Our blog in August 2015 detailed an ongoing investigation into Harlequin Properties, whose investment mis-selling was under investigation from the Serious Fraud Office.
The case against David Ames, chairman of Harlequin Properties, reached court earlier this year. Ames has been ordered to pay over £1m in compensation to a group of investors in his company, but many additional investors have still been unable to recoup the amount they originally invested.
A large proportion of the people who invested in Harlequin Properties did so via a SIPP, following negligent advice from a financial advisor, but a new review of liability against SIPP providers from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) may now help investors who have lost out financially, whether through Harlequin Properties or elsewhere.
The case of liability currently falls to individual financial advisors, rather than the firm actually providing the SIPP. This review from the FSCS may result in a shift of responsibility from advisor to SIPP provider, meaning providers are deemed liable for some cases of financial mis-selling.
Although nothing has been confirmed by the FSCS, should the review result in SIPP providers being held accountable for their clients’ mis-investments, they may face significant future bills. At present the FSCS has often been footing the bill, with Harlequin Property claims alone reaching over £36m.
High level cases
Mis-sold SIPP investments was one of the big financial stories of 2015. Regarding any investment, with a pension or otherwise, we would recommend extreme caution before parting with any of your money. Unregulated schemes are usually unregulated for a reason, and many are unsuitable for all but the most sophisticated investors. To repeat an old adage, if a deal sounds too good to be true, it more than likely is.
If you believe you may have received inadequate advice on a Harlequin Properties investment or SIPP and have subsequently lost out financially, TLW Solicitors are here to help on a no-win, no-fee basis.
Fill in our enquiry form, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us free on 0800 169 5925.