The Institute of Directors (IOD) has warned the “scandal” of late payments is undermining the economic recovery and inviting regulation from politicians.
It comes after a supplier complaint to AB InBev that the brewing company behind Budweiser and Stella Artois was forcing them to to accept payment terms of up to 120 days.
Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) national policy chairman Mike Cherry criticised companies for effectively using small businesses as a source of finance.
“It is genuine abuse. There is no excuse for it, particularly when interest rates have been so low for such a long time,” he said.
The FSB is holding a meeting with politicians today identify ways it could stamp out what it calls “supply chain bullying”.
“If large businesses continue to behave in this way, they are inviting regulation,” said James Sproule, chief economist of the IOD. “Politicians are already discussing maximum payment terms and charging fines or interest for late payment.”