By Tom Wilson

LONDON, June 16 (Reuters) – More than nine in ten
independent financial advisers (IFAs) in Britain would never
recommend cryptocurrencies or so-called meme stocks to their
clients, an Opinium poll showed on Wednesday.

Meme stocks – companies whose value is fuelled by social
media attention – and digital coins have soared in popularity as
stay-at-home rules and high savings rates during the pandemic
triggered a surge in stock investing by non-professionals.

Yet 93% of IFAs would never recommend investing in
cryptocurrencies, while 95% would never do so for meme stocks,
the poll based on a sample of 200 IFAs in the UK showed.

Some 91% of IFAs would be concerned if a client said they
were investing in either type of asset, it found, suggesting
deep-set worries amid high volatility and close attention from

Still, a third of IFAs have increased interest in
cryptocurrencies from clients this year, with 14% reporting
higher interest in meme stocks, the poll showed.

Bitcoin, the biggest cryptocurrency, has slumped
about 40% since hitting an all-time high of nearly $65,000 in
April, but is still up 40% in 2021.

Smaller cryptocurrencies such as ether have been
similarly volatile, sparking warnings from central banks and
regulators that investors could lose their money.

Professional and retail investors alike have embraced
cryptocurrencies this year, seeing the sector as a hedge against
inflation, a future payment method and a vehicle for earning
quick gains.

Retail traders have put as much money into meme stocks over
the past two weeks as they did at the peak of the frenzied
GameStop rally in January, analysts at Vanda Research said last

Among the highest profile are U.S. video-retailer Gamestop
Corp and AMC Entertainment Holdings.

At the height of the trading mania, several retail brokers
restricted the buying of GameStop shares after collateral
requirements needed to clear the trades spiked, angering traders
and spurring congressional hearings and regulatory probes.
(Reporting by Tom Wilson
Editing by Mark Potter)