Country folk give large firms payment lesson

Farmers, fishermen and foresters are swiftest at settling invoices while the electricity industry is the slowest, claims info firm Experian.

Average payment times across all industries have narrowed from 60.4 to 59.9 days over the last six months. At that rate, payment of invoices within 30 days ? the ‘holy grail’ of anti-late payment campaigners – will be achieved some time in 2032.

Payment times have actually increased by two days since the government introduced statutory interest on small firm invoices four years ago. Large firms are the worst culprits, taking a snail-paced 77.9 days to settle debts. Large firms in the electricity industry are worse still at an average 83 days.

From August, UK late payment law will be extended to allow any business to claim compensation from late-paying customers of any size.

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