Austrians have high payment morale, KSV says

Private businesses have higher payment morale than public institutions, research has shown.

KSV 1870 (KSV), a federal association for the protection of creditors, said yesterday (Thurs) debtors in Austria paid up after an average 30 days. The organisation – which investigated payment statistics in June – explained it took 38 days until public institutions like the state, provinces and communities transferred the pending sums while private clients paid bills to firms within 18 days.

Austrian institutions, private individuals and companies have the second-best payment morale in Europe, according to KSV. The association said only records taken in Finland showed a shorter average time within which debtors coughed up outstanding amounts (27 days). Greeks were found on bottom of the comparison. The situation was found to be similarly bad in Italy (103 days) and Spain (99 days). KSV claimed the statistic was also reflecting the state the various federal economies were in at the moment.

Credit insurance company Atradius said in may Austrian firms which operate internationally must write off 10 per cent of their demands. Atradius – which spoke with over 3,900 entrepreneurs in 22 countries – added it also found out that around one out of three orders carried out by Austrian companies abroad were paid with delay by their international customers.

Atradius said Danish clients are the fastest payers in the European Union (EU) to firms from abroad with an average 21 days, followed by Austrian customers with 24 days. With 44 to 72 days, clients in Italy and Spain take the longest to pay their bills to foreign firms, the study revealed.

Only a few days ago, KSV said the number of Austrian business and private bankruptcies declined by 10 per cent from 2005 to 2010. Spain recorded the strongest decrease in bankruptcies in Europe at 422 per cent, with Ireland in second place in this regard (plus 361 per cent). The 6,376 business bankruptcies which were recorded in Austria in 2010 affected more than 23,000 employees. Almost eight per cent more firms went broke in the previous year.