Calls for big firms to pay bills faster

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LARGE Scottish contractors paid their suppliers two days earlier on average in 2012 than they did in 2011, new figures published yesterday showed, but campaigners warned bills are still not being settled quickly enough.

Businesses in Scotland were 25 days late in paying their bills on average last year, down from 27 days in the previous 12 months, according to data from credit reference agency Experian.

But the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Scotland is campaigning for large companies to pay their bills more quickly.

“We still need big companies to play fair and pay fair,” said FSB spokesman Stuart Mackinnon. “It’s pleasing that the numbers are heading in the right direction because faster payments can make all the difference to companies that are strained for cash because of a downturn in their markets or a lack of affordable bank lending.”