Spain: use of credit insurance protects businesses

Payment Practices Barometer

  • Spain
  • Agriculture,
  • Construction,
  • Food

24th November 2021

Spain expects elevated insolvency levels in 2022. Businesses polled in the country reveal an increased appetite for the use of credit insurance over the coming months.


This year’s Payment Practices Barometer survey of Spain’s agri-food, chemicals and  construction materials industries mainly revealed a picture of businesses maintaining the status quo in terms of managing their accounts receivable. Late payments, for example, remained stable year-on-year with just over half of the total amount of B2B invoices overdue. It will be interesting to see if this will be the case next year. Fiscal support extended to businesses by the Government is due to continue until the end of Q4. Once this is removed and the moratorium on bankruptcy lifted, we are likely to see an increase in insolvencies, with some commentators predicting a 26% increase in elevated insolvency levels. Businesses should ideally take steps to protect themselves from the heightened  risk of insolvency.

Key takeaways from the report

  • Over the past year, businesses polled across Spain told us they transacted a lower proportion of their B2B sales on credit. This amounts to 55% of all B2B sales, down from last year’s 58%. Request for trade credit were turned down most often due to higher risks of customer payment default.
  • Late payments affect an average of 53% of the total value of the B2B invoices issued by businesses polled across Spain. This has remained almost stable compared to last year’s
    survey. The total value of B2B sales that were still outstanding after 90 days stands at 8%, compared to last year’s 7%, although all of these overdue invoices ended up being written off.
  • 52% of businesses insured their accounts receivable with trade credit insurance and a similar percentage opted to retain the risk of trading on credit in-house (58%). Most
    businesses told us that they worked to strengthen their credit control processes this year.
  • Looking into 2022, the vast majority of the businesses we spoke to expressed optimism and predicted growth next year (75%). Many told us they believe that B2B credit trade will increase largely as a way to finance customers in financial distress (34%).
  • However, businesses we spoke to across Spain do not neglect that downside risks remain, the largest being ongoing uncertainty about the pandemic affecting the global economy, with negative repercussions on the Spanish domestic economy as well.
  • When asked which pandemic-induced changes will become a permanent feature of the way they do business, 48% of businesses told us that they have permanently integrated
    some innovations related to the increased use of digital technologies, particularly in the area of home working.

Interested in getting to know more?

The Payment Practices Barometer report for Spain gives insights into B2B payment practices and businesses' approach to the management of customer credit risk in the following local industries:

  • Agri-foood
  • Chemicals
  • Construction materials

For a complete overview, please download the full country report available in the Related documents section below. The Statistical Appendix and regional Payment Practices Barometer survey results are also available free to download.

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