Dutch companies pay bills less quickly

Reading time 5 minutes | Written by Anne de Geus | 2 March, 2012

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The Netherlands is still one of the fastest paying countries in Europe. In the last quarter of 2011, almost half of the invoices were paid within the set period of thirty days. Only Germany performs better. Nevertheless, since the first quarter of 2011, the percentage of payments within the stipulated period has fallen by 8 percentage points in the Netherlands. This was revealed by a Dun & Bradstreet survey, which analysed the payment behaviour of over 2.8 million European companies.

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Dun & Bradstreet examined the payment behaviour of companies in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy and Portugal. Jan Willem de Vries, Managing Director of Dun & Bradstreet: "The Netherlands and Germany have always been very prompt payers compared to other European countries. However, for some time now we have been seeing a deterioration in payment behaviour in both countries. In the Netherlands, 55 percent of all invoices were paid on time in the first quarter of last year; in the last quarter this was only 47 percent. Of all the countries surveyed, the Netherlands has seen the biggest drop in the percentage of payments made on time. Companies are clearly feeling the consequences of the crisis and the negative economic outlook. And even if you have your own affairs in order, when suppliers start to pay more slowly or even go bankrupt, this also affects healthy companies.

More than thirty days late payment

Portugal and Ireland's payment behavior is by far the worst. Respectively, they pay bills an average of 20 and 18 days late. These countries are also in the top three of very late payers (more than 30 days late). For example, 21 percent of Portuguese companies leave invoices more than 30 days past due. In Spain this is 17 percent and in Ireland 11 percent. De Vries: 'Naturally, the business community in these countries has a hard time. Companies that do business in these countries have to take into account that they will have to wait a bit longer for their money. The Dutch business community is doing well, with only 3.5 percent of invoices being paid more than 30 days late.

Slowest paying countries

1. Portugal (20 days late on average)
2. Ireland (18 days late on average)
3. Great Britain (on average 16 days late)

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Anne de Geus

Marketing Campaign Officer

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