Bankers who refused to lend Carillion more cash have set up a £225m fund to help subcontractors and suppliers caught up in the contractor’s collapse.
Lloyds Banking Group has launched a £50m fund, HSBC £100m and RBS £75m.
The trio will waive fees and suspend loan repayment for firms struggling with cash flow after losing money in the wake of Carillion’s demise.
All three were major lenders to the company and are facing huge losses following its failure.
Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “I welcome this quick and positive move by banks.
“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.
“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.”
A government task force has also been set up to “monitor and advise on mitigating the impacts of Carillion’s liquidation on construction firms.”
It includes representatives from leading business bodies, the construction trade sector, unions, banks and government.
Clark said: “It got key people round the table to drive forward steps that we believe can give confidence to workers and the supply chain; support from banks, the ability to link workers with employment and support for apprentices.
“I am determined that collectively we will take the steps necessary to give workers and businesses the information they need at this difficult time.”