Letter: Credit where it's due

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The Independent Online
Sir: As finance director of a company which enjoys the custom of many large blue-chip clients both in the UK and around the world, I find that the best way to ensure prompt payment is to agree payment terms from the very outset, deliver an excellent and value-for-money product or service and maintain a good relationship throughout.

Should this approach fail, I question whether John Browne's suggestion (Letters, 24 May) that the Department of Trade and Industry publish the identities of defaulting companies, thus shaming them into payment, would succeed. This approach would involve the DTI in an element of detective work to ascertain the validity of any claim and thereby inadvertently place it in the role of judge and jury.

There is also the question of where the resources to carry out this task would come from. Additionally I fear that in retaliation, many large companies might be tempted to agree among themselves to operate an unofficial policy of delayed payment, thus blunting the instrument of public humiliation that Mr Browne seeks to impose.

Yours sincerely,

MARK BRESLAUER

London, EC1

24 May

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