The advice gap has been caused by a number of factors and not just the RDR, according to FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley.
Speaking at a press conference in London yesterday, Wheatley said it is “difficult” to say the advice gap was caused by the review.
He said: “An advice gap stems from all sorts of things, like tax and Government policy.
“There has been an underlying decline in the use of advice and the level of savings and investment.”
FCA long-term savings and pensions director Nick Poyntz-Wright said: “There are underlying factors driving savers’ behaviour, and there is some evidence that saving levels were already reducing in the years leading up to the RDR.
“So proving what caused the advice gap is one issue, and gathering data on the advice gap is also difficult because you are trying to capture data on what consumers have not done – the extent to which they have not acted or saved.”
Wheatley added that the FCA will be carrying out research this year on the extent to which the advice gap has led to consumers failing to invest or save.
He said: “There are lots of people saying yes there is a gap, but what we find very difficult is to work out is that translating into people not only being priced out of the market, but being put into a position where they’re not saving or not investing.
“That is an important piece of work for us, and one we are going to spend some time looking at over the next year.”
The FCA has appeared to send mixed messages over the RDR’s impact on advice in recent months.
However, FCA director of supervision Clive Adamson has also suggested “it is not clear there is an advice gap”.