A COMPANY in Trafford which made unrealistic claims to clients over business rates has been wound up by the Official Receiver.

Stretford-based Ellis and Co was the subject of a number of complaints before the authorities moved in to close hem down on public interest grounds.

Insolvency Service officials say the firm would cold call would-be clients, and make site visits, before trying to sign them up on long-term contracts.

But a confidential investigation was launched after complaints began to emerge about their operation.

An inquiry by the Insolvency Service found Ellis and Co's telesales team and field reps made "exaggerated claims" to prospective clients about the likelihood of a successful appeal, as well as the amount that would be saved.

Investigators say the firm, which had a turnover of £2.6million between 2014 and 2018, only had around a 15 per cent success rate. Several clients who signed contracts with them reported they found it difficult to engage with the company.

When clients got through, the agency says, staff were "rude, threatening and unprofessional".

Further enquiries found when Ellis and Co came into being, the identity of the true driving force, Joanne Boslem, was concealed, with her only being acknowledged as a director in October 2018.

Ms Boslem said she wanted to hide her activities because she had been a principal shareholder in two similar companies – David Scott Surveyors and C & R Surveyors – which at the time of Ellis and Co's incorporation were being wound up in the courts for similar trading activities.

Scott Crighton, Chief Investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: "Our investigations proved Ellis and Co Surveyors Ltd misled their clients and the court agreed in granting the application."

Their affairs are now in the hands of the Official Receiver, at the Public Interest Unit, 2 Floor, 3 Piccadilly Place, London Road, Manchester. E-mail: piu.north@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk