Informality and Bank Performance in Nigeria: A Panel Data Analysis

Jonathan Emenike Ogbuabor, Victor A. Malaolu


The informal sector in Nigeria is one of the major components of the overall economy, which is capable of starving the banking system of the deposits needed for investment purposes. This study empirically examined the impact of informality on the performance of the banking industry in Nigeria. The results indicate that if bank performance is measured by profit after tax (PAT) or return on assets (ROA), then informality impacts negatively on the performance of deposit money banks in Nigeria. Other variables that impact negatively on bank performance are inflation rate and asset quality (measured as the ratio of total non-performing loans to total loans). Based on these findings, the study recommends that deposit money banks in Nigeria should pursue policies and products that will assist them to capture the huge economic activities taking place in the informal sector, while the government (that is the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN) should also reconsider its policies that are capable of driving economic units underground. The study concludes that deposit money banks in Nigeria must work together with the CBN to achieve an all inclusive banking system, thereby reducing the negative impact of informality on the performance of deposit money banks in Nigeria.

Key words: Informality; Bank Performance; Panel Analysis; Return on Asset; Profit After Tax

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