Hundreds of customers using the Dublin-based Home Payments company fear they have lost savings, along with money for bills and mortgages, after it ceased trading.

In a note on its website and in the window of its Rathmines’ office, the company said it had ceased trading immediately.

The firm said the decline in the value of its property investments had a negative impact on other investments.

The company had been operating since 1963 with Home Payments Limited offering a household bill paying and budgeting service, with some customers building up savings with the firm.

The Central Bank said it does not regulate such operations.

The National Consumer Agency said customers should immediately contact their banks to cancel any direct debits to this company.

It said that once a direct debit is cancelled by a consumer, the cancellation must take immediate effect.