The Financial Conduct Authority has today released a statement urging potential and current investors to act with “common sense”.
The Harlequin group of companies are engaged in the development and distribution of overseas property investments and resorts.
The FCA statement read: “Investors considering paying money to any of the companies in the Harlequin group of companies are urged to do so with caution.”
“If you are considering investing in the Harlequin group, we urge you to proceed with caution. Ensure that you fully understand the risks involved with the investment.
“We recommend that you contact an appropriately qualified financial adviser and obtain legal advice from lawyers in the country where the property is located before proceeding with an investment in a company in the Harlequin group.”
On 18 January the FCA issued a warning to financial advisers regarding investments in overseas properties bought through Harlequin Property – trading as Harlequin Management Services (South East) Ltd.
On 5 March the Serious Fraud Office confirmed it was launching an investigation into Harlequin’s activities, in cooperation with Essex police, asking investors to come forward and complete online questionnaires.
On 23 April 2013, Harlequin Management Services filed to enter administration. On 3 May 2013, Anthony Peter Davidson and Stephen Blandford Ryman, of Shipleys LLP, were appointed joint administrators of the company.
A statement from Harlequin Group said the FCA alert is “similar to its previous alert, which Harlequin helped to draft, and is merely common sense advice urging consideration, as would be expected with any investment.
“Harlequin has always urged investors to seek independent advice and agents/IFAs to carry out proper due diligence; guidelines to that effect were published on the Harlequin Property website a number of years ago.”
The statement says that it is an “exciting time with investors now receiving a tangible product for their money.”