Fallon’s threat to expose FTSE late payments

Michael Bow
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BUSINESS minister Michael Fallon is set to name and shame FTSE chief executives who fail to sign their firms up to a prompt payment code designed to help small businesses get paid on time.

Fallon wrote to every company in the FTSE 350 in November telling them that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills will publish a list in February revealing the names of firms that fail to adopt the code, operated by the Institute of Credit Management.

It aims to help small and medium sized enterprises, which the government estimates are owed almost £36.4bn in overdue payments, mainly by large companies.

“We’ve been crystal clear that it’s unacceptable for big companies to drag their heels on paying their supplier promptly,” a BIS spokesman said.

“It’s unfair – and causes untold problems for entrepreneurs as they struggle to pay their way. If companies fail to sign up, we’ll name and shame them.”

The threat has already driven Sainsbury’s, which was exposed for increasing payment times, to review its policy.

“We already abide by the spirit of the code and will be responding in the coming weeks,” a spokeswoman said yesterday.