Barclays joins Good Business Pays campaign

Barclays bank has announced its support of the Good Business Pays campaign, which encourages large companies to fast track their payments to suppliers.

Barclays Business Banking, which supports over one million UK businesses, is reinforcing its commitment to small business owners by signing up to the movement, which was launched in May 2021 to end the scourge of late payments.

Hannah Bernard, Head of Business Banking at Barclays, said: “As small businesses continue to brace themselves for what is an increasingly difficult trading environment, it’s more important than ever that they have confidence in their cash flow and can depend on the businesses they supply to pay them on time.

“What’s more, late payments can prevent new hiring opportunities or investment back into the business. In the worst case scenarios, the business might be forced to close.

“This is why we’re proud to be joining Good Business Pays, to call on the social conscience of the worst offenders and help stamp out this poor practice. Let’s put an end to late payments and unlock the full potential of the nation’s hard working businesses.”

Terry Corby, Chair of Good Business Pays, commented: “Slow and late payments have been a problem ignored by the business world for too long, so it is really encouraging to have the support of such a significant leader in the industry. We know it’s a particularly challenging time for many small businesses that are recovering from the ravages of the pandemic, whilst struggling with rising costs and inflation, so I look forward to working with Barclays – alongside our other supporting organisations – to eliminate the pressures caused by slow payments.”

News of the partnership comes as recent data from Barclays3 shows that nearly three in five (58%) small business owners said they would refuse to work with a company if they knew they regularly paid their suppliers late.

The latest research highlights the need for business leaders to improve their payment times to avoid the risk of losing all-important suppliers amidst an already complex and challenging period for supply chains.

Corby continued: “It’s encouraging to see more small business owners having the courage to turn down business from customers with bad payment records. Whilst it might seem counterintuitive to turn down opportunities, late payments can have a detrimental impact on cash flow, so working with partners with good payment practices is in fact better for business growth in the long run.”

Research commissioned by Good Business Pays from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has shown that up to £60bn of additional revenue would be unlocked for small businesses if their large customers paid them on receipt of invoices, adding much needed capital to the nation’s economy as we continue to deal with rising costs and creating up to 460,000 extra jobs.2

The Good Business Pays campaign is backed by the Federation of Small Businesses, the CBI, manufacturers group Make UK, the BCC, IoD and the Creative Industries Federation. It most recently launched the ‘Wait Off’ Campaign, with the Small Business Commissioner and leaders from the UK’s biggest business groups to stop slow payments once and for all.

Good Business Pays is continuing to call on other large businesses to join Barclays in signing up to show their support by adopting a set of pledges:

  1. Complying with the Prompt Payment Code principles;
  2. Exploring digital solutions that enable small supplier invoices to be paid when they need it;
  3. Providing access to data that helps drive the fast invoice payment agenda for small businesses;
  4. Making sure payment performance data is published as required by the ‘duty to report’ on large businesses;
  5. Undertaking a quarterly review of feedback from suppliers on payment performance.