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July 30, 2014updated 12 Apr 2017 3:57pm

Close Brothers: Northern Ireland facing late payment crisis

Over a third of Northern Irish SMEs have been adversely affected by late payments, with the average company owed over £20,000 in late payments, according to Close Brothers Asset Finance.

By Jonathan Minter

Over a third of Northern Irish SMEs have been adversely affected by late payments, with the average company owed over £20,000 in late payments, according to Close Brothers Asset Finance.

The figures were revealed as part of Close Brothers’ quarterly Commercial Finance Business Barometer, which also revealed that half of those which had experienced late payments said it impacted their day-to-day cash flow.

Additionally, a fifth of respondents spent over 10 hours a month chasing unpaid bills.

Harry Parkinson, managing director of Close Brothers Commercial Finance, noted this constriction was having a knock on effect on SMEs’ ability to pay their suppliers on time, creating a vicious circle.

He said "It’s a situation that needs to be addressed, and alternative funding methods such as invoice and asset finance present a solution."

Close Brothers also run a quarterly asset finance business barometer, which revealed last month that 42% of SMEs admitted they could have a better knowledge of alternative funding.

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