European Payment Report 2017

The European Payment Report describes the impact late payment has on the development and growth among European enterprises. Based on the results from the report we gain a better understanding of how European enterprises view payment behavior in their country.

About the Report

The European Payment Report is based on a annual survey conducted simultaneously in 29 European countries between February and March. In this report we have gathered data from thousands of companies across Europe to gain insight into the payment behavior and financial health of European businesses.


Report generates debates

Through this comprehensive survey among European companies, we generate awareness and debate among politicians and the media, for example, how late or non-payments impact the economies of the EU. We participate in seminars and meetings in Brussels to inform EU delegates of the situation and the best approaches in working for a sound economy and secure payments in Europe.


Press release 28th of May 2017

Contrary to political ambitions, a new European Payment Report shows that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Europe need to accept longer payment times from other, often larger, businesses.

The report reveals a staggering increase in 2017. Now more than six out of ten (61 per cent) businesses complain about being asked to accept longer payment terms than they feel comfortable with, up from just over four out of ten last year.


Late payments

The problem seems to lead to a vicious circle, where businesses that receive late payments are in turn forced themselves to pay their sub-contractors late. Four out of ten (40 %) businesses admit they regularly pay late. This worrying development is causing businesses to demand tougher payment regulations.


While I am pleased to note the businesses of Europe have a somewhat brighter outlook for the future in general, it is alarming that the payment culture is going in the wrong direction. The economic environment is being severely affected by some businesses pushing contractual terms for sub-suppliers towards 90 days or longer and deliberately paying later than agreed. We need new initiatives to establish a radically new culture of prompt payments.
Mikael Ericson, CEO & President Intrum Justitia AB (publ)

Long payment terms

Our annual European Payment Report shows that there is indeed more work to be done. For 2015 and 2016, close to a half of all businesses reported that they have been asked to accept longer payment terms than they feel comfortable with. If close to half wasn’t already a high number, the new report shows that it has jumped to 61 percent of the businesses in 2017.


Late Payment Directive

Many payments in commercial transactions between businesses or between businesses and public authorities are made much later than agreed. This is very costly for businesses. To protect European businesses, particularly SMEs, against late payment, the EU adopted Directive 2011/7/EU on combating late payment in commercial transactions in February 2011. The directive recommends that payment periods for companies be at most 60 days and for public authorities 30 days.


Learn more about the EU Directive

To protect European businesses, particularly SME's, against late payment, the EU adopted Directive 2011/7/EU.