Four FTSE companies receive “Fast Payer Award”

  • Only four of the UK’s FTSE 350 companies – Michael Page; United Utilities Water; Aviva and Severn Trent Water – have qualified for the new award from Good Business Pays.
  • The award recognises big businesses that pay at least 95 per cent of their invoices on time and within 30 days or less, over the last 12 months.
  • Previous data from Good Business Pays found it currently takes an average of 37 days for FTSE350 companies to pay suppliers, with the slowest taking more than 4 months.

13th October 2021, London: Good Business Pays has revealed the first FTSE 350 companies to be awarded its new ‘Fast Payer Award’, which recognises those who have demonstrated the best payment performance to their suppliers over the past year.

Only four companies in the FTSE 350 – Severn Trent Water; United Utilities Water; Aviva and Michael Page International Recruitment – qualified for the award. Launched this month to ensure big businesses taking a lead on this issue stand out, it recognises those paying at least 95 per cent of their invoices on time and within 30 days or less – in line with the government’s guidelines in the Prompt Payment Code – consistently over the last 12 months.

Analysis of the latest information submitted under the Duty to Report Regulation, shows only four businesses qualified:

BusinessAverage time to pay% Invoices not paid within agreed terms
Michael Page International Recruitment3 days5%
United Utilities Water13 days3%
Aviva17 days5%
Severn Trent Water26 days3%

Two of the award-winning companies come from the utility sector – Severn Trent and United Utilities. In fact, the data shows utilities is one of the best sectors for paying suppliers, taking an average of 29 days to settle with suppliers and paying 86 percent of invoices within contract terms.

It is positive to see some Utility businesses leading the way in this respect. Water companies serve customers in a fixed geography. It makes complete sense for them to invest in their communities and it’s great to see that this extends to supporting small businesses, given the challenges they will have faced over the past 18 months

Simon Oates, Director at regulatory adviser group, Fingleton

Previous data from Good Business Pays showed that FTSE 350 companies are taking on average 37 days to pay their suppliers – with well-known companies such as Diageo, Coca Cola and Rolls Royce amongst the ten slowest to settle invoices.

The Federation of Small Businesses estimates 50,000 go under each year because of late-paying clients. The Good Business Pays campaign is calling on FTSE leaders to speed up their payment practices and re-evaluate their standard terms to ensure their smaller suppliers are being paid when they need it the most.

Good Business Pays will be running an analysis of payment performance every six months to ensure that businesses who make positive progress in their payment practices are recognised, and those whose payments slow down are held accountable.

I am delighted to be awarding these first four, of what I hope will be many more, awards. The Fast Payer award recognises the big businesses that are supporting their small suppliers by making responsible payment practices a business priority.

Unfortunately only four companies from the entire FTSE 350 qualified for our award, which is disappointing, but not surprising. We’d like business leaders to take note and start making changes to their payment practices by complying with the Prompt Payment Code, created to help protect small businesses. Paying invoices faster has never been easier with technology enabled systems available, so there really is no excuse. We’ll be announcing our next analysis in March, and I hope we’ll see a vast improvement in performance amongst FTSE 350 leaders.

Terry Corby, Chair of the Good Business Pays campaign

We are lucky to work with many small businesses that contribute to the success of our company, so we are delighted to be awarded the ‘Fast Payer Award’. We are really pleased to be recognised by the UK business community for our good payment practices, not only supporting temporary workers operating through a PSC with immediate payment terms but also working to ensure that all of our suppliers have the same positive experience with us. It’s an honour to receive this award and we look forward to continuing to support our suppliers in the year ahead.

Dan Munford, Finance Director, Michael Page International Recruitment

We’re delighted to have been recognised as a company that demonstrates prompt payment to our suppliers. We don’t underestimate the important role we play here in the North West, where our current 2020-2025 investment programme is injecting £10.5bn into the regional economy.

We support 22,700 jobs, either directly or indirectly through our supply chain, so we know that paying on time is critical to ensure successful businesses can continue to operate without the worry caused by slow or late payments. We respect our suppliers and paying them quickly, and offering payment options so we don’t hamper their business, is absolutely the right thing to do.

Kevin Fowlie, Commercial, Engineering and Capital Delivery Director at United Utilities

Backed by Federation of Small Businesses, the CBI, manufacturers group Make UK, the BCC, IoD and the Creative Industries Federation, the Good Business Pays movement was launched in May 2021 to encourage the UK’s largest companies to fast track payments to small suppliers, helping them bounce back and inject vital capital into the economy.

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