Featured on BBC One’s Northern Justice & Morning Live



FSCS prepared to pay out on claims against Portal/Portafina

Latest News

Government backed lifeboat service, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) normally only steps in when firms become insolvent but has agreed to pay any compensation due to Portal/Portafina investors.

There are currently 190 claims against pension advisers Portal Financial Services LLP (previously known as Portafina) with the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), which deals with complaints between financial institutions and their customers.

With no certainty that the firm will be able to pay out any compensation due to investors, it has been reported that the FSCS has now said that it is prepared to step in and pay any compensation due, should the firm become insolvent.

Portal is a firm authorised by City watchdog, the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) but is not currently taking on new business. They hit the headlines in recent years after investors complained about being advised to transfer their Defined Benefit Pensions to unsuitable, high risk investments leading to financial losses.

Defined benefit, company or final salary pension schemes, are generally very dependable pension schemes that promise to pay somebody a specific amount from their retirement until the end of their life.

As they are expensive to run, they are usually only offered by large companies, Government entities like the NHS or emergency services, the armed forces, local authorities, or former nationalised industries, such as coal mining, dock working, steelworks and rail.

It is rarely good advice to transfer out of a defined benefit scheme as they are a very solid and dependable source of retirement income. There must be an extremely good reason for someone to want to transfer this into a riskier type of investment.

Unfortunately, many people have been persuaded to transfer their pensions into unsuitable Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) schemes and lost out financially as a result.

TLW Solicitors has seen a wide range of FOS complaints involving Portal/Portafina where a recurring theme is that financial advice is given to invest in complex and high-risk, sometimes unregulated, funds that appear completely unsuitable to a client’s needs and investment experience. Many of the investors suffered financial loss as a result and have recovered compensation.

Some of the investments and funds referred to in the FOS cases include:

  • Raithwaites Hypa Fund
  • Hypa Asia Fund
  • Venture Oil International
  • EOS Solar Energy
  • JP SPC Koroni Fund
  • Biomass Investments
  • Brisa Investments
  • Strategic Residential Dev
  • Lakeview UK Investments
  • Marbella Resort & Spa
  • Real Estate Investments USA
  • Motion Picture Global Investments
  • Strategic Residential Developments
  • Tambaba Investments

The FSCS is a Government backed lifeboat compensation scheme for customers of failed FCA authorised financial services firms. This means that the FSCS can pay compensation if a firm is unable, or likely to be unable, to pay claims against it. TLW Solicitors has a specialist team dedicated to FSCS claims.

Commenting on the recent developments, Sarah Spruce, Head of TLW’s Professional Negligence Team said:

“Reports that Government backed lifeboat scheme, the FSCS are willing to step in and pay claims owed to investors by Portal/Portafina if it becomes insolvent, is reassuring and welcome news.

If you have any concerns regarding Portal/Portafina, or the investments they’ve advised you or a loved one on, no matter how long ago the pension was transferred, please get in touch with the specialist team at TLW Solicitors. Contact us too even if you’ve been rejected for compensation by either Portal/Portafina or The Financial Ombudsman Service.”

FOS has reported that around 95% of claims against Portal have been upheld. That, together with the news that the FSCS are prepared to step in and pay compensation, means investors have a very good chance of getting their retirement plans back on track.

If you feel that you or a loved one weren’t given the right pension advice, please contact us and we can talk through your options.

Please call us on 0800 169 5925 or use our online forms and our team will contact you for an initial, no-obligation discussion.

It is important to get advice as soon as possible as strict time limits can apply.

Meet Our Team

Meet Sarah, who heads up our experienced Pension Claims team.

Sarah and her colleagues are on hand to help with your claim.

TLW Solicitors pledge to:

  • Always fight your corner.
  • Explain anything you don't understand.
  • Provide full transparency on our charges.
  • Never ask for any upfront payment.
  • Recover the best compensation we can.
  • Keep your personal information safe.
  • Respond quickly to any queries.