An advice firm which has had complaints upheld over Caribbean property development scheme Harlequin has been declared in default by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
Scotland-based adviser Allan McRoberts, trading as AM Wealth Management Services, had four Financial Ombudsman Services (FOS) complaints upheld against it over advice on Harlequin Sipp investments in 2016. His advice firm has now been declared in default by the (FSCS).
In one of the FOS decisions it said: "AM Wealth Management referred to a disclaimer that Mr P had signed saying he understood AM was not advising on the suitability of the investment."
We want anyone who believes they may be owed money as a result of their dealings with any of these firms to get in touch as we may be able to help you"
Harlequin worked by taking deposits from mainly UK pension investors to build properties in the Caribbean, with the idea that they could then be sold at a profit on completion or used to generate a rental income from holidaymakers.
McRoberts had sought to distance himself from the advice on the underlying products and instead claimed he had advised the clients only on the SIPPs. The ombudsman said McRoberts had worked in agreement with a former regulated adviser who was no longer authorised to facilitate investments into Harlequin, noting: "I understand the agent used to be a regulated adviser, but was no longer authorised. That's why [the clients] would have been referred to AM. I think AM knew this.
AM Wealth Management was no longer authorised on the Financial Conduct Authority Register from March 2018.
Other firms declared insolvent include the Mortgage Matters Partnership, based in Cheshire, Montpelier Group Limited, based in the West Midlands, and Balfour Group Limited, based in Edinburgh.
The FSCS advises that consumers could be in line for compensation, and that if they have lost any money as a result of their dealings with the failed financial firms, they should get in contact.
FSCS chief corporate affairs officer Alex Kuczynski says: "FSCS steps in to protect consumers around the UK when authorised financial services firms go bust. This vital service, which is free to consumers, protects your deposits, investments, home finance and insurance.
"We want anyone who believes they may be owed money as a result of their dealings with any of these firms to get in touch as we may be able to help you."