Lloyds Bank launches £50m fund for firms hit by Carillion collapse

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Banking giant Lloyds has announced a £50 million package of support to its small business customers to help them cope with the Carillion crisis.

A fund has been opened offering fee-free overdrafts, and capital repayment holidays on loans for an initial six-month period.

Lloyds said the aim was to help smaller companies suffering cash flow shortages after the construction giant went into liquidation on Monday.

Gareth Oakley of Lloyds Commercial Banking said: "We know how critical it will be for businesses within Carillion's supply chain to receive support with their cash flow, to help them through the temporary challenge to their business.

"The measures launched today will ensure these small businesses have the financial support they need to get themselves back on track."

Jo Harris, managing director of Lloyds Business Banking, added: "Small businesses don't normally have the cash reserves that larger businesses do, so any interruption to their cash flow can have a significant impact on their ability to survive.

"By supporting our small business customers during this difficult time, we hope we can help as many businesses as possible to get back on an even keel as quickly as possible."

The Construction Industry Training Board called on former Carillion apprentices to get in contact so it can help them continue their training.

Chief executive Sarah Beale said: "We understand it's a very worrying time for the young people who were on the Carillion apprenticeship programme, but we can help them restart their training and get their careers back on track if they get in touch with us.

"Our industry needs the skills these young people are developing and we want to help them find new employers and get their qualifications.

"Our industry, which has consistently reported skill shortages and difficulties in attracting apprentices, now needs to step up and support these young people who have so much to offer. "