Defences up

Margaret Craig, director of consumer affairs for the ABI, said: "The UK already has very high standards of consumer protection, especially in financial services.

"For this reason, financial services are mainly exempt from the Directive's provisions, and we hope that this will continue.

"However, we have particular concerns that the Directive could be amended during negotiations to prohibit the use of automatic enrolment into workplace pensions schemes, a key feature of the Government's pension reform programme due to come into force in 2012."

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