Report Reveals Government Least Likely to Pay Bills on Time in UK

A report by D&B has revealed that the number of prompt payments the UK government made to its suppliers decreased by 2.7% in September 2013, while large businesses (30.9%) are over twice as likely to pay late compared to small and medium enterprises (SMEs – 15.1%), despite the introduction of the Prompt Payment Code in the UK.

While the government’s payment performance has deteriorated, the D&B UK Quarterly Industry report reveals that all other UK sectors have improved payment times over the same period. The agriculture sector tops the leader board of prompt payments and is more than twice as likely as the government to pay on time. Across the board, the percentage of all UK businesses that pay bills within agreed payment terms has improved to 30% in September 2013, compared to 28.5% of all payments during October 2012.

The data also shows that the business services sector has shown a dramatic increase in prompt payments over the past year with prompt payments improving from 28.4% in October 2012 to 31.5% in September 2013. Overall, payment performance across all UK sectors has remained static since December 2012, underlining the more stable economic environment since the recession of 2008/09 and the prolonged period of low growth in 2011/12.

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