Carillion crisis

Carillion’s bankers have launched a £225m fund to help subcontractors and suppliers hit by the construction and outsourcing giant’s collapse.

HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group and RBS have all set up funds of £100m, £50m and £75m, respectively, after coming under pressure from business secretary Greg Clark.

Under the funding schemes the three banks are offering a range of help including interest rate reductions, temporary emergency loans with no fees, overdraft facilities, working capital support and advice on financing strategies.

Business secretary Greg Clark said: “I welcome this quick and positive move by banks including Lloyds, HSBC and RBS.

"This follows my meeting with the banks yesterday where I challenged them to see what further support they could provide for SMEs affected by Carillion’s insolvency."

Clark called on other banks to offer similar measures. “It is essential that small businesses exposed are given the support they need by their lenders, and I look forward to other banks following suit,” he said.

HSBC UK commercial banking head Amanda Murphy said: “We have set up an emergency fund to help any Carillion supplier facing financial difficulty and will make decisions taking recent events into full consideration.

“Any sudden change can impact a small business. The recent news about Carillion will have left many companies in their supply chain worried about their short-term cash flow and longer term plans.”

She added that that the bank is also trying to contact any business customers that may be affected.

Les Matheson, CEO of RBS personal and business banking, said RBS was committed to providing support for small businesses in Carillion’s supply chain. The fund covers RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank Northern Ireland customers.

He added: “The steps we’ve taken to help ease cashflow concerns will be of immediate practical benefit and I would encourage any customers affected to get in touch to understand the unique support we can offer them.”

Gareth Oakley, Lloyds commercial banking SME managing director said the measures Lloyds had launched “will ensure these small businesses have the financial support they need to get themselves back on track”.

HMRC is also offering advice to those suppliers affected by Carillion’s liquidation through its Business Payment Support Service (BPSS).

The service can agree instalment arrangements to firm’s unable to pay tax on time; suspend any debt collection proceedings; review penalties for missing statutory deadlines; reduce any payments on account; and agree to defer payments due to short-term cash flow difficulties.

Helpline numbers:

  • Royal Bank of Scotland customers: 0345 600 2230
  • NatWest customers: 03457 11 4477
  • Ulster Bank Northern Ireland customers: 0345 366 5592 if calling from within Ireland and 0044 2890 538 459 if calling from outside Ireland
  • HSBC dedicated Carillion helpline: 0800 0121 614
  • Lloyds Banking Group (including Halifax and Bank of Scotland): SME customers must apply through their usual contacts at their bank
  • HMRC Business Payment Support Service: 0300 200 3835

Image: PA Images