Caution urged when investing through Harlequin

If you are considering investing with the Harlequin group of companies you should do so with caution and firstly get independent legal and financial advice.

The Harlequin group of companies is involved in the development and distribution of overseas property investments and resorts.  None of these companies are regulated by us.

We understand Harlequin has approached investors who might have received redress from a compensation scheme, such as the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), to encourage them to complete on a Harlequin property investment.

We urge all investors who are considering investing with Harlequin to seek independent legal and financial advice before committing to any investment. We suggest this includes independent legal advice in the country where the property or investment is located.

The FSCS also has updated information on claims against financial advisers that are no longer trading, relating to investments in the Harlequin group of companies.

Serious Fraud Office investigation

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is continuing an investigation into Harlequin and is asking investors to fill in and submit the SFO’s further questionnaire about investments in Harlequin.

The SFO is interested in hearing from any Harlequin investor, whether you are a current investor or a previous investor, who re-sold or cancelled their Harlequin investment.

Find out more about the SFO investigation and how to contact the SFO.

Harlequin Management Services (South East) Limited in liquidation

Harlequin Management Services (South East) Limited, which also traded as Harlequin Property, is now in liquidation. It was a UK-based overseas property sales agent that was not regulated by us.

If you have any queries about the firm you should contact its joint liquidators, Shipleys and Leonard Curtis.

Complaints and compensation claims

If you are concerned about an investment with Harlequin, you should contact your financial adviser. If you are not satisfied with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service

If the financial adviser is no longer trading, you should contact the FSCS.

Alert to financial advisers

We published an alert to financial advisers about Harlequin Management Services (South East) Limited (PDF) on 18 January 2013.

The alert explained our expectations where financial advisers recommend an investment in overseas properties purchased through Harlequin.

It also explained what advisers need to do before recommending an investment in these properties.