In the United Kingdom, several marquee names, among them large, publicly traded firms, have been suspended by the Prompt Payment Code, on the grounds they were paying suppliers beyond the 60 days mandated by the code.
As reported by various sites, among them Sky News, the Chartered Institute of Credit Management, which is the administrator of the code and administers it on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, has suspended the firms.
A total of 18 firms were suspended and include companies such as British American Tobacco and Prudential. To be reinstated to the code, the companies must work to be in compliance.
Most of those firms have submitted plans to be compliant, according to reports.
The chief executive of the CICM, Philip King, said that “we will continue to challenge signatories to the code if the obligatory Payment Practice Reporting data suggests that their practices are not compliant. We are encouraged that of the 18 who have been suspended or removed today, all but one has already submitted action plans to achieve future compliance, and we are working closely with those businesses to support a better payment culture.”
The moves come after 17 other firms were suspended in April. The suspensions come ahead of a rule that is slated to debut in September that would mandate that firms with government contract biddings above 5 million pounds annually would have their payment practices examined. If they are unable to show that they pay at least 95 percent of invoices within 60 days, they may be shut out of such bidding.
In commentary from one of the suspended firms, BAE Systems spokesperson remarked that “over 90% of invoices received are paid within 60 days; however, we acknowledge there is room for improvement in some areas and we are taking action to ensure we consistently adhere to the highest standards of payment practices.”
Separately, a spokesman for Centrica said, as quoted by Sky News: “We have made significant investment in our processes with the aim of consistently paying our suppliers by the contractually agreed date. We expect to do so consistently in the future.”
In Scotland, Too
Payment delays have also been seen in Scotland, where technology-related issues have hit payments at the National Trust for Scotland, which focuses on conservation. There had been, according to FutureScot, a bug in a CRM upgrade. As a result, some suppliers had not been paid more months.
Separately, in terms of individual company initiatives, Tipalti has launched NetNow to accelerate supply chain payments. The company has said that the solution can improve supply chains by accelerating transactions for payees, which in turn can be reinvested into businesses. NetNow is being added to the company’s accounts payable offering.