneers 'five-minute' online bank account". IT Wire. 6 August 2009. Archived from the original on 9 August 2009. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  26. ^ "UBank launches on-line savings account with unbeaten interest rate". NAB. 6 August 2009. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  27. ^ Taylor, Peter (23 February 2011). "NAB fires new weapon in bank wars". Herald Sun. Retrieved 17 November 2011.
  28. ^!%40%40%3F_afrWindowId%3Dnull%26_afrLoop%3D9212069886650887%26_afrWindowMode%3D0%26_adf.ctrl-state%3D8pyci3ema_21
  29. ^
  30. ^ "Best of the Best: 2010 Survival Guide". A Current Affair, Channel 9. 1 December 2009. Archived from the original on 22 February 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  31. ^
  32. ^ "Award Winners". Australian Lending Awards. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^ "UBank USaver Savings is the new spending - YouTube". Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  36. ^ "Direct Banking Strategy Gerd Schenkel". Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  37. ^ "Rebrand positions UBank as the utilitarian choice | Marketing Magazine". Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^ "Introducing Mia: A new face in the home loan space". Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  41. ^ "UBank launches world's first digital human home loan application assistant". Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  42. ^ "What consumers think of mortgage brokers". Retrieved 7 February 2019.

External links[edit]