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SMEs could see stronger payment protectionSmaller companies could see better protection from late payments through an overhaul of a Government initiative designed to encourage big businesses to pay suppliers on time. Paul Uppal, the Small Business Commissioner, is expected to take over the prompt payment code, under which large companies promise to pay 95% of their invoices within 60 days. While the Chartered Institute of Credit Management, which currently runs the code, has taken a much tougher approach this year, Mr Uppal is reportedly keen to see a more radical approach, with it suggested that he could remove the code’s 2,305 signatories, starting from scratch by making businesses demonstrate stronger evidence of fair treatment of suppliers in order to be included. The Times notes that the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) believes Chancellor Philip Hammond had been a key ally in driving through late payment reform, with the FSB’s director of external affairs Craig Beaumont calling for reassurances that Mr Hammond’s successor “will be just as strong in implementing the late payment plans.”

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