Late payments World Cup: Which country pays the quickest?

Brazil would be crowned champions if the World Cup was decided by how quickly countries are able to pay suppliers, according to a study.

Brazil pays suppliers on average only 4.3 days beyond terms (DBT), with Iceland coming up second best at 6.4 DBT.

The DBT describes how long it takes businesses on average across each country to pay their bills, past the due date.

England, meanwhile, would qualify from their group in second place with a DBT of 16.0 days, before being knocked out by Colombia in the last sixteen with a superior DBT of just 8.9.

The only European nation with a worse DBT than England at this year’s World Cup is Portugal (16.2 DBT), with the average DBT between all nations in the competition standing at 19.4 days.

Scandinavian countries performed particularly strongly at the Late Payments World Cup, with Denmark (8.7 DBT) outclassing Argentina (10.8 DBT) before being eliminated by Brazil in the semi-finals, while Sweden (6.7 DBT) were also beaten in the semi-finals by Iceland.

Germany disappoints

The winners of the last World Cup, Germany, failed to reach beyond the round of sixteen after coming up against eventual champions Brazil, despite having the fourth best DBT (7.2 days) of any team in this year’s competition.

Cato Syversen, CEO of Creditsafe, which commissioned the study says, ‘It’s interesting to see that not only are Brazil on top of their sporting game, they are also on top when it comes to paying their suppliers.

‘With England, I’m sure some would argue that reaching the last sixteen in the Late Payments tournament is a fair reflection of how the team is expected to perform on the pitch. However, it also indicates that there is much more that English businesses should be doing to ensure they are paying their suppliers on time.

‘The Late Payments World Cup highlights that a late payments culture exists around the world and England’s mid-ranking performance suggests there is more that can be learnt from countries far and wide.’

The table

Late Payment DBT by country

Further reading on late payments

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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