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Portal Financial Services Pension Transfer Claims – Time to Act

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Troubled pensions adviser, Portal Financial Services LLP, also known as Portafina LLP, has been declared in default - the Financial Services Compensation Scheme is now stepping in.

We previously reported that Portal had entered compulsory liquidation and was facing hundreds of complaints about pension mis-selling going back at least a decade. The complaints were being investigated by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), a Government-backed body that deals with complaints between financial institutions and their customers. The FOS issued a number of decisions in favour of Portal investors after they were mis-sold pension products. The firm stopped taking on new business in 2021 and failed in a High Court challenge against the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Portal said it wouldn’t be able to afford to pay the compensation owed to investors if the claims were upheld. As soon as one case was successfully upheld, the company would be declared in default, and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) would step in; this has now happened.

The majority of complaints relate to wrong advice given to holders of Defined Benefit Pensions, recommending they transfer into Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs), often into high-risk, unsuitable funds such as overseas property development.

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is a Government-backed lifeboat scheme for customers of failed, regulated financial firms. The claims process can be complex and time-consuming, but as FSCS claims specialists, TLW Solicitors can pursue your case 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, keeping you up to date at every stage.

Defined Benefit Pensions are a very good source of retirement income, as they guarantee a certain amount of money depending on how many years a person worked for a company or how much salary they earned.

Many public sector workers and those in large established companies, such as local authorities, NHS, armed forces, emergency services, P&O Ferries and British Steel have Defined Benefit ‘final salary ‘or ‘company’ pensions. The benefits offered are rarely beaten by other pension investments, which is why, depending on individual circumstances, it is generally not advisable to transfer out of a Defined Benefit Pension Scheme and into a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP).

Unfortunately, some people were given negligent financial advice and advised to do just that, losing out financially. High management charges, as well as risky and unregulated funds were part of the mis-selling process and caused people to lose large amounts from their pension pots.

TLW Solicitors has seen a wide range of FOS complaints involving Portal/Portafina. A recurring theme in those cases 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 since 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

Commenting on the news of Portal’s failure, Head of Professional Negligence at TLW Solicitors, Sarah Spruce said:

“Hopefully, recent events will now provide some certainty to all those investors who have been affected.

We are urging anyone who invested in these funds through Portal, Portafina, Shah Wealth Management or Cherish Wealth to get in touch to discuss their options. Cherish and Shah were investment companies that introduced clients to Portal and recommended high-risk investments.

We can investigate and advise you on whether you may be entitled to compensation by making an FSCS claim. We have a team of FSCS claims specialists who can help you through what can be a complex and time-consuming process.”

If you are concerned about a Portal/Portal investment that you, a friend or a loved one made, and are considering making a claim, please get in touch. If you have already had a claim rejected by Portal/Portafina or the Financial Ombudsman Service, we may still be able to help.

We work on a no-win, no-fee basis, so contact us for a no-obligation, confidential conversation about your case.

You can call us on 0800 169 5925, email info@tlwsolicitors.co.uk or fill in one of the forms below.

Getting advice as soon as possible is important 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.

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