Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 12°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

East Anglia: Small firms taking tough line on late payers, Barclays survey shows

06:00 30 January 2013

Mark Suthern, head of relationship banking at Barclays Business Banking, Eastern

Photo: VisMedia

Mark Suthern, head of relationship banking at Barclays Business Banking, Eastern Photo: VisMedia

Ben Phillips / VisualMedia

SMALL and medium-sized businesses in East Anglia are taking a tough line in dealing with firms which are slow in paying their bills.

According to research carried out by Barclays, late payment continues to be a critical problem for the region’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with 92% of those questioned in a survey having suffered over the last two years, worse than the national average of 85%.

However, the study also shows that many SMEs in the region are taking action to protect themselves against the risk of firms owning them money going out of business, with nearly one in three (32%) having declined to do further business with customers with a record of late payment, well ahead of the national average of 22%.

Nearly two out of three (61% in the east, 60% nationally) have communicated more frequently with or chased the customer’s finance team, two in five (42% in the east, 32% nationally) have threatened to or taken out legal action, and around a third (36% in the east, 30% nationally) have requested payment up-front.

The research also reveals the impact that late payments can have on business owners, with a quarter of those surveyed in the region (25%), and nearly one in three nationally (30%), who have experienced late payments in the past two years having had to use personal money or assets to boost their cash flow.

One in six (16%) of respondents in the region (20% nationally) say have suffered extreme stress as a result, and one in 10 (9%, against 11% nationally) say late payments have nearly caused a business to fail.

Mark Suthern, head of relationship banking at Barclays Business Banking, Eastern, said: “Minimising late payments and effectively managing cash flow is crucial for the survival, as well as the growth of small businesses.

“With one in five businesses that cease trading citing bad debt as the reason, it is vital that SMEs tackle this problem and take action before it is too late.”

He added: “Faced with a continually challenging business environment, small businesses clearly have no other option than to take action against customers who repeatedly pay late.

“Whilst it goes against all natural business instincts to turn customers away, it is entirely understandable when weighed up against the overall impact of the late payment on the future of the business.

“Using a product like CreditFocus to check the credit worthiness of the business you are looking to trade with is also a great idea.”

Search hundreds of local jobs at Jobs24

0 comments

A computer-generated image of how the Sizewell complex will look after construction of Sizewell C.

Britain is set to get its first new nuclear power station in generations as EDF’s directors approve investment in Hinkley Point.

Confidence among manufacturing firms has dropped since the vote to leave the European Union, says a report.

Confidence among manufacturing firms has dropped since the vote to leave the European Union, putting the sector’s recovery in jeopardy, says a report.

Damian Lewis as Bobby

Game Of Thrones broadcaster Sky has brushed aside economic uncertainty surrounding Britain’s referendum on the European Union to drive up revenues and profits.

Almost 400,000 customers deserted British Gas in the first half of the year as its parent firm, Centrica, saw profits take a dive.

Almost 400,000 customers deserted British Gas in the first half of the year as its parent firm, Centrica, saw profits take a dive.

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Dugmore unveiling the chamber's new-look branding at a summer garden party held at Willis Towers Watson Rooftop Garden in central Ipswich.

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce has unveiled its new branding and identity at a ceremony in Ipswich.

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24