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Financial Ombudsman Service Again Rules Against Portafina

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Earlier this year in August 2018, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) issued another final decision against financial advisers, Portafina LLP (previously known as Portal), in relation to a pension transfer.

The full decision can be found here.

The case concerned Mrs C, who complained that she was wrongly advised to transfer her pension to a self-invested personal pension (SIPP) in 2013.

At the time of the advice Mrs C was in her late 40s, she was employed and had a moderately cautious attitude to risk.

It was recommended in the suitability report prepared by Portafina LLP, that Mrs C transfer her pension into a SIPP to make investments in the following funds:

  • Lakeview UK Investments
  • Marbella Resort & Spa
  • Real Estate Investments USA
    Motion Picture Global Investments
  • Strategic Residential Developments

The complaint was escalated to FOS, a Government backed body set up to resolve complaints between financial businesses and their customers. If a complaint is upheld following their investigation, then FOS has the power to put the basis of the complaint right.

A FOS adjudicator investigated Mrs C’s complaint.  He was concerned that the charges on the SIPP were higher than Mrs C’s existing pension and that some of the funds invested in were complex and inherently risky and therefore not suitable for Mrs C. Following his investigation, he recommended that Portafina LLP should calculate and pay compensation to Mrs C.

Portafina LLP disagreed with the adjudicator’s assessment and so the matter was referred to an Ombudsman.

The complaint was upheld by the Ombudsman and Portafina LLP have been ordered to calculate, and pay compensation to Mrs C, including a payment for her distress and inconvenience.

TLW Solicitor’s experience of Portafina LLP

Portafina LLP now has a number of FOS decisions against it, the majority of which are due to unsuitable advice surrounding pension transfers. On the 24th September 2018, leading industry publication, FT Adviser reported that FOS had upheld 84 complaints about Portafina LLP, with 41 still to be investigated.

Peter McKenna, Managing Partner at TLW Solicitors and a specialist in financial mis-selling claims, said:

“Our specialist lawyers are instructed by several clients to bring complaints against Portafina LLP.  A number of these cases are very similar to the FOS decision above. In particular, the advice to invest in complex and high-risk investments which appears completely unsuitable to a client’s needs and investment experience.”

If you think that you, a friend or relative may have invested either cash or pension funds into high risk investments, please get in touch with one of our specialist lawyers here at TLW Solicitors for a free, no obligation discussion.

You can either ring us on 0800 169 5925, email info@tlwsolicitors.co.uk or complete the call back form below. For added TLC, think TLW.