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FSCS investigates Harlequin promoter over Sipp sales

by William Robins on Mar 11, 2014 at 07:25

FSCS investigates Harlequin promoter over Sipp sales

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is investigating Sipp transfers made by advice firm TailorMade Independent into Green Oil and Harelquin hotel investments as it decides whether to place the company into default.  

The FSCS said it is considering TailorMade’s involvement advising clients to transfer their pensions into Sipps which were then invested in schemes including Green Oil Plantations and Harlequin Hotels and Resorts.

Although TailorMade Independent Limited is in creditors voluntary liquidation, the FSCS has not yet declared it in default.

It said: ‘We are currently investigating the extent to which TailorMade Independent is liable for any of the losses its customers have suffered.’

In December the FSCS wrote to former clients of TailorMade Independent to determine whether they should receive compensation.

TailorMade was a Sipp and alternative investment promoter that had been involved in promoting property investment through Harlequin.

In March clients of TailorMade hit out at the firm over their investments in Harlequin.

Shortly after TailorMade altered its regulatory permissions, meaning it could no longer carry on regulated activities in relation to new regulated pension contracts.

In April it announced that it was reviewing 20 pipeline Harlequin Property investments with the permission of the Financial Conduct Authority.

In total around 7,000 investors put £300 million into Harlequin, half of this, £150 million was invested on an advised basis. 

5 comments so far. Why not have your say?

You must be joking

Mar 11, 2014 at 09:51

Hmm... only half of the money invested in Harlequin was advised???

I doubt it!

Can't see a queue of people forming all wishing to

a) transfer their relatively small pension pots to a SIPP

and then

b) invest their SIPP via an off the wall 'investment'

More like a case of

a) our FSA/FCA regulated company recommends that you transfer your relatively small pension pot to a SIPP

and then

b) our unregulated company suggests that this off the wall 'investment' is a suitable asset for your whole pension fund.

Absolutely disgraceful!!!

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Keith Cobby

Mar 11, 2014 at 10:02

Harlequin, the clue is in the name - pantomime and clowns!

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Chris F.

Mar 11, 2014 at 11:10

A mere 6 or 7 years after the FSA were made aware of the whole thing. Good going on the consumer protection front, guys, keep up the good work.

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Charles Rickards

Mar 11, 2014 at 11:29

When they are placed in default, who will pick up the tab? The assets of the directors of the se companies should be seized and they should not be allowed to Phoenix with a clean slate.

Unfortunately this whole situation has been fuelled by a commission hungry minority prepared to put their greed ahead of the wellbeing of their unsuspecting clients.

I have said it before and will keep saying it, all financial products for sale in the UK should have regulatory approval. Anything without should be illegal and not carry any form of consumer protecting. If you swim with sharks, you might get bitten!

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Bridge North

Mar 11, 2014 at 14:59

There were authorised Firms advising people to transfer to SIPPs with the leads provided by Agents/marketeers. I can believe many were not advised on the merits or otherwise of cape verde, harlequin, brazillian property, drc bamboo etc

I and many others highlighted these Charlatans to the Regulator. My own Firm were approached by St Lucian 'fractional ownership' marketers who told us we could not comment on the eventual investment only on the merits of moving existing pensions to a SIPP. We told them we would not accommodate this not a near miss but a close call.

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