BT among 18 businesses penalised for late payment

BT, British American Tobacco and Centrica are among the 18 companies that have been suspended from the Prompt Payment Code for failing to pay suppliers on time, the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM) announced today.

The suspension comes following a regular review by the Prompt Payment Code’s Compliance Board on the status of organisations to ensure they are upholding their commitments.


The Prompt Payment Code asks businesses, as a minimum, to pay their suppliers within 60 days, 95 per cent of the time. Signatories have pledged to uphold this payment standard in a bid to clamp down on late payment. 

The 18 companies suspended from the Prompt Payment Code:

  • Severfield (Design & Build) Ltd
  • Stantec UK Limited
  • Screwfix
  • Prudential
  • British American Tobacco (Holdings) Limited
  • Galliford Try PLC
  • Alun Griffiths
  • Ferrovial Agroman (UK) Limited
  • BAE Systems Global Combat Systems Limited
  • BAE Systems Applied Intelligence Limited
  • BAE Systems (Oman) Limited
  • Centrica
  • Maintenance Management Limited
  • Fujitsu Services Limited
  • De La Rue Holdings plc
  • Domino UK Ltd
  • BT plc
  • AB World Foods

All suspended businesses have been invited to produce an action plan for the Code’s compliance board on improving payment practices substantially.

The government must keep its promises and quickly push ahead with it’s proposed action to
end late payment

17 out of the 18 companies have submitted an action plan and will be reinstated as soon as they demonstrate compliance. AB World Foods are yet to submit an action plan.

Andrew Chamberlain, deputy director of policy and public affairs at The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) said: “The names on this list, added to the ones released earlier this year, show how endemic late payment is across British industry.

“On average, freelancers spend 20 days a year chasing late invoices. It simply isn’t good enough. The self-employed are uniquely vulnerable to late payment, if they aren’t paid on time, they have no income.

“Freelancers regularly tell me about the real damage this causes to their businesses and lives. Many find themselves missing rent and bill payments and for some, it has even mean filing for bankruptcy.

“The government must keep its promises and push ahead with its proposed action to stamp out late payment.”

BT Stats

Paul Uppal, small business commissioner, said: “Large companies who are not currently meeting the Code standards need to note their unethical payment practices will not be tolerated. The suspension of those who are failing to meet their obligations demonstrates government is committed to ensure small businesses are treated fairly.”