Payments getting later
UK businesses of all sizes have been hit by a significant increase in late payments for goods or services.
The Late Payment Index from Experian, the global information services company, shows that while the average payment performance for 2010 saw a small improvement from 22.81 days in 2009 to 22.58 days, payment performance deteriorated during the final quarter, with firms paying their bills 25.70 days late — the highest recorded average since 2007.
Businesses with 500 or more employees still take the longest time to pay, but the biggest decline occurred in the small-to-medium-sized enterprise sector. In particular, firms with 100 employees or fewer paid their bills an average of 22.24 days late in the fourth quarter of 2010, three-and-a-half days slower than the equivalent period in 2009.