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Harlequin Hotels and Resorts

Harlequin Hotels and Resorts

If you were encouraged to invest pension money or savings into Harlequin, we’d like to hear from you as soon as possible. Here at Beat the Banks, we’ve been involved in compensation cases against a number of failed investment schemes, and we’re ready and waiting to see what we can do for you. All it takes to start the process is a call to our specialist team on 0800 193 1234.

Harlequin is one of the earliest and certainly one of the most notorious of such schemes. Potential investors were given the hard sell by slick sales professionals who earned a small fortune thanks to their persuasive powers and their glossy marketing materials. It’s thought commissions were worth up to £35,000 for individual investments that totalled £200,000.

Looking back now, it’s easy to see why unregulated advisors were so keen to sell, and why investors were coerced into signing up. Here was a chance to add value to savings and pension pots and to make those retirement years more secure, more comfortable and more content. There was also an opportunity to leave something behind for loved ones as well.

Sadly, this isn’t what happened at all. It’s thought at least 6,000 people invested in the scheme, and that the total forked out exceeded £400 million. The premise was that the money would be invested in luxury holiday resorts in the Caribbean, one of which was the now infamous Buccament Bay in St Vincent. Many of the villas that were proposed were never built, and the investments that were made are now useless.

Resorts were planned in St Vincent and Grenadines, St Lucia, Barbados and the Cayman Islands, but the lavish projects failed to materialise. Currently, the owner of Harlequin and the company itself are the subject of investigations by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), and cases are regularly being referred to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Hard selling, easy targets, failed projects

Harlequin Hotels and Resorts were fed a steady stream of new investors thanks to enthusiastic and highly persuasive selling by sales specialists. This was an unregulated scheme that brought with it many risks, but the investors themselves were unaware of the dangers. All in all, it has been a salutary lesson for anyone who’s thinking about moving their safe and secure pension pots.

In March 2019, it was announced that 2,700 investors in Harlequin received somewhere in the region of £125 million in compensation, but of course, there are still many more people who are yet to receive the justice they deserve. In some instances, the same properties were sold to different investors. We wait now to see how the SFO and the courts will deal with those involved.

In many ways, the Harlequin case acts as a pre-cursor to many other similar schemes. Unregulated advisors persuaded innocent investors to move their pensions into Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) and then to invest in what sounded like a glamorous, exotic project that would bring in some highly impressive returns. It sounded too good to be true, and in the end, that’s exactly what it turned out to be.

Beat the Banks have a great deal of experience in handling compensation claims relating to unregulated pension schemes, and we’d like to help you if you were one of the victims of the Harlequin Hotels and Resorts case. We offer a sympathetic ear, reliable advice and a no-nonsense approach to mounting a strong and robust case. To start the ball rolling, all you need to do is fill in the online contact form or call our team now on 0800 193 1234.

We look forward to hearing your story.

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