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Hotel Rooms

One of the very first unregulated pension investments and without doubt one of the most notorious. The first of the Harlequin group of companies was formed away back in 2004 by David Ames a former photocopier salesman. He is currently charged by the Serious Fraud Office over three counts of fraud. As many as 6,000 people were induced to part with their savings to invest in supposed off-plan luxury resorts in the Caribbean. The most famous of which was Buccament Bay in St Vincent. Harlequin with the promise of incredible returns and hotel rooms that investors could actually use too, pulled in close to £400 million pounds. In 2017, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) decided to treat these as UCIS (Unregulated Collective Investment Schemes meaning they finally qualified for investor protection.

Sold through a network of unregulated agents, pension holders were introduced to Douglas Baillie Ltd and it’s sister company the Pension Specialist. They used their valuable G60 qualifications to sign off the transfer of funds into SIPPs from final salary, defined benefit and guaranteed pension schemes. It’s believed that sales commissions were as much as 15%. Embarrassingly many celebrities found themselves promoting and endorsing Harlequin including the likes of footballer Andy Townsend, TV property expert Phil Spencer and even Liverpool F.C.

One of the major unregulated agents for Harlequin was based in Scotland. Donald Paterson a financial advisor from Troon also recommended investing in Store First and Park First through his company Map Global Property Investments a division of the Map Group. Other brands include Map Premier Ltd and Mortgage Advice Partnership. If these offerings weren’t tempting enough, they also gave investors the opportunity to sink their hard earned cash into properties in Florida.


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  • Mrs C, Glasgow

    “From beginning to end, Beat the Banks have been very efficient. I am very pleased with the service from Jenna and the team. I am highly delighted and I have been recommending all of my friends.”

  • Shona, Dundee

    “Huge thank you to the team. After attempting to claim PPI myself and getting absolutely nowhere, I got Beat the Banks involved and ended up getting  £12,000. What a result. Beat the Banks made it so easy and were committed right to the end.”

  • Mr A McQuillian

    “From previous experience of PPI claim companies, I was a bit dubious if anyone could help me but I thought I would try Beat The Banks. To say I am pleased with the service and conclusion to my claim is an understatement. Beat the banks and my claim handler in particular handled all aspects of the claim from Clydesdale Bank with professionalism, courtesy, and efficiency to secure a positive result on my behalf. I would certainly recommend the services of Beat the Banks to anyone who thinks they have PPI claim, especially with the Clydesdale Bank.”

  • Mrs S, Falkirk

    “I was apprehensive about using a company to claim my PPI as I had previously responded to a “cold call” and was pestered with calls. I heard about Beat The Banks on a local radio station and because they were based in Scotland I felt comfortable approaching them. I have had a very positive experience with Beat The Banks. They are not pushy and answer any queries timeously. All the Agents I have spoken to were knowledgeable, polite and friendly. After the initial information gathering conversation, they understood my needs and just got on with my claim. No hassle. Even when it was clear that my claim was of a relatively low value they processed without delay. I would definitely recommend using Beat The Banks …. they put all the other companies out there to shame.”

  • T & A, Dundee

    “Down entirely to Mike’s hard work, we previously had a successful claim with Clydesdale Bank. Mike was convinced we had more loans with PPI and he was relentless in efforts to recover our paperwork from the bank. Finally, after many attempts, enough records were recovered to submit several claims. We have now received much more compensation, covering loans going back many, many years. If it had not been for Mike and the team at Beat the Banks this would never, ever have happened. Literally, all we did was sign our name and bank the cheque.”

  • Mrs S, Falkirk

    “I was apprehensive about using a company to claim my PPI as I had previously responded to a “cold call” and was pestered with calls. I heard about Beat The Banks on a local radio station and because they were based in Scotland I felt comfortable approaching them. I have had a very positive experience with Beat The Banks. They are not pushy and answer any queries timeously. All the Agents I have spoken to were knowledgeable, polite and friendly. After the initial information gathering conversation, they understood my needs and just got on with my claim. No hassle. Even when it was clear that my claim was of a relatively low value they processed without delay. I would definitely recommend using Beat The Banks …. they put all the other companies out there to shame.”

  • Mr & Mrs M, Shetland

    “We really appreciate the doggedness and professionalism of Jenna and the team at Beat the Banks. This is something we’d never have gotten round to doing and we’re so glad we went through the process with professionals as we’ve now had great results. Only positives have come from the experience.”

  • Mrs S, Falkirk

    “Excellent service so helpful, I received a substantial sum back that I had no idea I was due, thank you again to Beat The Banks especially to Gary who was so helpful and efficient in every way.”

  • Dave & Linda , Dundee

    “We had no paperwork but £52,500 reasons to say thank you, we are now living our Spanish dream! Exceptional service.”

  • Mr S, Dingwall

    “Have just found out I have won all my cases with the bank, going back many years and been awarded compensation of just over £15,000!”

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