Dutch companies are punctual payers compared to other EU countries; on average, they leave their bills until only 5 days after the payment deadline.
Only Germany pays bills faster. Portugal is among the slowest payers. On average, invoices from Portuguese companies are paid 19 days late. This is evident from research conducted by Dun & Bradstreet, which has mapped the payment behavior of over 2.8 million European companies.
Economic crisis highly visible
The fact that the economic crisis is hitting some EU countries harder than others is clearly reflected in their payment behavior. For example, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Portugal pay their bills 16, 17 and 19 days late respectively. Jan Willem de Vries, Managing Director of Dun & Bradstreet: "If you do business with companies from these countries, it is especially advisable to keep an eye on their payment behavior to avoid cash flow problems. A sudden deterioration in payment behaviour can also indicate an impending bankruptcy.
In Germany, 60 percent of bills are paid on time. 40 percent of bills are paid just three days late on average. The Netherlands follows closely behind; 55 percent of bills are paid on time. 'Especially now it is very important to pay bills on time to stimulate the economy. When you don't do this you can cause problems for other companies, as they also have to pay their suppliers. This is how a country can end up in a vicious circle,' de Vries said.
Fastest paying countries:
1. Germany (on average 3 days late)
2. Netherlands (on average 5 days late)
3. France (average 11 days late)
Slowest paying countries:
1. Portugal (19 days late on average)
2. Ireland (17 days late on average)
3. England (on average 16 days late)