Banks offer extra support as work stops on Carillion sites

Work has been ‘paused’ on construction sites across the country in the wake of Carillion’s collapse, pending decisions as to how and if the contracts will be restarted.

The news comes as banks have pledged extra support for businesses affected by the liquidation.

Lenders are in the process of contacting customers and putting in place ’emergency measures’ where appropriate.

Stephen Pegge, UK Finance managing director, commercial finance, said: ‘UK banks and the government are working closely to make sure the impact of the Carillion liquidation on SMEs in the supply chain is understood and managed in a way that best supports those in need of assistance.

‘Lenders are contacting customers and, where appropriate, are putting in place emergency measures, including overdraft extensions, payment holidays and fee waivers to ensure those facing short term issues can be helped to stay on track.’

The Insolvency Service also confirmed that over the last two days it had contacted all of Carillion’s private sector service customers. According to government over 90% said they wished to continue with current arrangements.

‘This will provide funding which enables the Official Receiver to retain the employees working on those contacts,’ the Business Department said.

To help ensure SMEs get much-needed support, business secretary Greg Clark has held a meeting with banks, including Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS, Santander, Shawbrook and Aldermore together with the British Business Bank.

Greg Clark said: ‘I chaired a meeting of high street banks to ensure that they are in contact with customers impacted, that they have in place the advice and support needed and that any individual cases are escalated and dealt with sympathetically, swiftly and appropriately.

‘I will continue to meet with them in the days and weeks ahead to ensure these commitments are being acted on.’

HMRC has also outlined the support it can provide businesses worried about tax payments.

HMRC will provide practical advice and guidance to those affected through its Business Payment Support Service (BPSS). The BPSS can:

  • agree instalment arrangements if you’re unable to pay your tax on time following the Carillion collapse
  • suspend any debt collection proceedings
  • review penalties for missing statutory deadlines
  • reduce any payments on account
  • agree to defer payments due to short-term cash flow difficulties
  • HMRC can also provide workers and their families cash support through the tax credits system.

The dedicated BPSS service is open seven days a week between 8am and 8pm on weekdays, closing at 4pm on Saturday and Sunday: 0300 200 3835.

The business department has also outlined the resources open to those workers and businesses affected by Carillion’s liquidation who are seeking further information, including:

  • web page set up by the Insolvency Service for those affected and seeking advice
  • dedicated website set up by the Special Managers, PWC, as well as a dedicated helpline – 0800 063 9282
  • a hotline set up for any employee worried about their pension situation on these specific pension schemes – 020 7630 2715
  • for more general advice on business support, the BEIS Business Support Hotline can also provide information – 0300 456 3565
  • Jobcentre Plus, through its Rapid Response Service, also stands ready to support any employee affected by this announcement

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