According to its marketing, Freedom Bay in St Lucia is a ‘stunning luxury 5-star eco-resort.’ Using funds provided by investors, the resort is to be built up out of one and two-bed villas.
After years of accepting investors’ money in huge quantities, the operators of the resort have not managed to complete construction. Investors’ initial capital and their future returns are both at risk. Many investors bought into Freedom Bay through Self-Invested Personal Pensions or SIPPs. There is no safety net (compensation scheme, etc.) available to protect Freedom Bay investors from worst-case scenarios like liquidation.
Unregulated Overseas Property
We have already been working with Freedom Bay investors for years. We know that many investors in this project did not receive complete or accurate information about the risks it posed.
Freedom Bay is an unregulated overseas property investment. That means it falls outside the purview of the Financial Conduct Authority. Unregulated investments are not shielded by the Financial Ombudsman. FSCS compensation is not available for unregulated investments. This makes an overseas property investment like Freedom Bay HIGH RISK! Did your adviser tell you this before selling you on it?
Freedom Bay’s Problems
Investors were first told Freedom Bay would be complete in 2012. This schedule slipped severely; work was still unfinished in 2014.
The estimated value of Freedom Bay investments has dropped to “nil” in the eyes of at least one SIPP provider. This is a strong indicator that ‘worst case scenarios’ are either around the corner or already here.