Euro Disney, Suez and HSBC fined for late payments

Euro Disney, Suez and HSBC fined for late payments
Euro Disney, Suez and HSBC fined for late payments

Fraud Prevention has imposed fines on three companies for late payment of invoices from their suppliers.

Three companies singled out by the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF). Friday May 17, the administration under the Ministry of the Economy imposed heavy fines against Euro Disney (1.3 million euros), HSBC Continental Europe (1.27 million euros) and Suez RV Nord Est (440,000 euros) for “delays in paying invoices” from their suppliers.

For Euro Disney, the delays observed date back to 2020. The DGCCRF, however, does not provide details on this point concerning the delays for Suez RV Nord Est and HSBC Continental Europe.

In all cases, “the observation of these delays was carried out by the services of the DREETS (Regional Directorate of the Economy, Employment, Labor and Solidarity) as part of an investigation launched by the DGCCRF on compliance with the rules of the commercial code regarding payment deadlines”, indicates the Fraud Repression.

“Seriously damaging” delays

On its site, it recalls that the law has provided since 2009 that payment deadlines “must not exceed 60 days from the date of the invoice”. A maximum period of 45 days at the end of the month from the date of issue of the invoice may also be agreed by contract between the parties.

Despite these rules, “payment delays remain numerous. However, they are seriously detrimental to the profitability of creditor companies because they require them to obtain short-term financing from their bank. These delays have a negative impact on their cash flow, on their competitiveness, or even, for the most fragile among them, on their existence”, underlines the DGCCRF.

Strengthen “name and shame”?

The fine for late payment is capped at 75,000 euros for a natural person and 2 million euros for a legal entity. Its amount can, however, be doubled “in the event of a recurrence of the breach within two years from the date on which the first sanction decision became final”.

At the end of March, the business mediator revealed that payment delays had started to rise again in 2023 with delays of 13 days on average. Faced with this situation, Olivia Grégoire, Minister Delegate for Small and Medium Enterprises and Commerce, threatened in October on BFM Business to go further with “name and shame”. If the names of latecomer companies are already published on the DGCCRF website, the minister said not to exclude “in the months which have just come from citing irresponsible actors more regularly”.

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