A Comparative Study between Informal and Formal Finance: A Literature Review

Mai Ahmed Abdelzaher


The informal credit system is a prevailing form of economic exchange in emerging countries. It is the predominant form of credit in rural communities because it is based on a culture of reciprocity (Family participation-relatives-Loyalty-friends-Neighbour). Informal finance contributes significantly to the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The present study justifies the wide application of informal finance. We find that these projects suffer from the problem of asymmetrical information. They also offer few guarantees. Informal financiers have an advantage over formal financial organizations, in gathering information on lenders in SMEs. The aim of our study was to explore formal and informal credit systems and to explain the prevalence of informal systems in developing countries. The study concluded that credit from informal sources is superior to credit from formal sources because it results in low rates of default on loans. The study also showed that informal finance and commercial credit have a positive impact on the performance of private companies, measured using the rate of return on assets.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/afr.v8n4p231


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