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Wednesday, 29 May 2013

BEWARE!!! Pension Transfers, Property abroad, exotic locations...

Having recently visited IFAonline.co.uk I came across a story about Harlequin - an investment scheme to invest in property/villas/development in the Caribbean. Unfortunately some investors have remortgaged their homes to invest and others have used SIPP assets. It does not look good!

Apparently Harlequin have paid very high commissions to agents, and some IFAs have acted as agents for Harlequin whilst arranging SIPP investments.

Harlequin have apparently lost their second auditors in 3 years and are allegedly behind in payments to investors (some who need to cover interest payments on their re-mortgages).

One comment (with spelling corrections by me) said:

"My boss Richard Bateman did so much more than 15% [commission] on Caribbean villas. As I did too but not quite as much as he.

He sold MGM personal pensions which paid 135% up front commission on the first year's premiums then a further 25% for high sales volume. This was deducted from the pension policy over a 3 year period which meant that there was nil investment for the first 3 years. And it was an easy sell no agents no costs apart from a few calls and a trip in his Porsche Boxster or Green Rolls Royce. Nowadays he gets his clients to visit him in Liskeard of all places . Ever heard of Liskeard for a £40,000 pound a month IFA on commissions?
No I thought not.
One has to ask why doesn't the SFO give him a visit?
The HMRC, FSA, FCA, CAMERON, OSBORNE, most national news, and Million Dollar Round Table all know, but no answer comes.
SILENCE."  (Careful Investor's view on IFAonline)

So is that where all the personal pension salemen end up - Liskeard? Or St Vincent perhaps?

How do regulators let it happen? Time and time again. If it's not property, it's wine or land banking, or carbon credits, or betting systems, or overseas property. If it's too good to be true.....it's a con.

Pension unlocking and exotic transfers to overseas destinations are very high risk - BEWARE!!!! 

Don't let flash and glamour seduce you!  (Harlequin Air - remember Stanford's helicopter?)

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