Lucy Neave

The boss of a Hertfordshire Challenger Bank is urging business owners to “recoup what they are owed” with the help of a free Government-appointed support service.

Gary Wilkinson, CEO and Co-Founder of Redwood Bank, is recommending small business owners tackle late payment issues with help from the Small Business Commissioner (SBC).

The SBC is an independent public body which was launched by the Government in December 2017 to tackle late payment and unfavourable payment practices in the UK.

As a result of the late payment culture that exists between businesses, a third of payments to small businesses are late, with the average value of each payment amounting to £6,142.

Gary Wilkinson said: “Government statistics show that 20 per cent of small businesses have run into cash flow problems due to late payments. If they were paid on time, this could boost the economy by an estimated £2.5 billion annually.

“Many businesses owners have been forced to close their doors and adhere to the Government guidelines in place to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. As a result, revenue has been cut dramatically, but the need to pay bills still remains. There has never been a more pertinent time for small and medium sized businesses to recoup what they are owed.”


The Commissioner urges small businesses affected by late or unfair payment practices to use the SBC’s complaint investigation service and promises to take action to tackle the worst examples of supply chain bullying.

Gary added: “It is vital that small and medium business owners access the free help available to them.”

Complaints are considered from small businesses with fewer than 50 staff who are having payment issues with larger businesses that have more than 50 employees.

The independent Government appointed service is impartial and free to use on a non-risk basis. It provides general advice and information about resolving disputes and dealing with unpaid invoices as well as signposting businesses to dispute resolution services. It is also able to check contracts and ensure invoices are correct.

Those seeking help can visit www.smallbusinesscommissioner.gov.uk, email: enquiries@smallbusinesscommissioner.gov.uk or call 0121 695 7770 (phone lines are open Monday to Thursday between 9am – 5pm and Fridays 9am – 4:30pm).

For further information about Redwood Bank, the UK’s first business challenger bank to be completely ‘born in the cloud’, visit: www.redwoodbank.co.uk.