Energy regular Ofgem is calling on the UK’s large suppliers to pay back more than £204m that they are currently keeping back in closed business accounts.

Around 300,000 business are thought to be owed money back from the UK’s large energy suppliers after having closed their accounts or switched suppliers.

Ofgem’s analysis showed “an unacceptably large amount of money being retained rather than returned to consumers and a wide variation in company practices”.

Ofgem interim chief executive Andrew Wright said: “With the recent rise in the number of consumers switching supplier, people need to be confident that they won’t lose out if they close an account with their present supplier.

“Ofgem expects suppliers to do all they can to return money to individual consumers, and to tell consumers clearly what to do when closing an account. Where it isn’t possible to repay a balance, suppliers should find ways to use this money to benefit consumers more widely, and make clear to customers how much is held and why.”

Ofgem is recommending that all business customers who have funds being kept back in closed accounts contact their former suppliers directly, and “ask for it back.”