Bologna, May 2021

Pandemic: serious delays in business payments increase by 21.9%

According to the CRIBIS Payment Study, at an international level Italy is one of the countries where late payments to suppliers of over 30 days increased in 2020 (+21.9%) although on-time payments improved slightly (from 35 to 35.7%), helping Italy gain some ground. Serious late payments have soared in particular in Mexico, Slovenia, and France.

In 2020 in Italy, companies that paid their suppliers more than 30 days late increased by 21.9% compared to 2019, rising to 12.8% in total. Despite this, at the end of last year, on-time payments by Italian companies improved from 35 to 35.7%, helping Italy gain one position at a European level (from 17th to 16th place) and two at a worldwide level (from 25th to 23rd). These are the findings of the Payment Study, updated as of December 31, 2020, conducted by CRIBIS, a CRIF Group company specializing in business information, which analyzed the payment habits of companies in 35 countries around the world (23 of them in Europe), representing about 90% of global GDP.

Singapore and Egypt are the countries with the most serious late payments, with 43.2% and 42.8% respectively, while in Europe, Greece (38%), Romania (24.8%), Portugal (20.3%), Croatia (19.1%), and Turkey (15.7%) were ranked below Italy. Compared to 2019, 30-day late payments rose in percentage terms mainly in Mexico (+59.1%), Slovenia (+43.3%), France (+37.5%), Luxembourg and Denmark (+33.3% for both), and Taiwan (+31.6%). Despite the considerable increase, however, Denmark also remained among the countries with the fewest serious late payments in absolute terms (0.8%) in 2020, together with Sweden (0.7%) and Finland (0.9%). Serious delays also increased by 20% in Serbia, Belgium, Ireland, and Spain. And in China, the percentage of companies with late payments also rose from 26.3% in 2019 to 30.1% in 2020.

Among the 35 countries of the world monitored by the CRIBIS analysis, Denmark is also the country with the largest number of punctual companies (88.6%), followed by Poland (76%), the Netherlands (75%), Russia (73.7%), and Taiwan (72.5%). Trailing in the ranking is Romania (13.1%), followed by Israel (16.2%), Portugal (16.4%), Bulgaria (18.9%), and Greece (23.3%).

Compared to 2019, the Philippines (+29.3%), India (+28.5%), Croatia (+22.6%), and Finland (10.2%) recorded the highest increase in punctual payments, which stood at 56%, 53.7%, 33.6%, and 53%, respectively. The most significant setbacks, on the other hand, concern Ireland (-38.5%), Romania (-35.5%), Hong Kong (-17.2%), and Israel (-12.4%), where the companies that pay on time account for 28.9%, 13.1%, 28%, and 16.2%, respectively.

Compared to 2019, Ireland (28th) fell 11 places in the standings, Luxembourg (12th), Mexico (17th) and France (22nd) went down 3 places, Taiwan (5th) and Spain (18th) 2 places, while India (14th) rose 8 places, and Turkey (8th) and Portugal (33rd) gained 2. The United States and China remained stable, at 11th and 30th place, respectively.