Promising late payment news for small businesses as Prompt Payment Code attracts more signatures

The number of FTSE 350 companies pledging to pay small companies promptly has tripled following a government drive to boost sign up to a code of conduct.

Business Minister Michael Fallon wrote to big businesses in November urging them to sign up to the Prompt Payment Code (PPC) or be named publicly.

As a result, an additional 94 FTSE 350 companies have signed up, taking the total to 126. 

Two dozen smaller non-FTSE companies have committed support for the PPC, with three quarters of FTSE 100 companies having now signed up to the Code.

See also: How to deal with late payment

British firms such as Shell, Kingfisher and Diageo are among those that have signed up and are just some of the signatories leading the way in working with small and medium-sized businesses in their supply chain.

Recent news that small businesses are being paid quicker will be welcomed by small businesses that depend on customers paying on time for a healthy cash flow situation.

Business minister Michael Fallon says, ‘Late payment is a real issue for businesses across the country. It is not fair and poor cash flow can prevent small firms growing and even push them into insolvency. 

‘We need to improve the payment culture and I welcome the response of big businesses in signing up to the common sense principles in the Prompt Payment Code.’

Reports of any companies found to be falsely committed to the value of fairness in the Code will be ‘taken very seriously’.

Fallon adds that pressure will continue to be placed on firms to sign up and that government will ‘lead by example in paying its suppliers on time’. 

A complete list of FTSE 350 signatories and non-signatories has been published today for the first time by the Institute of Credit Management, which runs the PPC, at the Prompt Payment Code website.

John Walker, chairman of lobbying group the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) says, ‘Our research shows that around three quarters of FSB members have experienced late payment with almost one in ten waiting for more than £35,000. Big business has financial buffers that a smaller firm doesn’t have and so they must be encouraged to pay on time.’

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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Prompt Payment Code