Portal Financial Services which is also known as Portafina or PFS, which has 152 upheld complaints regarding unsuitable transfer advice is no longer able to process claims. The firm is now pointing new claimants towards the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
In a letter dated 21 October, seen by Citywire New Model Adviser, the firm admitted it no longer had the resources to process these claims.
Complaints are still piling up and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) told the New Model Adviser it currently had 155 open cases against Portafina, while another 152 have already been upheld with redress payments being processed.
In the early months of 2021, Portal TCF Limited was set up with financial backing from former partners of Portafina to fund its regulatory liabilities, alongside insurers. Portal TCF also paid for professional indemnity (PI) cover to be renewed for Portafina.
In the letter, Michael Woodward of Portal TCF said his firm had been asked to take over the administration of claims following the departure of the last person at PFS who was dealing with them.
However, he wrote that the company did not have the resources to do so.
‘This office had agreed to take over the work of administering settlements and claims but, upon reviewing the details of the outstanding work, believes that the administration effort now required to resolve all of these is unfeasible,’ he said.
‘There remain more than 100 claims at various stages and, while many will be covered in part by insurance and this office is able to contribute financially to some, we simply do not have the number or type of personnel needed, whether to respond to new claims or to undertake the steps required by open-ended Ombudsman decisions.
‘Having initially accepted the role, we now feel obliged to decline to provide the case-by-case administration service.’
Woodward then redirected outstanding claimants to make applications to the FSCS, listing the organisation’s address and contact details in the letter.
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