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Tackling late payments requires a combined approach

Wednesday 8th November, 2017

Late payment was on the agenda at the Telegraph’s Festival of Business event yesterday where Philip King, Chief Executive, Chartered Institute of Credit Management along with the Managing Director of Stort Chemical participated in a Q&A session.

The conference aims to ensure the continued growth of Britain’s small businesses bringing together some of the best-known names in British business and over 600 attendees.

The Telegraph reported that bosses have said; Tackling Britain’s culture of late payments requires a mix of government action, peer pressure and persistence.

“There’s no silver bullet here,” the Chartered Institute of Credit Management’s chief executive Philip King said at The Telegraph’s Festival of Business.

According to the Federation of Small Businesses, one third of payments to small businesses are late, causing around 50,000 firms to fail each year.

But Richard Gilkes, managing director of SME Stort Chemicals, warned against seeing it as a "them and us" situation. "The majority of our customer base is SMEs and we have good payers and bad payers,” he said. “The most important thing to understand is things can get better."

The Q&A session also covered the Duty to Report Regulations that came into force on 6th April this year.

Sandra Cotton, Aviva’s business manager of accounts payable, said new rules requiring large businesses to publish how quickly they pay suppliers will help.

"Reporting will raise the profile of [late payments] internally so we can see who is paying on time and who isn’t," she said.