UBank has partnered with the University of Sydney’s Business School as part of the institution’s MBA program, creating opportunities for the next generation of innovators to address a business opportunity for Australia’s first digital-only bank.

CEO of UBank, Lee Hatton, explained UBank has set a challenge for MBA Program students that aligns to UBank’s business strategy and objectives.

The pilot scheme will champion local talent and drive innovation in the digital space, by looking to the next generation of business leaders to solve current and future consumer challenges.


“Students have been tasked with engaging Australians on their own personal savings journey. To do so, students are encouraged to examine trend predictions, explore innovative technologies such as gamification or wearables, or repurpose existing UBank assets if it addresses people’s evolving needs,” said Ms Hatton.

UBank was launched by NAB in 2008 with a mandate to disrupt and challenge the financial industry and establish a presence in the ‘self-directed’ online banking market. Without a physical branch anywhere in the country, UBank’s mortgage book is now valued at nearly $4 billion.

“Innovation and disruption is at the core of what we do at UBank. We’re looking for a creative, innovative solution that will disrupt ideas around savings, and reconnects and engages Australians,” said Ms Hatton. 

A total of 25 students from University of Sydney’s MBA program will participate in the scheme which commences this week and ends on 27 July. Students have the opportunity to extend the relationship if UBank identifies an opportunity that could benefit Australians.


“Through the partnership, UBank hopes to demystify banking not only for the students but for our customers. It’s no secret that UBank does banking differently. It’s our vision to become the most referred brand in Australia and we believe authentic engagement is the starting point for advocacy.”

UBank CEO Lee Hatton


The leadership team at UBank will be working closely with the students to help them achieve this goal through sharing insights, knowledge and data and spending significant time with the students to ensure the best possible learning outcome.

MBA Director, Professor Guy Ford, said he was delighted to work with UBank on this unique project.

“While many MBA programs offer capstone units requiring students to undertake a business simulation or prepare a consulting report, the University of Sydney’s Business School’s unique capstone provides participants with an invaluable opportunity to work alongside a corporate partner on new product development.

“We are thrilled to work with a corporate partner that has a start-up, entrepreneurial mentality, who will leverage the skills of our MBA capstone students and together produce real outcomes in a relatively short period of time,” Professor Ford added.