The ongoing case of Harlequin Properties has seen compensation paid out to clients who were advised to invest in overseas’ property despite this not being in their best interest.
Investigations into complaints by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) have shown advice firm 1 Stop Financial Services to be responsible for a large number of Harlequin investors, with almost half of the firm’s clients being advised to put money into Harlequin through a SIPP.
Following an investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority, 1 Stop Financial Services’ partners Timothy Hughes and Andrew Rees were banned from giving financial advice. The company were de-authorised by the FCA and has since ceased trading.
In addition to recommending the Harlequin Property investment via the SIPP to clients whom such an investment would not benefit, 1 Stop Financial Services also failed to declare their taking of a fee from an introducer firm as well, suggesting a conflict of interest.
1 Stop Financial Services were involved in mis-selling the following:
Self-invested personal pensions have benefitted many, but, as with any investment, they are not suitable for all. Mis-sold SIPP pension investments occurred when SIPPs have been recommended to clients without a proper explanation of the financial risks involved, and even in cases where a SIPP was simply not in the client’s best interests. 1 Stop Financial Services are just one firm found to have mis-sold SIPPs.
Carbon credit sales involve selling a license to produce carbon dioxide. However, as reported in our March blog, carbon credits are unsuitable for individual investors, given there is no secondary market to sell the credits onto. In addition, carbon credits were often sold at such inflated prices that no profit could be made even if there had been a secondary market for investors.
As stated above, many 1 Stop Financial Services’ clients were advised to invest in a SIPP as well as purchasing overseas property, such as the unregulated Harlequin scheme.
1 Stop Financial Services Complaints
It is important to note that anyone who invested through 1 Stop Financial Services may still be eligible for compensation, regardless of the fact that 1 Stop is no longer trading. If you made any investment through 1 Stop Financial Services, via a SIPP pension or other recommended method that did not prove of financial gain, TLW’s investment mis-selling solicitors may be able to assist you on a no-win, no-fee basis.