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EOS Survey 'European Payment practices' 2009

In order to conduct the Payment Practices Survey 2009, the EOS Group, in collaboration with the independent market research organization Ipsos, questioned 1200 companies in five European countries. The aim was to gather comprehensive data on payment practices, invoice handling, and risk and receivables management.

Growing scepticism

Despite the heterogeneity of the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary and Bulgaria in terms of economy, culture and history, they all currently have one thing in common: they are all struggling with the consequences of the global financial crisis. Their assessments of the future are correspondingly pessimistic. Most of the nations in the survey are expecting payment behaviour to deteriorate in the next two years. Private and corporate insolvencies will increase, according to most of the managers questioned. By way of comparison, the majority of the 645 companies that took part in the Payment Practices Survey 2007 were more optimistic: in Poland, Romania and Russia, people were expecting payment behaviour to improve in the future. To keep business risks low, it is important that companies operating internationally are aware of country-specific payment habits. For example, the average proportion of punctual payments in the different countries surveyed varies widely: from 21% in Hungary to 77% in Germany. On the other hand, late bills are paid quickly in Hungary after an average of 32 days, which is quicker than in Bulgaria (44 days), Switzerland (40 days), Germany (36 days) and the UK (33 days).

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