Technological disruption will only benefit savers when financial institutions realise they must serve the needs of customers, according to London Business School's David Pitt-Watson.
In a speech on 15 March, the executive fellow talked about the findings of a report on the role of finance and its importance to the economy.
He argued technology is not a "sufficient condition [by itself] to drive down costs" if it was not allied with strong ethics and institutions.
Strong institutions which deliver technological benefits to savers would only be realised when professionals ask what their role in society and markets should be.
He said: "Technology can help a lot with bringing down costs but only if it is underpinned by the right context and institutions. We need to work on the culture and the purpose of finance as well."
The report, The Purpose of Finance, is co-authored by Pitt-Watson and Dr Hari Mann who is professor of strategy and innovation at Ashridge Business School.
The report noted productivity in financial services has been flat for the past 130 years but there are opportunities to be seized by boosting it.
Pitt-Watson explained the potential upsides. "The Dutch pensions system is 30% to 40% more efficient than ours in an economy which is considerably smaller. We put 6.5% of national income into private pensions, we can surely do better? It we get this right the advantage to our economy would be equivalent to what North Sea oil did for Britain from the 1970s."
The report also noted that in the 2008 financial crisis, Dutch pensions fell in value by only 2% while there was more than a 50% fall in annuity rates over the prior 10 years for those about to retire in Britain.
Mann added: "What is encouraging is we are beginning to see the fintech come through, disrupt the big players and potentially boost productivity. The one-size-fits-all approach no longer works."
The Pension Insurance Corporation sponsored the report which is the first in a series looking at financial services.
Have your say: Should trustees be held accountable for the security of data and assets in the event of a cyber attack?
In this week's Pensions Buzz, we want to know if you agree that trustees be held accountable for the security of data and assets in the event of a cyber attack.
More than four in five employers oppose the implementation of multiple pensions dashboards and any that do not include state pensions, the Association of Consulting Actuaries (ACA) says.
Half of scheme representatives agree fiduciary duty hinders trustees in addressing climate change, finds XPS
Half of scheme representatives believe the current fiduciary duty of trustees hinders them in their ability to address climate change, according to a poll by XPS Pensions Group.
PMI president Lesley Alexander and the institute's immediate past-president Lesley Carline talk about the challenges of Covid-19 and the opportunities and challenges the industry faces in the future.
The Pensions Administration Standards Association (PASA) has announced global consultant Deloitte as its expert knowledge provider for data.