Regulation  

Harlequin investors will need to wait: FSCS

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme has said it cannot confirm if compensation can be paid in respect to Harlequin Hotels and Resorts.

Following queries from investors, the FSCS issued a statement on its website on 12 August, stating: “Until FSCS has reached a decision on whether it can accept claims for compensation, it is not able to comment on any implications for investors of signing up to the ‘Harlequin Investor Trust’ for any claim they may make with FSCS.”

It said that, in order to pay compensation, FSCS needed to be satisfied that authorised firms which have gone out of business are legally liable for any losses potentially suffered by Harlequin investors.

The statement said: “Until FSCS can be satisfied that this is the case, we are not able to confirm whether compensation is due in respect of Harlequin. We will provide an update on our position regarding Harlequin once we are able to do so.

“Furthermore, we cannot advise or comment on whether investors should sign up to such an arrangement. We suggest that investors consider taking independent legal or professional advice before signing up to the “Harlequin Investor Trust”, to ensure they understand any potential implications for any claim that may be made with FSCS now or in the future.

This news comes a few days after the Serious Fraud Office issued a statement to allay concerns that it had closed its investigation into the Harlequin Group.

In a statement, the SFO said: “Our investigation into the Harlequin Group continues. We have had several reports from worried investors who have recently received information from other sources to suggest that our investigation is now closed. This is not the case.

“Due to the complex nature of our investigations and the fact that several overseas jurisdictions are included within the scope of those investigations, it is inevitable that delays in the process of gathering information and evidence will be and have been encountered. It is not possible to issue any more detailed information at this time. Once we are able to issue a further update we will do so.”