Christmas Late Payment Misery for British Businesses

With severe weather causing disruption to postal services and postmen attempting to clear the build up of delayed mail by cramming in extra deliveries, Bacs Payment Schemes (Bacs) predicts that British businesses could be facing cashflow misery this Christmas.

Research from Bacs shows that British small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are already owed an average of £32,000 each in late payments. This adds up to a massive national bill of £24.6bn. Currently, more than three quarters (76%) of Britain’s 1,683,000 SMEs receive payments via cheque and with the expectation that many of these cheques will be sent by post, the national bill could rise to new heights over the coming weeks, if payments are delayed in the post.

Bacs believes that the bank accounts of SMEs could be hit hard. Mike Hutchinson, head of marketing at Bacs, said: “Companies can help protect their cashflow against potential postal disruption by swapping to automated payment methods such as direct debits and Bacs direct credit. This latest bout of bad weather is a reminder for businesses to consider all their options and, in collaboration with their suppliers and customers, decide which alternative payment methods best suit their specific needs.”


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