UK energy supplier Iresa has ceased trading - Ofgem

LONDON (Reuters) - British small energy supplier Iresa Limited has ceased trading, market regulator Ofgem said on Friday, after the company was banned from taking on new clients due to poor customer service.

Iresa, based in northwest London, has less than 100,000 domestic customers.

Last month, Ofgem extended a ban on the firm taking on new clients after it failed to improve customer services.

Under energy market rules, Ofgem also had the power to revoke the firm’s license if it failed to meet requirements.

Iresa was not immediately available for comment.

Ofgem said the energy supply of Iresa’s customers would continue as normal and their outstanding credit balances protected under the regulator’s safety net.

Ofgem added that it will choose a new supplier to take on the company’s customers.

There are over 60 energy suppliers in Britain. An increasing number of people are switching to smaller energy companies due to price hikes from the big six firms - Centrica’s CNA.L British Gas, SSE SSE.L, E.ON EONGn.DE, EDF Energy EDF.PA, Innogy’s IGY.DE Npower and Iberdrola’s IBE.MC Scottish Power.

Reporting by Nina Chestney; editing by Jason Neely and Emelia Sithole-Matarise