06 September 2007
The average UK firm is waiting for £28,844 in late payment, according to a study.
The survey, by credit information company Creditsafe, suggests the value of work that has not been paid within the period set out in businesses' terms and conditions is £128 billion.
Creditsafe estimates late payment means 928,935 businesses are unable to purchase new raw materials, and 296,375 fims fail to "meet contractual obligations to customers and suppliers".
Companies in London were waiting for the highest value of unpaid invoices (£53,295). The lowest shortfall was for companies in the south-east of England and East Anglia, which were owed £10,755.
Thirty per cent struggled to pay their own suppliers because they were waiting to be paid themselves. "A lot of companies go to the wall with brilliant ideas, not because they're struggling but because they can't get the cash in," said Simon Camilleri, managing director of Creditsafe.