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Late payment data highlights need to watch debtors

UK businesses were a day later paying their debts in the three months to September, compared to the quarter before.

The research, from global information services company Experian, shows that UK firms settled their bills an average of 26.13 days late in July, August, and September, compared to 25.26 days late between April and June.

Smallest firms, with one or two staff managed to limit their late payment the most, seeing an increase of half a day late, while firms with more than 501 employees saw the biggest increase, of two days.
The data has highlighted the need for businesses to keep an eye on their debtors to reduce cash flow problems.

Regional data found that businesses in the North West saw the biggest deterioration in payment times by more than two days.

Jason Mills, head of payment performance at Experian UK & Ireland said: "With the average time it takes to settle bills worsening in the last three months, it underlines why it pays to keep a close eye on suppliers' and customers' payment performance. Nowhere is this more evident than in the North West of England, where our analysis shows that businesses are paying suppliers nearly 37 days late, taking 8 days longer than the second worst late paying region."