ABI director of consumer affairs Maggie Craig is set to give evidence to the House of Lords European committee today, on the directive, which aims to improve consumer protection across Europe.
Speaking ahead of her appearance, she says: “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.
“The ABI successfully persuaded the European Commission to agree that ‘inertia selling’ bans in previous Directives would not apply to pensions automatic enrolment. Amendments to the Consumer Rights Directive must not be allowed to call this into question.
Craig says the same concern applies to the automatic renewal of insurance policies, a process she says works well for consumers.
She adds: “We are seeking guarantees that the directive will not affect this long-established and understood practice.”