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Successful cases against Portal Financial Services

Portal Financial Services was a financial advice firm that also traded as Portafina.

There have been hundreds of complaints made by Portal clients relating to Defined Benefit pension transfer advice.

Portal Financial Services is no longer trading and currently in liquidation.

What happened to Portal Financial Services?

Portal Financial Services entered compulsory liquidation on 18 January 2023.

Prior to its liquidation, Portal was facing nearly 200 open Financial Ombudsman Service complaints.

And ‘virtually all’ these complaints were in relation to defined benefit pension transfers.

It is also one of dozens of advice firms associated with claims regarding the British Steel Pension Scheme.

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) declared the firm in default (failed) on 15th March 2023.

In October 2023 it was reported that the FSCS had upheld 232 of the 447 complaints it had received.

Its paid out over £9.5m in compensation.

Portal Financial Services and Cherish Wealth

Between 2014-15 Cherish Wealth Management introduced clients to Portal Financial Services to advise on the suitability of transferring their pensions.

Cherish Wealth are known to have recommended several high-risk investments to clients, the most notable being the InvestUS Exit Strategy.

Portal lost a court case challenging the Financial Ombudsman Service in relation to complaints it had upheld that also involved Cherish Wealth.

In 2010 Cherish Wealth became Appointed Representatives of an FCA regulated financial advice firm called Shah Wealth.

Shah Wealth was declared in default by the FSCS in 2018 and both Cherish Wealth and Shah Wealth are currently in liquidation.

Successful cases against Portal Financial Services/Portafina

Here is a sample of some of the successful cases we have represented against Portal Financial Services / Portafina.

Please note, the amount awarded is the amount of money received before our fees of 18% were applied.

Mr. P was advised in 2014 by Portal Financial Services (Portafina) to transfer his pension into a Novia SIPP and invest in several high-risk investments.

These included InvestUS, Lakeview UK, Tambala Investments and Strategic Residential Developments.

He wasn’t an experienced investor so didn’t have a great knowledge of pensions and investments or the risks they carry. Therefore, he was reliant on the advice he received from Portal.

Mr. P came to us in June 2021 when he became aware that the investments had lost significant value.

We began our investigations by obtaining information from all relevant 3rd parties. Upon examining the details of Mr P’s transfer it became apparent that he had received negligent advice.

Portal had a statutory duty, as an FCA authorised firm, to ensure that the advice they gave Mr P was suitable to his individual circumstances.

Mr P wasn’t in a position to bear the risks associated with the underlying investments in the Novia SIPP, which were non-standard and high-risk.

Overview Mr P's case...

1

PARTIES INVOLVED:
Portal Financial Services (Portafina)
Novia SIPP

2

INVESTMENTS:
InvestUS, Lakeview UK,
Tambala Investments and Strategic Residential Developments

3

COMPENSATION AWARDED:
Mr P was awarded £14,728.79 compensation by the FSCS in August 2023.

Mr. T was advised in 2012 by Portal Financial Services (Portafina) to transfer his final salary pension into a Transact SIPP and invest in several high-risk investments.

He was not an experienced investor so he was reliant upon Portal for their adviser knowledge . Also, he didn’t have a great knowledge of pensions or the risks associated with the investments involved.

He came to us in September 2022 concerned about his pension. He told us that since October 2021 he hadn’t received a response from Portal to the many requests he’d made for updates on his pension and the value of the investments, which had decreased.

By transferring from his highly beneficial Final Salary pension into a SIPP Mr. T would lose significant benefits and guarantees. Portal had a duty to not only provide a recommendation and comparison to reflect this, but also to make sure he fully understood the risks involved.

Our investigations showed this was not the case and Mr. T had been negligently advised by Portal (Portafina) to transfer his pension.

Overview Mr T's case...

1

PARTIES INVOLVED:
Portal Financial Services (Portafina) / Transact SIPP

2

INVESTMENTS:
Cool Blue Samui - Kudos Asia Investments, Venture Oil Investments,
EOS Solar Investments ltd, Hypa Raithwaite Exempt Property

3

COMPENSATION AWARDED:
Mr T was awarded £85k by the FSCS in July 2023

Mr. B was advised by Portal Financial Services in 2013 to transfer his pension into a Novia SIPP. He came to us in October 2022 concerned about his pension funds.

During our initial assessment he told us that he’d been unable to access his funds which had matured. He said that when he called Portal he was being met with excuses as to why the money could not be paid at that time. Not only was this incredibly distressing to Mr. B, but it also affected the retirement plans he and his wife had made to emigrate.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t something we could assist him with. However, it did become apparent during our initial consultation, that there were red flags surrounding the transfer advice he’d received.

We thoroughly investigated Mr. B’s case and discovered that he had been negligently advised to transfer from his previous pension into a SIPP with investments that carried a higher level of risk than was suitable for him. This included unregulated investments. We also discovered that he had not been warned about the illiquid nature of these investments.

We submitted a complaint to Portal in November 2022, however in January 2023 the firm entered compulsory liquidation, so we referred the claim to the FSCS.

Overview Mr B's case...

1

PARTIES INVOLVED:
Portal Financial Services (Portafina) / Novia SIPP

2

INVESTMENTS:
Lakeview UK Invest Marbella Resort & Spa Motion Picture Global Strategic Residential Development

3

COMPENSATION AWARDED
The FSCS awarded Mr B £58,242.48 in September 2023.

Want to know more about Portal Financial Services?

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What to do if you think you’ve received unsuitable pension advice

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Also there are time limits that apply to making a complaint and claiming compensation.

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