Government creates Carillion task force

Reuters

Reuters

Lloyds Bank has created a £50m fund to support its small business customers who are affected by the high-profile collapse of construction company Carillion.

"The task force will meet today and will comprise representatives from business, construction trade associations, the trade unions, lenders and Government".

Rehana Azam, national officer of the GMB union, said: "The fact such a massive government contractor like Carillion has been allowed to go into administration shows the complete failure of a system that has put our public services in the grip of shady profit-making contractors".

The TUC said it would press for the transfer of private sector contracts to alternative providers with jobs, pay and pensions protected, as well as comprehensive support packages for workers, apprentices and small firms at risk.

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Nationwide said in its statement there were another 1,500 staff engaged by separate, third-party suppliers who work on Nationwide contracts with Carillion.

Gareth Oakley, managing director of SME banking at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, added: "We know how critical it will be for businesses within Carillion's supply chain to receive support with their cashflow, to help them through the temporary challenge to their business".

For those most severely impacted by Carillion's collapse, the bank will also offer capital repayment holidays on loans for an initial six-month period.

A Business Department spokesman said the move was aimed at supporting and monitoring the impact on small businesses and workers.

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The Royal Bank of Scotland PLC is putting up £75 million as the three firms.

"Any money owed from Carillion for work prior to this is subject to insolvency proceedings and discussions are underway between subcontractors and PwC".

UK Finance, the industry body, has said lenders are now taking steps to ease the impact on small companies hit by the liquidation.

"The construction industry is the cornerstone of the United Kingdom economy so it's in all of our interests to do what we can to support these small companies and limit the domino effect that Carillion's demise could have".

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