Categories: Alternative Investments
Harlequin Property, a UK-based overseas property sales agent that is not regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), is having problems issuing payments due under the terms of its agreement.
One investor, who did not want to be named, contacted Harlequin earlier this month after the company failed to pay the interest on a loan the investor had taken out in order to invest in a Harlequin property.
Under the terms of its agreement, Harlequin pays the interest on borrowings where the investor has re-mortgaged their home to invest in a Harlequin property in the Caribbean.
The interest is paid until the completion of the off-plan property the investor has invested in.
Harlequin said it successfully makes payments to investors, but that delays do occur occasionally.
However, in an email from the investor to Harlequin, seen by IFAonline, the investor informs Harlequin it has not made one of the payments.
Referring to a telephone call the investor made to Harlequin, the investor said they had been told by Harlequin that "this was due to errors on the part of Harlequin and many people were affected".
In an email seen by IFAonline to the investor, Katharine Manderfield, network sales director at Harlequin, said Harlequin has "had some issues with bank payments".
She said the payments will be resolved by 28 February.
However, she refused to comment on the investor's missed payment, saying that the accounts team is looking into it, and that in the meantime the investor may have to make the payment themselves.
A spokesperson for Regulatory Legal, which is acting on behalf on some Harlequin investors, said: "We have received a number of client enquiries where interest payments have not been made.
"This is blamed on a banking error. We cannot see why this could not be remedied with payments being brought up to date in days.
"Any incidence of non-payment of interest payments will cause concern amongst investors."
In a statement, Harlequin said: "Without knowing the name of the investor, you'll appreciate Harlequin can't be specific in its answer.
"However, Harlequin can be clear that these payments have not stopped. Payments are made to many investors by Harlequin on a monthly basis.
"From time to time, a payment can get caught in the system leading to a delay in it reaching the account but, once this is brought to Harlequin's attention, it is addressed.
"That may or may not be what has happened with the investor [in this case]."
This article originally described Harlequin as an unregulated collective investment scheme (UCIS). We understand that that is not the case and this reference has now been removed.
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