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FCA warns investors over further payments to Harlequin

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The Financial Conduct Authority has issued a warning to investors considering paying money to unregulated overseas property firm Harlequin group and its associated companies.

The regulator has published its latest investor alert after Harlequin Hotels & Resorts approached investors last month about funding the oustanding balance on built properties in the Buccament Bay resort in St Vincent and the Grenadines. Under the terms of the investment, investors paid an initial 30 per cent deposit and were due to pay the remainder once the properties were built.

The FCA stresses Harlequin Property (SVG) is not regulated by the FCA and is not incorporated in the UK, adding: “If you are considering investing in the Harlequin group, we urge you to proceed with caution. Ensure that you fully understand the risks involved.”

The regulator first issued an alert to advisers about UK sales arm Harlequin Property in January.

In March, the Serious Fraud Office announced it had begun an investigation into Harlequin Property, which filed for administration in April.

A Harlequin spokesman says: “The FCA statement is merely common sense advice urging consideration, as would be expected with any investment.”

Facts & Figures Financial Planners managing director Simon Webster says: “There are serious concerns around Harlequin and I would not recommend anyone put a single penny with them.”

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