EUThe European insurance and pensions regulator has been accused of undertaking a “land grab” by the UK pension trade body after it called for additional powers and suggested the industry should be hit by a levy to fund its operations.

In a speech in Brussels, the head of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority said it needed a wider mandate “for the benefit of consumer protection and financial stability”.

Gabriel Bernardino also said Eiopa, one of three European supervisory bodies for the financial services sector, wanted to “explore partial financing by levying fees on the industry in line with the evolution of [our] mandate and powers”.

The body is funded by the European Commission, which pays 40 per cent of its €18m annual budget, and the bloc’s member states, which cover the rest.