Consultancy firm Accenture has identified what it calls a "massive hole" in the take-up of pension in the UK - a hole which could present a sales opportunity for banks.

"A massive hole in pension take-up exists - 79% and 68% of consumers do not own a personal or company pension respectively, while 64% do not have life assurance," says Accenture in new research.

The report adds that 51% of consumers would choose a bank as their preferred provider of long term savings products following expected regulatory changes. It also found that while 71% of consumers think it's important to own long term savings products, a large number do not own any such products.

"Banks are in prime position to be a part of the Government intent to address consumer apathy to long term savings because they are able to attract the type of consumers that make up the majority of the savings gap," said the report. Banks have a large existing customer base with high proportions of low to middle income earners as well as convenient access, long term client relationships and strong brands, it added.

And 42% of consumers at the higher and middle income levels have also indicated they are likely to switch from independent financial advisors to banks in a "post-regulatory change world," the report claims.