Belfast Telegraph

Invoice payment waiting times 'more than twice as long for small manufacturers'

Smaller UK manufacturers are forced to wait almost twice as long as their bigger competitors for invoices to be paid, new research has shown.

A study by the Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA) revealed that SMEs (small to medium sized enterprises) waited an average of 67 days to be paid last year, compared with 38 for larger firms.

The difference has increased over the past year as large manufacturers enjoyed a fall in waiting time, said the report.

Jeff Longhurst, chief executive of the ABFA, said: "Unfortunately, for many SMEs in the manufacturing industry, waiting more than two months to be paid is now a normal state of affairs.

"During the recession, some businesses looked to increase their payment terms in order to give themselves breathing space in the tough economic climate.

"Unfortunately, in many sectors there's been a cultural shift and delaying payment to suppliers is now common practice. Larger businesses need to treat their smaller suppliers more fairly."

"Late and extended payment times are deep-rooted issues in the manufacturing industry.

"This doesn't just impact on the business in question; they need to pay their own suppliers and so there is a cumulative negative effect down the supply chain."