Liquidity squeeze as business debt write-offs escalate

Key European Statistics The following statistics are taken from Intrum Justitia's 2012 European Payment Index (EPI 2012), an annual survey of over 7,800 businesses across Europe.

  • 57% of businesses in Europe claim to have problems with liquidity due to late payments, an increase of 10% from last year. There is also a great divide between countries. 96% of the businesses surveyed in Greece claim to have liquidity problems due to late payment compared to only 37% of businesses in Finland.
  • Written-off debt across Europe has risen by €28 billion over the past 12 months, reaching €340 billion. 
  • Europe’s economies show a mixed picture. Germany, Europe’s largest economy, shows considerable strength and sees written-off debt declining to its lowest level since 2008, 2.0%.This represents a decline by 17% from last year.
  • The Nordic countries also show positive trends. Finland sees its written-off debt decline by 16% from last year to 1.6% - the lowest share in Europe. Denmark, Norway and Sweden see their written-off debt declining by more than, or just under, 10%.
  • Countries struck hard by financial turmoil are found on the other end of the spectrum. Greece, sees its written-off debt surging to 5.9%, an increase of 20% from last year. The situation is just as bad in Bulgaria and Romania. Portugal, Poland and Hungary are showing worrying signs – their written-off debt has increased by 13%, 14% and 17% respectively from last year.
  • The UK, Europe’s third largest economy, is also showing a negative trend. Its written-off debt has increased from 3.2% to 3.5%, an increase of more than 9% from last year.
  • Contracted days to payment have decreased from 36 to 32 days in business-to-business payments. On the other hand, the average number of days in payment delay is still 20 days, with the consequence that businesses are squeezed for liquidity.

Click here to get the report in full, with detailed statistics and a video with the CEO’s comments >>

To request the report in full, please visit our webpage

For further information, please contact: 

Madeleine Bosch, Head of EPI Research, Intrum Justitia
Tel: 31 70 452 7323
Mobil: 31 64 6212 579

Annika Billberg, IR & Communications Director
Direkt: 46 8 546 102 03
Mobil: 46 702 67 97 91

Intrum Justitia is Europe’s leading Credit Management Services (CMS) group and offers services designed to measurably improve clients’ cash flows and long-term profitability. Intrum Justitia was founded in 1923, has around 3,100 employees in 22 countries and revenues of approximately SEK 3.8 billion in 2010. Intrum Justitia AB is listed on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm since 2002. For further information, please visit

About the European Payment Index

The survey was conducted simultaneously in 28 countries between January and March 2012. The survey was conducted in written form and more than 7,800 companies responded. This is the eighth year that Intrum Justitia has run the survey.

The questionnaire was translated into the respective national languages. Dispatch and return of the questionnaires were carried out on a decentralized basis by the countries concerned, whereas the analysis was carried out centrally in accordance with predetermined guidelines. All information has been verified and uncertainties were not included in the evaluation. Furthermore, not all anonymously sent questionnaires were taken into account for the evaluation. Companies in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland were questioned online by a specialized company (BING Research). Bulgaria, Slovenia and Romania were researched by the countries and double checked against a separate on-line survey by a specialized company (BING Research).

About Us

Intrum is the industry-leading provider of Credit Management Services with a presence in 24 markets in Europe. Intrum helps companies prosper by offering solutions designed to improve cash flows and long-term profitability and by caring for their customers. To ensure that individuals and companies get the support they need to become free from debt is one important part of the company’s mission. Intrum has more than 8,000 dedicated and empathetic professionals who serve about 80,000 companies across Europe. In 2017, pro-forma revenues amounted to SEK 12.2 billion. Intrum is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden and the Intrum share is listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange. For further information, please visit


Documents & Links