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Credit Where Credit’s Due: Barclays Helps SMEs in Tight Market


Barclays local business customers can now check the credit ratings of up to five of their most important customers or suppliers, helping them to deal more effectively with the risk of late payments and bad debt.

The online CreditFocus Classic service provides SMEs with guidance on how safe it is to issue credit to new and existing customers, gives ongoing automatic credit monitoring of these customers, and allows users to chase late payments by issuing a solicitor’s letter.

For customers wishing to check the credit worthiness of all their customers, for a fixed fee Barclays has the CreditFocus Pro service. This provides automatic, ongoing monitoring of customer credit, and alerts the user to significant changes via email. As part of the service Barclays customers will also be able to chase bad debts an unlimited number of times by issuing debt recovery letters from a solicitor.

"Each time a business extends credit to old or new customers, it’s a risk,” said John Davis, managing director of Clearlybusiness of Barclays. “We are combining a way of checking the credit of existing and new customers with an effective method for chasing bad debts. This should go a long way towards minimising some of the most important risks facing small business.

“We expect that credit conditions are going to make it harder for small businesses to get paid on time, and there’s an increasing risk of not being paid at all.”

More than 40% of small business owners have suffered from customers paying late or not at all, and as a result have to spend too much of their limited time trying to get paid.

Businesses wishing to find out more should visit Potential business customers cancall 0845 601 0106 to make an appointment to see a local business manager.

*Source: DTI (now BERRR) 2006/2007 survey of small business


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