Providers in the UK would be 'world leaders' in digital distribution if they had not spent so much on meeting regulatory requirements, according to Legal & General chief executive Nigel Wilson.
Speaking during a panel debate at the Marketforce Distribution Innovation in Pensions and Investments conference, Wilson (pictured) said the cost of regulation has stopped providers from investing in advice.
'The retail distribution review (RDR) was a good thing but has cost a fortune to implement...and created an advice gap in the UK which we have to now see as an opportunity,' he said.
'Solvency II, collectively as an industry we spent about £4 million on that. If we had invested that that money in digital distribution we would be world leaders at this point.'
Wilson described Solvency II requirements, which make providers hold a certain amount of capital on their books, as 'anti-creative'.
David White, head of life and pensions distribution, said providers spent a lot of money on meeting regulatory changes such as the RDR.
'We have spent a huge amount of money, when you look at RDR, Solvency II. I do not think it is a matter of spending the money, the question is are we spending it in the right thing? The 401k in US is not tweaked the whole time,’ he said.
'If we can stop the constant fundamental changes to financial services then we can spend money on the right thing.’