60% of UK Small Business Invoices Paid Late in 2015

New research claims the UK has a specific problem with late payments when compared to European neighbours and the US

60% of UK Small Business Invoices Paid Late in 2015

59.6% of all UK small business invoices were paid late in 2015, according to a report by MarketInvoice.

Surveying over 30,000 invoices across 80 countries, the research noted a sharp rise in the “harmful practice” of late payments with the percentage of small businesses affected rising from 54.9% in 2014, and 50.2% in 2013.

When compared to the US and other European countries, the UK appears to have a specific problem with late payments as the EU average for late payments was markedly lower at 40.4%.

The study found that UK blue chip companies are more likely to pay invoices late (62.2%), followed by the public sector (61.7%), and small companies (60.9%).

Particular “bad performers” included high street retailers (69.8%) and supermarkets (68.7%).

The news follows research published in December which indicated that 12% of UK businesses are waiting 90 days for an invoice to get paid and pointed to a late payments “epidemic”.

Anil Stocker, co-founder and chief executive of MarketInvoice, said:

“Late payment is a silent but significant killer of UK businesses. Clearly this is a massive problem in the UK.

“That other similar economies are so significantly outperforming us should be both a cause of concern and optimism – there is clearly lots of room for things to get better; and lots of places where we can learn how to make things better.”

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