Plans by the government to encourage larger companies to improve access to finance for their suppliers have been welcomed by industry.

According to EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, the supply chain finance initiative could help to tackle problems associated with working capital and investment throughout logistics operations.

EEF director of policy Steve Radley stated that “a dynamic and healthy UK supply base is critical for manufacturers of all sizes”, adding that a recent review of alternatives to bank finance for small and medium-sized enterprises has resulted in a “useful dialogue” about how big customers can improve supply chain stability.

“Policy makers must also recognise that longer term finance for growth is a separate, but equally pressing issue,” he noted, explaining there is still a need to support longer term investment in supply chains.

A number of leading businesses – including Vodafone, BAE Systems, Marks & Spencer and Tesco – have signed up to the government’s supply chain finance initiative, which will see firms notify suppliers’ banks when they approve invoices for payment.

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