An advice firm which has had complaints upheld over Caribbean property development scheme Harlequin has been declared in default by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Glasgow-based Allan McRoberts, trading as AM Wealth Management Services, had four Financial Ombudsman Services (FOS) complaints upheld against it over advice on Harlequin Sipp investments in 2016.

The advice firm has now been declared in default by the FSCS.

In the FOS complaints, which New Model Adviser® reported on in 2016, the advice firm maintained the firm was just providing advice on the Sipp that would enable the investment in Harlequin.

The clients were referred to AM Wealth Management through an unregulated agent, and AM Wealth Management maintained it was the unregulated agent which advised on the property scheme and it was ‘unfair’ his firm should take ‘responsibility for their conduct’.

In one of the FOS decisions it said: ‘AM Wealth Management referred to a disclaimer that Mr P had signed saying he understood AM was not advising on the suitability of the investment.’

However the FOS ruled, after an appeal from AM Wealth Management, that the advice firm did have responsibility for considering the suitability of underlying investments to be held in the Sipp when advising on the suitability of a transfer.

AM Wealth Management was no longer authorised on the Financial Conduct Authority Register from March 2018.

Yesterday, it was one of eight firms to be declared in default by the FSCS.