Portal Financial Services LLP are a financial advice firm, established in 2009 and based in London. They have also traded as Portafina LLP.
Unsuitable advice complaints have been upheld against Portal Financial Services (Portafina).
Our initial assessment can help check if you may have been given mis-sold pension advice
Each case is individual but as mis-sold pension specialists we know to look for certain signs that indicate unsuitable advice may have been given.
Our assessment is free and there’s absolutely no pressure or obligation to use our service if you have case.
The BAD news:
Unsuitable pension advice has caused huge losses to pension savers
The GOOD news:
Compensation payments are hitting record figures every year
According to the FCA register Portal Financial Services applied to have its FCA permissions cancelled on June 18th 2021.
It’s also been reported that some clients had received a letter from platform company Novia informing them that “Portal Financial Services is no longer authorised as an advice firm”
The firm is still authorised according to the FCA register.
Unsuitable advice complaints have been made against Portal Financial Services /Portafina. The Financial Ombudsman Service has upheld 22 of these since March this year.
Most of these complaints relate to the advice given to transfer from defined benefit (DB) occupational pension schemes into SIPPs.
They also involve transferring funds into UCIS – Unregulated Collective Investment Schemes – which were not suitable investment options for these clients.
Many of these cases also mention clients being introduced to Portafina by a 3rd party, who was an appointed representative of another regulated company. The regulated company was authorised to give advice on investments but not pension transfers, like Portafina is.
However, as Portafina advised on transfer they also had a responsibility to check where the funds would be invested to ensure their advice was suitable.
In one decision the FOS said..
“Portafina still had a duty to ensure the overall transaction was suitable, notwithstanding that another regulated firm was going to be involved.”
The other firms involved were not named but it was said both have since entered liquidation.
UCIS are usually considered unsuitable investments for people with little investment experience or capacity for loss. They are also classed as high risk so should only be appropriate for clients whose attitude to risk is compatible. UCIS mentioned in complaints made against Portal include:
Portal Financial Services LLP is now facing 190 open Financial Ombudsman Service complaints.
The FSCS has said it is closely monitoring the firm and liaising with the FCA to ensure it’s prepared to step in and pay claims if Portal becomes insolvent and is unable to meet claims itself.
The High Court has ruled against Portal Financial Services after it challenged a number of decisions made by the Financial Ombudsman Service.
As mentioned above, the FOS upheld complaints against Portal in relation to pension transfer advice.
Between 2014 and 2015, Portal was introduced to a number of clients of Cherish Wealth Management.
This was to advise on the suitability of transferring their pensions.
Cherish would then provide further advice on the investments held in the SIPP.
The FOS decided that Portal still had a duty to check the investments were suitable as part of the pension transfer advice.
And the High court agreed. Mr Justice Sweeting ruled the FOS decisions “…were lawful, within its powers and not open to arguable challenge by way of judicial review.”
Cherish Wealth’s principal firm Shah Wealth Management was declared in default by the FSCS in 2018. Both firms are currently in liquidation.
If you are concerned about the advice you received from Portal Financial Services LLP (Portafina) and want to check if it may have been unsuitable (mis-sold) – we offer a free consultation.
It’s a simple chat with one of our experienced claims handlers to initially assess if we think you have a claim.
Our assessment is free and there’s no obligation to use our service.
You are not required to use our services to pursue your claim. You can also seek further advice or shop around subject to any time limits within which a claim must be made.
It is possible for you to present the claim for free, either to the firm or person against whom you wish to complain or to the statutory ombudsman (Financial Ombudsman Service or Pension Ombudsman Service) or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, whichever is applicable to your claim.