The insurance industry has given a warm welcome to Raising Standards, a new benchmarking scheme for pensions, protection and investment products.

The scheme has been backed by 41 firms including Axa, Bupa and Eagle Star.

Association of British Insurers' (ABI) director-general Mary Francis said of the intitiative: “Consumers in the UK still do far too little to provide for their long-term needs. These standards are designed to strengthen customer confidence and encourage saving.”

But the ABI ruled out transferring the initiative to the general insurance market.