– Two thirds (67 percent) of UK businesses are unconcerned or positive about the prospect of a weaker Europe.
– One in four (25 percent) believe a weaker EU would have a positive impact on their business.
– This contrasts sharply with the European average – only 8 percent believe that a weaker EU would have a positive impact on their business.
Most UK companies are not worried about the impact of the UK’s impending departure from the EU, according to the annual European Payment Report by Intrum Justitia.
The global credit management firm surveyed 10,468 companies in 29 European countries on their opinions about what drives business and the impact of late payment. In the UK, 453 companies
When asked ‘How would a weaker European Union affect your business?” 42 percent of UK companies answered ‘not at all’, while 11 percent were positive and 14 per cent somewhat positive. Only 11 percent were ‘negative’, with 14 percent ‘somewhat negative’ and 8 percent answering ‘don’t know’.
This contrasts with Europe as whole, where only 3 percent were positive about a weaker EU, 5 percent ‘somewhat positive’ and 47 percent said they would not be affected. 31 percent were negative or somewhat negative and 14 percent unsure.
Mikael Ericson is CEO & President of Intrum Justitia, which acquired UK business 1st Credit in February this year.
He says: “UK companies stand out compared to other European businesses – a reflection of the referendum. But still, it is surprising that so many firms believe a weaker EU would have a positive impact on their business.
“One explanation could be that UK companies feel they would be more competitive than European businesses as a result, but that is speculative. Perhaps they feel more confident in doing business and opening up their own trade routes outside the EU structure.”
The report also surveyed the payment environment for European companies.
UK companies admit to being more affected by late payment than European companies on average. Close to one in four UK companies (33 percent) say that late payment is a threat to the survival of their business, compared to the European average of 27 percent.
In addition, 40 percent of UK companies say that late payment stops them from hiring staff (European average 25 percent) with 30 percent saying that late payment leads to dismissals, compared to a European average of 19 percent.
“Late payments are like a long lasting virus to businesses. They exist, and sometimes are manageable, but they risk making your performance weaker,” adds Ericsson.