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Welcome to the  March 2024 issue of Credit Management News Digest. Tech City Labs sponsors this month's issue.



UK: Late Payment, Business Distress & Insolvencies

UK Economy, Export & Retail

Global: Late Payment, Insolvencies & Economy

Credit Management: New Resources

Events & Professional Development

Credit Insurance News Digest

About this month's sponsor: Tech City Labs

PLUS: Credit Risk Data Sources: Everything you need to knowTech City Labs' MD, Ben Sims, explains everything you need to know about open data sources for credit risk.

UK: Late Payment, Business Distress & Insolvencies

41% of UK small businesses say late payments from other companies have impacted their growth. A new survey by Goldman Sachs has found that 41% of its UK respondents say late payments from other companies has affected their growth, and a majority (89%) say they would support tougher legislation for big businesses on late payments. Goldman Sachs' report, 'The Small Business Manifesto', notes that the 'late payments crisis' disproportionately impacts SMEs and suggests that an independent commissioner should be empowered to enact tougher penalties on those who miss payment deadlines. The UK has over 1.2 million small businesses operating for three years or more. Together, they account for £2.1 trillion in annual revenue and employ around nine million people. To read Goldman Sachs' news release, go to

The cost of late payment to UK small businesses rose to an estimated £1.6 billion in 2023. Business Matters has reported that, according to research by Xero, the detrimental impact of late payments on small UK businesses has reached "alarming levels", with the total cost soaring to £1.6 billion at the end of 2023. Alex von Schirmeister, Xero UK's managing director, emphasised the urgent need to address this pervasive issue, characterising late payments as "unapproved debt" that significantly hampers the operations of small firms. In addition, Xero's analysis, drawn from the accounts of numerous small businesses utilising its software, reveals that small firms experienced delays averaging 6.1 days beyond their agreed payment terms in the final quarter of 2023. To read Business Matters' article, go to

Late payments fall, yet UK SMEs still face a £70k outstanding bill. Aldermore's SME Growth Index has found that over 3 million (73%) of UK SMs have some form of outstanding late payment from customers, leaving them £68,715 out of pocket on average. Although the total value of late payments has declined since early 2023, outstanding balances still present a considerable challenge for SMEs, with 47% feeling that the amount they were owed on average had actually increased. On average, SMEs are likely to wait 34 days for a late payment to be paid and spend nine hours of company time chasing outstanding amounts. As a result, 36% of businesses facing cash flow issues have difficulty paying essential business costs. To read Aldermore's news release, go to

New research by Good Business Pays reveals the companies with the poorest payment performance in the last six months. The Good Business Pays Late & Slow Payment Watchlist Spring 2024 research shows a 20% increase in companies reporting average payment times of over eighty days, with over half of the companies paying on average more than one hundred days in the manufacturing sector. L&Q New Homes topped the slowest payers list, taking an average of three hundred and ninety-six days to pay, with Reckitt Beckinser, Galliard Developments and YouGov reporting an average of over one hundred and twenty-five days to settle invoices. Over ninety companies are noted as serial late payers, appearing on the late payment watchlist every year since payment reporting was made a statutory duty in 2017. To read Good Business Pays' news release, go to

Thousands of small UK businesses fall foul of their bank's risk appetite definition, leaving them without access to a bank account. New "de-banking" figures show more than 140,000 (2.7%) of UK business accounts held by small businesses were closed by major banks in the last year. Reasons given for the de-banking included risk appetite, financial crime concerns, lack of information-sharing, etc. Although only three banks listed 'risk appetite' as a reason for bank closures, with 4,214 cases listed, Chair of the Treasury Committee, Harriett Baldwin, commented that this indicates these discussions may not be systematically recorded – leaving questions over whether decisions on the de-banking of certain businesses (based on what banks perceive as a risk) are happening informally. To read UK Parliament's news release, go to

Licensed under the terms of Open Government. Licence v3.0.

Over 500 stand-alone UK companies that fit the criteria to report payment practices have never filed any reports. Although Company Watch has advised that the UK government amendment to the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 to extend the Duty to Report scheme until April 2031 is welcome news for transparency on payment terms, its latest Payment Practices content has found that over a quarter of all payment reports were submitted late, after the 30-day requirement from the company's financial reporting period.10% were over 60 days late. In addition, Company Watch believes there are potentially over 500 stand-alone companies that fit the criteria to report payment practices that have never filed any reports and hundreds more within group structures that should also have filed. Some companies have also stopped reporting despite still being over the required thresholds. Although Company Watch believes that the Duty To Report on Payment Practices scheme has been good for UK businesses, "we would like to see some better enforcement of the Act and perhaps some greater transparency of those companies that should report but haven't." To read Company Watch's news release, go to

Corporate insolvencies in January increased by 5% compared to January 2023. The latest data from the Insolvency Service indicates that corporate insolvencies in England and Wales decreased by 11.8% in January 2024 to 1,769 (from a total of 2,005 in December 2023) but increased by 5% compared to January 2023's total of 1,685. Nicky Fisher, President of R3, commented: "January 2024 saw the highest corporate insolvency figures for the month of January in four years. Both compulsory liquidation and Creditors' Voluntary Liquidation levels were higher than in January 2019, which suggests that both creditor pressure and director fatigue are still above pre-pandemic levels." To read R3's news release, go to

Licensed under the terms of Open Government. Licence v3.0.

31% of UK business owners fear closure by the end of 2024. New research by Novuna has found that 31% of UK business owners anticipate the potential closure of their businesses by the end of 2024. The findings also shed light on the challenges leading to possible business closures. Since the last budget announcement in November 2023, 46% of businesses reported declining demand for their products or services as the chief cause of reduced profitability. Closely following this, 32% of businesses are wrestling with increased utility costs, while 28% are navigating through cash flow pressures. Despite these challenges, businesses remain determined to persevere, with 62% likely to implement cost-cutting measures to sustain their operations. To read Novuna's news release, go to

UK company insolvencies in February 2024 were 34% higher than in the previous month. New data from Creditsafe has found that 2,608 companies in the UK became insolvent in February 2024 – a 34% increase compared to January and a rise of 12% compared to the same month in 2023. 17% of insolvencies in February came from within the UK construction sector, with 440 Construction companies becoming insolvent – 17% of all company insolvencies in 2024 so far.  Creditsafe also advises that the total number of UK company insolvencies for 2023 was 30,199. This number represents a 12% increase compared to the same period in 2022 and a 52% increase compared to 2021. To read Creditsafe's news release, go to

The UK market is moving in a positive trajectory, though insolvencies remain high. Xenia Broking's latest UK Insolvency Analysis, March 2024, reports that whilst some economic indicators are now encouraging and the UK market is moving in a positive trajectory compared to previous years, insolvencies remain relatively high and overall business confidence remains subdued. In the four quarters ending Q4 2023, the company liquidation rate increased to 53.7 per 10,000 companies from 52.4 in Q3 2023, with construction-related insolvencies amounting to 18% of all insolvencies in the 12 months. Overall, there were 25,158 registered insolvencies in 2023, up 13.7% compared to 2022 and the highest number for 30 years. These figures included 20,577 creditors' voluntary liquidations – 9% higher than 2022 and the highest number on record." To read Xenia's report, go to

UK Economy, Export & Retail

Monthly UK GDP grew by 0.2% but fell by 0.1% in the three months to January 2024. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has estimated that GDP grew by 0.2% in January 2024, following a fall of 0.1% in December 2023. However, in the three months to January 2024, GDP is estimated to have fallen by 0.1% compared with the three months to October 2023. Services output grew by 0.2% in January 2024 and was the largest contributor to the rise in GDP, although in the three months to January 2024 it showed no growth. Construction output also grew by 1.1% in January 2024 but fell by 0.9% in the three months to January 2024. Compared with the same period last year, monthly GDP is estimated to have fallen by 0.3%. Comparing the three months to January 2024 with the three months to January 2023, GDP is estimated to have fallen by 0.2%.  To read the ONS news release, go to

Licensed under the terms of Open Government. Licence v3.0.

The UK economy slipped into recession at the end of 2023. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has estimated that GDP fell by 0.3% in the three months leading up to December 2023, compared with the three months leading to September 2023. On a quarterly basis, this gives two consecutive falls in GDP, with a fall of 0.3% in Q4 2023, following an unrevised fall of 0.1% in Q3 2023. Two conservative quarters on negative growth indicate a technical recession. Monthly GDP is estimated to have fallen by 0.1% in December 2023, following an increase of 0.2% in November (revised down from 0.3% growth) and a fall of 0.5% in October (revised down from a 0.3% fall). To read the ONS news release, go to

Licensed under the terms of Open Government. Licence v3.0.

UK business growth expectations rebound despite confirmed technical recession. New research from Grant Thornton UK has advised that, while it's been confirmed that the UK entered a technical recession at the end of last year, business revenue growth expectations have rebounded this month. The firm's latest Business Outlook Tracker finds that respondents' confidence in their revenue growth expectations has jumped +21 percentage points compared to December, to 79%. This is the highest level seen since August last year and is +8 percentage points higher than the rolling average. Pessimism around revenue growth also dropped significantly to one of the lowest levels recorded. To read Grant Thornton's news release, go to

The UK economy was in a shallow recession in the second half of last year. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) has advised that UK monthly GDP fell by 0.1% in December, following growth of 0.2% in November. This monthly figure was mainly driven by decreasing output in the services sectors, particularly in the wholesale and retail trade category, as well as the construction sector. On a quarterly basis, GDP contracted by 0.3% in Q4 2023 relative to the previous three-month period, with contractions in all main sectors. The Q4 data marks two quarterly consecutive falls in GDP, following a fall in GDP by 0.1% in Q3. According to the standard metric, the UK economy experienced a shallow recession in the second half of last year. In 2024, NIESR forecasts that GDP will grow by 0.2% in the first quarter of 2024. To read NIESR's news release, go to

The UK's recession is expected to end, but growth will be weak. The British Chambers of Commerce's (BCC) latest Quarterly Economic Forecast has predicted that the UK economy will grow until the end of 2026 but will continue to lack momentum. While 2023 ended with a technical recession confirmed for Q3 and Q4, growth for 2024 and 2025 has been revised upwards slightly by 0.1 percentage points to 0.5% and 0.7%, respectively, with 2026 set to see 1.0% growth. However, the overall growth profile remains low, with a weak rebound in consumer spending as the primary driver of any increase in GDP and interest rates reducing only slowly. The BCC expects the UK's inflation rate to remain slightly above the 2% target overall, hitting 2.3% in 2024 and 2.1% in 2025 before ticking up to 2.2% in Q4 2026. To read the BCC's news release, go to

The UK economy is forecast to grow by 0.8% in 2024. The Office for Budgetary Responsibility (OBR) has forecast that, although UK output will be slightly weaker in the near term, it will become stronger in the latter part of the decade. GDP grew by only 0.1% in 2023, undershooting the OBR's November forecast by 0.4 percentage points. However, the OBR now expects output growth to pick up to 0.8% in 2024,1.9% in 2025 and increase to around 2% in the middle of the decade. These forecasts are slightly stronger than the OBR's previous expectations for growth of 0.7% in 2024, 1.4% in 2025 and 2.0% in 2026. The OBR also expects inflation to fall further to an average of 2.2% this year and 1.5% in 2025 before gradually returning to target at the end of the forecast period. To read the OBR's forecast, go to

Licensed under the terms of Open Government. Licence v3.0.

The UK is expected to see low growth of 0.5% in 2024, but we may see the beginnings of a recovery in the second half of the year. Coface's UK economist, Jonathan Steenberg, has published an article that warns that Coface's Q4 Barometer has found that trading risks for UK and Irish businesses have intensified due to weak economic growth, rising insolvencies and political uncertainties and examines if there will be any improvement this year. Although he expects the UK will see low growth of 0.5% in 2024, he hopes to see the beginnings of a recovery in the second half of the year, with UK insolvencies continuing to rise but at a lower rate. In Ireland, the domestic economy is also expected to grow, although insolvencies – which rose by almost 30% in 2023 – may see "the same story" in 2024. Coface's country risk rating for the UK is unchanged at A4 (reasonable), while Ireland remains at A3 (satisfactory). To read Coface's article, go to

New research by the BCC's Insights Unit has uncovered the scale of the impact on UK businesses caused by the disruption to shipping in the Red Sea. 37% of more than 1,000 UK firms surveyed for the research said they had been impacted – with exporters, manufacturers and B2C businesses (including retailers and wholesalers) far more likely to be affected. The issues cited included increased costs, with some reporting rises of 300% for container hire, and logistical delays, adding up to three to four weeks to delivery times. Firms also said this created knock-on effects such as cashflow difficulties and component shortages on production lines. William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the BCC, commented that recent ONS data indicates the impact has yet to filter through to the UK economy, "but our research suggests that the longer the current situation persists, the more likely it is that the cost pressures will start to build." To read the BCC's news release, go to

Strong trade in Services boosts UK exports. The latest data from the UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicates that the UK had another good year for services exports in 2023. Removing the effects of inflation, total annual UK exports in combined goods and services rose by 0.6% to £690.8 billion in 2023. This was down to the UK's robust trade in services, which grew by 5.3%, with strong performances in financial, business, professional, cultural and travel services exports across the world. However, the flipside was a disappointing performance in goods exports, which fell by 4.6%. Responding to the drop in exports, William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, noted that "more must be done to connect exporters and would-be exporters with customers in markets across Europe and the rest of the world." To read the BCC's news release, go to

UK retail sales slump eases in February. The CBI's latest quarterly Distributive Trends Survey has found that UK retail sales in the year to February fell at a modest pace (weighted balance of -7%), following a sharp drop last month (-50% in the year to January). Although this marked the slowest decline in year-on-year sales over the ten-month run of falls so far, sales are set to contract at a somewhat faster pace next month. Martin Sartorius, CBI Principal Economist, said: "The slump in retail activity eased in February following an exceedingly dreary start to the year. Nevertheless, with sales expected to continue falling next month, retailers are still planning to reduce headcount and investment going forward." To read the CBI's news release, go to

The UK retail sector records its fifth consecutive month of negative sales in February. Total in-store and online sales fell 1.3% in February, marking the fifth consecutive month of negative sales results, according to new data from BDO's High Street Sales Tracker. BDO's data, which looks at sales across discretionary spend categories, showed that despite online sales growing by +2.9% compared to last year, in-store sales fell 2.0%, bringing the overall performance of the retail sector down into negative territory. The fashion and homewares sectors performed "very poorly", with like-for-like sales declining by 4.8% and 4.1%, respectively. In-store sales were particularly poor for the fashion sector, down 8.2% compared to the same month last year. The lifestyle sector performed slightly better, with sales up 3.9% compared to February 2023. To read BDO's news release, go to

Global: Late Payment, Insolvencies & Economy

Euromonitor International predicts global growth of 2.7% in 2024, with minimal recovery in the Eurozone. Euromonitor International has warned that, although global growth in 2023 outperformed expectations, the global economy is expected to see slowing growth in 2024. This is primarily due to the dampening effect of high interest rates in most major economies globally and weakening growth in China – the world's second-largest economy. In Euromonitor International's Q1 2024 baseline forecast, the global GDP growth forecast for 2024 is 2.7%, unchanged from the Q4 2023 forecast, with advanced economies facing a slowdown of GDP growth from 1.5% in 2023 to an expected 1.3% in 2024 and the eurozone economy seeing only a minimal recovery in 2024. To read Euromonitor International's news release, go to

The average payment period in EU B2B transactions increased from forty-nine to fifty-five days in 2022. The latest 2023 report by the EU Payment Observatory has found that the share of enterprises facing issues due to late payments slightly increased in 2022, and the average payment period in B2B transactions increased from forty-nine to fifty-five days. Nonetheless, the effects of late payments for companies in 2022 were less severe than in 2019 (influenced by COVID-19 support measures), and delayed payments caused fewer bankruptcies in 2022 than in the four preceding years. The report also notes that there is no single way of tackling the issue of late payments, and Member States have adopted different approaches. Overall, one hundred and thirty-nine measures were identified in the EEA and the UK to combat late payments. To read the EU Payment Observatory's report, go to

AU Group warns that business failures are making a "serious comeback". AU Group's latest G-Grade for Q1 2024 warns that, after two years of strong post-COVID growth (2021 and 2022) and a global economy boosted by various governments' support, 2023 was the year of a return to reality. "The debts incurred during the crisis have to be repaid, and there has been a catchup of insolvencies." In 2024, business failures worldwide are expected to rise by 10% worldwide (compared with 7% in 2023), and global GDP growth will remain low at around 2.3% (compared with 2.7% in 2023). This "soft" growth" will be accompanied by margins that will remain under pressure (with inflation still high) and financing conditions that will not ease until the 2nd half of 2024. To download AU Group's report, go to

A third rise in business insolvencies will drive two out of three countries above their pre-pandemic levels. Allianz Trade's latest Global Insolvency Report notes that in 2023, three out of four countries recorded a rebound in business insolvencies, resulting in a +7% rise globally. Most countries saw a double-digit increase, with rises in the US (+40% in 2023), the Eurozone (+14%), the Netherlands (+52%), France (+35%) and Germany (+23%). In 2024, although Allianz Trade does not expect a tsunami of business insolvencies as recorded in the aftermath of the great financial crisis, it expects the catch-up to be noticeable in several countries – notably, the advanced economies of Europe. The largest increases are expected in the US (+28%), Spain (+28%) and the Netherlands (+31%), with two out of three countries recording insolvencies above their pre-pandemic number in 2024, up from half in 2023. To read Allianz Trade's news release, go to

OECD GDP grew by 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2023. Gross domestic product (GDP) in the OECD rose by 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2023 according to provisional estimates. Quarterly OECD GDP growth rates have remained weak over the past two years. In the G7, quarter-on-quarter GDP growth slowed slightly to 0.4% in Q4 2023 compared with 0.5% in Q3. This reflects a mixed picture among G7 countries. On the one hand, GDP contracted in the United Kingdom (-0.3%) and Japan (-0.1%) for the second quarter in a row. GDP also contracted in Germany (-0.3%) following two quarters of zero growth. Growth slowed in the United States (to 0.8% in Q4, compared with 1.2% in Q3), and France recorded zero growth for the second quarter in a row. On the other hand, the Canadian economy saw a recovery, with growth of 0.3% in Q4 following a contraction in Q3. Growth in Italy picked up slightly to 0.2%.

OECD, 2024, OECD GDP grows by 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2023, 21 February 2024. OECD,

Credit Management: Resources

A suite of products enabling businesses "to see the whole picture". Infolink Solutions (part of Tech City Labs) offers a number of services that readers could find useful:

  • Identify: Crown Dependence and Business reference files provide a complete picture of any company.

  • Filings: Infolink Solutions extracts filings submitted to Companies House in real-time using the latest in AI and data extraction.

  • Insolvencies & Bankruptcies: Infolink Daily, Infolink Gazette and Infolink Notices, among other products, provide a complete universe of insolvency events, from early warning to risk management.

  • Legal: A single point of reference for legal events affecting businesses, from litigation in the High courts and winding up petitions to health and safety executive judgements.  

  • Markets: A single view of updates issued by Listed companies about their future prospects or announcements on mergers and acquisitions. 

  • Intelligence: Solutions uncovering patterns of fraudulent or unusual behaviour. Storm Warning detects risk signals and locates suspicious behaviour in the supply chain. Director Link allows a complete picture of all the entities a director may be involved with.

For more information, go to

Mastering the legal landscape: insolvency framework whitepaper. Atradius has published a whitepaper that examines the intricacies of legal insolvency frameworks and describes the individual frameworks across Europe. According to the paper, the duration of insolvency proceedings mainly depends on the complexity of the case and the specific kind of proceedings. However, on average across Europe, regular insolvency proceedings may last five to ten years, with most administrations in the UK lasting between one and five years. Europe-wide, recovery prospects depend on the individual case and are very sector-specific. However, on average, the normal insolvency quota is in the one-digit range, while secured creditors, in particular suppliers having upfront agreed on comprehensive retention of title rights, often end up with recoveries of more than 40% of the original claim. To read Atradius' whitepaper, go to  

Company Watch launches Payment Practices Data. Company Watch has announced a new addition to its platform with the introduction of Payment Practices Data, designed to empower businesses with insights (based on information gathered daily) into the payment behaviours of the companies they engage with. This includes the average time from the date of invoice receipt to the date cash is received by the supplier and the percentage of overdue payments, with graphs reflecting average days to pay and payment percentages for all published years. Unique derived data, including Days Taken to file, is also available, allowing users to see how companies perform against the mandatory 30-day requirement to file Payment Data and identify any breaches. In the UK alone, the Federation of Small Businesses reports at least 50,000 business closures annually are due to a systemic poor payment culture.  To read Company Watch's news release, go to

Events & Professional Development

The RFIx24 Awards 2024, 22 May. London, Hilton London Canary Wharf.

The BCR RFIx Awards are back for the sixth year of celebrating professional excellence in receivables
and payables finance. The RFIx Awards 2024 looks to acknowledge the players and individuals whose
notable accomplishments are leading the industry towards agile, sustainable growth, innovation and
customer satisfaction.

These prestigious awards are international in scale, and entries are open to all
companies involved in the receivables and payables finance ecosystem, including banks,
non-banks, fintechs, trade credit insurance providers, consultancies, and legal advisors.
Apply for one or more Receivables Finance Industry Awards today, and let us salute your

TXF Global 2024: Export, Agency & Project Finance,11-12 June. Athens, Divani Caravel

The most distinguished export finance event around returns and this year to Athens! With over 1000 in-person attendees, a stellar speaker list and a networking opportunity that is crucial if you work in this industry. 

Special offers available – email to enquire,

For more information go to

Professional Development

STECIS, the Trade Credit Insurance & Surety Academy endorsed by ICISA, offers a range of
webinars and classroom training courses.

Classroom training courses are organised once or twice per year or on demand, while webinars
are organised multiple times per year or on demand for groups of participants.

The following courses have been planned in Q2 2024*:

  • 23 & 24 April: The Surety Bonds Foundation Course

  • 23 & 24 April: The Surety Bonds Advanced Course

  • 18 & 19 June: The Trade Credit Insurance Foundation Course

  • 20 & 21 June: The Trade Credit Insurance Advanced Course.

In planning: 4 & 5 June: Two-day seminar, Introduction to Trade Credit Insurance. Dubai – United Arab Emirates

* Note: Stecis’ courses will only be executed when enough participants have enlisted.

Except for the seminar in Dubai, all classroom courses will take place at a location in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The courses include lunches and a dinner at the end of the first training day. The courses are hosted by very experienced experts from the industry and there is plenty of opportunity for asking questions, discussion and networking. There is also the possibility of arranging in-house training (at your own offices or at a venue of choice) with a tailor-made program based on the training needs of your company.

Detailed information about the webinar and classroom training courses is available on Stecis’ website: Also, further information can be obtained by sending an e-mail to

About this month's sponsor: Tech City Labs

Tech City Labs is a full-service data agency.

We provide everything you need to manage risk: from our Infolink range of data products to our bespoke data engineering and analysis services.

Our "Infolink Solutions" suite of data products covers everything from early warnings of insolvency events to real-time monitoring of performance and fraud risk, alongside comprehensive analytics.

Credit risk professionals can get all the information they need for risk management, early warning, and prospecting with our products.

Our products are backed by our in-house team of data scientists, data engineers, and domain experts who are able to provide custom analysis and produce bespoke datasets according to customer needs. We specialise in the extraction of structured data from unstructured sources, particularly from Companies House filings and other public data sources.

If you're looking to acquire new data for better decisions or aiming to get the most out of the data you already have, contact us: we have everything you need to know.

Stay in the know!
Keep up-to-date and hear the latest Infolink Insights with us on LinkedIn       

UK Economy
Late Payment & Business Distress
Global Economy
About the sponsor
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