Retailers say they fear being left out of pocket after newstrade wholesaler Menzies Distribution collected direct debit payments a day early from 14,000 customers.

Newsagents have told RN they expect to be hit by bank charges after newsbills were automatically settled on Tuesday 13 May, instead of the following day.

Menzies informed customers of the fault on Tuesday morning and blamed it on a “processing error”.

But retailers have asked why they weren’t contacted by text.

NFRN national president Colin Fletcher said: "We are extremely disappointed to see yet another error from news wholesalers which in some instances will have a damaging and distressing impact on independent newsagents.

“We have been assured by Menzies that it will address retailers' concerns on a case-by-case basis, provided proof of any financial penalties incurred by the processing error can be shown."

Menzies head of communications Dave Shedden said: “Unfortunately, an error in processing our direct bebit file resulted in payments being taken a day early across our estate. Approximately 14,000 customer are affected.

“We’ve identified the problem and designed new control measures to ensure that it does not recur.

“I’d like to apologise to our customers on behalf of Menzies Distribution for any inconvenience which has been caused to their businesses. If any of our customers have questions or concerns about what has happened, I encourage them to get in contact with our finance team via credit.control@menziesdistribution.com – we’ll work with them to address any issues.”