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Portal Financial Services enters liquidation – FSCS is now accepting claims

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After hundreds of claims against pension advice firm Portal Financial Services LLP, the firm entered compulsory liquidation on 18 January 2023.

Portal / Portafina history

The firm, which has also been called Portafina, came to our attention back in 2018, when the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), a Government-backed body that deals with complaints between financial institutions and their customers, issued a number of decisions in favour of investors after they were mis-sold pension products.

Since then, there have been over 200 complaints made over poor financial advice, with over 90% being upheld and so suitable for compensation. The firm stopped taking on new business in 2021 and failed in a High Court challenge against the Financial Ombudsman Service. Last year, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) said it was prepared to step in and pay any compensation due if Portal could not.

The majority of complaints against Portal relate to pension products, including Defined Benefit pension transfers (DB transfer). DB pensions are final salary pensions, with a guaranteed level of income available on retirement. They are generally a very good source of retirement income and it has been demonstrated time and time again that there is very rarely any merit in transferring to another type of pension.

Changes to the rules in recent years meant people could get easier access to their pension pots and move them to other products, including Self Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs). Unfortunately, some financial advisers took advantage of these changes and persuaded people to transfer out of excellent defined benefit pensions into riskier (and ultimately poorer performing) SIPPs. Portal was one such firm, causing many people to lose out financially. The firm has also been associated with advising steelworkers to transfer out of the British Steel Pensions Scheme.

The FSCS is a Government-backed lifeboat scheme for customers of failed, regulated financial firms. They are investigating Portal/Portafina and are processing claims against the firm. As soon as a valid claim is processed, Portal will be declared in default.

TLW Solicitors has a team of FSCS claims specialists. The claims process can be complex and time-consuming, but we can pursue a claim on your behalf, getting you the best result possible. We know what information the FSCS need to support a claim, we understand the financial and legal jargon used, and we can take the hassle out of the whole process for you.

If you are concerned about your, a friend or a loved one’s Portal/Portafina investment and are considering making a claim through the FSCS, please get in touch with TLW Solicitors. Call 0800 169 5925, email info@tlwsolicitors.co.uk or complete one of the forms below.

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

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