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   Taking an age to pay their customers - Large companies under fire again

“Reassuringly Extensive” - Payment Terms Strech Suppliers to the Max

January 22 2015

Multinational AB Inbev has been widely condemned by business groups as it was revealed by BBC News that it takes over 120 days to pay its UK suppliers.

The brewer of Global brands such as Budweiser, Stella Artois and Becks had global revenues of $43bn in 2013 and made profits of $14bn.

In a statement from the Federation of Small Business, Mike Cherry, the National Policy Chairman said:

“No-one should expect to wait four months to get paid, not least smaller companies that simply cannot absorb the impact these terms have on their cashflow. The mounting evidence coming to light shows the scale of the problem, with too many large companies and their respected household brands abusing their suppliers."

The FSB has called on the government to name and shame large companies that impose unreasonably long credit terms on suppliers through legislation to force large businesses to publish how long it take them to settle their bills.

The storm around Inbev's payment terms comes hot on the heels of similar revelations about Heinz and Premier Foods.

James Sproule, chief economist at the IoD had a warning for large firms:

“If large businesses continue to behave in this way, they are inviting regulation. Politicians are already discussing maximum payment terms and charging fines or interest for late payment. In an election year, corporate behaviour will be under intense scrutiny. Now is a good time for businesses to go beyond the letter of the law and embrace its spirit.”

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