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Two companies that claimed to refer work to gas engineers in return for an upfront fee have been placed into company liquidation by the Insolvency Service.

Combined Maintenance Services Ltd and One Stop Safety Maintenance UK Ltd, both registered in London but trading from Ayrshire in Scotland, operated a regional database of gas fitters.

For a fee of £2,000, gas engineers could be included in this database, ostensibly in order to be given priority when local work became available.

However, not only did the companies generally fail to provide this work, they also retained some client payments made for the work that was carried out.

For these failures, as well as failing to uphold a contractual requirement to refund the initial fee to engineers who were not awarded work, the two firms were placed into company liquidation.

Colin Cronin, investigation supervisor at the Insolvency Service, said: “The companies knew that they were not in a position to provide the promised work and nor would they ever be.

“These winding-up proceedings show that the Insolvency Service will take firm action against companies which operate in this manner.”