‘Fined’ – despite having integrity

A couple of years ago I was approached by a pedlar of unregulated investments.

He gave me the hard sell as if I were a client; in his plush offices that were adorned with newspaper cuttings bemoaning the “poor performance of pensions”. He was promoting the Harlequin hotel resort scheme.

There was apparently a client waiting for me to go and see him, who wanted to “invest” into this through his Sipp. The initial “investment” from the Sipp was to be £80,000 with a £170,000 loan to fund the total purchase price of £250,000. The total commission to be distributed down the sales chain was £16,000.

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I left the meeting feeling very unsettled, went home and checked out Harlequin. It took me about 40 minutes to determine that this was something that I would not touch with a barge-pole. I contacted the client that I was supposed to flog this to and advised him to check it out for himself, which he did and subsequently he did not throw away his pension fund. I duly advised the sales agent that I would not be able to recommend his product to anyone.

As I understand it, I am now effectively to be fined by the FCA and FSCS for having morals, intelligence and integrity and refusing to rip off my clients and those of an unregulated salesman. I resent this absolutely. The perpetrators of the problems are getting away with it all and we are the ones that are having to suffer for it.

Assuming he is re-elected this month I shall be contacting my MP about this as it is a reprehensible situation.

Simon Walker


SG Wealth Management,

Hexham, Northumberland