Cheating company directors are set to get their just desserts in a new offensive that has been introduced by the Department of Trade and Industry.

The Insolvency Service has joined forces with insolvency practitioners, solicitors, counsel and enquiry agents.

The aim of the pilot scheme is to bring effective legal action against directors who have been disqualified from running a business because of misappropriation, misfeasance or negligence.

Kim Howells, competition and consumer affairs minister, explained: “The legal action will seek to recover monies personally from those directors who have abused the system, for the benefit of those creditors affected.”

The offensive comes soon after figures revealed record bans against deceptive directors – the year ending March 31 2000 saw 1,540 bans, a 20% increase on the previous year.