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   Late payment not confined to private sector

Public Sector Fails to Set an Example on Late Payment

February 02 2016

The public sector has emerged as slower to pay its invoices from suppliers than many of the country’s biggest businesses, despite government pledges to lead by example on payment practices. Recent research published by Mail Online shows that 61.7% of all the invoices the the public sector paid were late.

By contrast, FTSE 350 companies paid their suppliers late 60.9% of the time, marginally better than the public sector. Educational establishments were among the worst offenders. Suppliers to schools, academies and colleges have to wait beyond terms for the payments of 80% of invoices.

Some industry sectors are worse at paying their bills than others. Given recent news on the payment performance of supermarkets, it might come as no surprise to see that this was the worst performing sector, settling debts with suppliers late 68.7% of the time. Banks were found to be better at settling their debts, with only 44.7% of invoices paid late.

Samantha White, CEO of My Credit Controllers said:

“It comes to something where the banks are being held up as model corporate citizens, yet they still pay their customers beyond agreed terms nearly half the time. Government itself should be setting a good example, but we learn that the public sector is nearly as bad as the supermarkets at paying its bills on time. Chasing down overdue debts is burdensome for SMEs whose managers have far more constructive things to do with their time."

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