Pensions  

Portafina responds to flurry of Fos complaints

Portafina responds to flurry of Fos complaints

Portafina has responded to the 128 complaints received by the Financial Ombudsman Service (Fos).

According to the Fos, most of the complaints it has received about the firm are in relation to unsuitable advice.

FTAdviser has reported today (24 September 2018) the Fos upheld 84 complaints about Portafina, with 41 still being investigated.

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The firm responded to the 128 complaints, saying most of them have stemmed from before the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) gave clarification on pensions advice.

Jamie Smith-Thompson, managing director of Portafina told FTAdviser that it had since changed its advice strategy.

He said: "These complaints stem from a period before the pension freedoms and before a number of subsequent clarifications from the FCA on advice relating to pensions.

"They also nearly all relate to specific funds, which we would no longer consider advising on given our subsequent experiences.

"So it is fair to say that our advice strategy has evolved a lot over the years and is certainly different now to the period that the complaints arose from."

According to Portafina, the 128 complaints made to the Fos account for less than 1 per cent of its total advised clients.

"Obviously no company wants to see any unhappy clients, let alone those that feel the need to go to the ombudsman," Mr Smith-Thompson said.

"To put that number into some kind of context, we have advised nearly 20,000 clients in that time. Whilst still far too high for my liking, the 128 complaints represent about 0.6 per cent of our advised clients."

The response comes as FTAdviser reported today that the Fos ordered Portafina to pay £150,000 in compensation to a client who took advice from the firm in 2011.

It was also reported recently (14th September) that the Fos ordered Portafina to pay compensation to an “insistent client” who had had been given unsuitable pension transfer advice from the firm.

rosie.quigley@ft.com