It will never cease to amazed me how little attention is paid in the world of business to the ability of a client to pay and how easy it is to convince suppliers to provide goods and services on credit.
I worked for Ballast, and my opinion is that its creditors were foolish to rely on the word of the Dutch that everything was okay. All the evidence on the ground indicated otherwise, with bills not being paid, suppliers withdrawing credit and sensible subcontractors getting their men out.

With support being promised by an overseas parent, there would be no opportunity to act against the parent in the event of collapse of the UK subsidiary.

I had to deal with creditors on a daily basis. I still cannot believe how many never chased us for late payments, nor can I understand why others continued to work for us when we were clearly in very serious trouble.

The only thing creditors can do is learn from the experience, be more serious about assessing clients' creditworthiness and never rely on the support of a parent company other than with a formal guarantee. When there is doubt about a client's ability to pay, more consideration should be given to cash flow and less to winning work.