95% of UK financial advisors don’t like cryptos while US advisors are more open

on Jun 16, 2021
Updated: Jun 17, 2021
  • 95% of IFAs would advise against purchasing meme stocks
  • 95% of IFAs would be worried if a high asset client was investing in crypto
  • A third think cryptos could become a reliable investment

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Practically no independent financial advisor (IFAs) in the UK would recommend their clients buy cryptos and meme stocks, data from a survey of 200 IFAs in the UK by Opinium show. Specifically, 93% of advisors would not recommend their clients buy cryptos while 95% of IFAs would advise against purchasing meme stocks, according to IFA Magazine.

While not exactly clear why, American advisors are not only more open to recommending cryptocurrencies, but the rate of adoption is expected to nearly double over the next 12 months.

UK advisors cite ‘uncertainty and concern’

The study showed that more than one-third of IFAs have gotten more inquiries about cryptocurrencies from clients in 2021 compared to the prior year. Yet despite the uptick in demand for cryptocurrencies, financial advisors aren’t eager to satisfy their clients’ wants and needs — at least not yet.

Alexa Nightingale, research director at Opinium, was quoted as saying by IFA Magazine:

There is clearly uncertainty and concern in the industry, and advisors with clients of all sizes would be wary if their clients were investing in these products. However, these sorts of investments are becoming more mainstream, so it will be interesting to see how advisers navigate this in future.

UK advisors are more cautious for wealthier clients

95% of IFAs with clients with portfolios over £200,000, 90% with clients with portfolios between £101,000 to £200,000, and 84% with clients with portfolios under £100,000 would be worried if a client was investing in cryptocurrencies. However, there are some encouraging findings for the cryptocurrency sector as one-third of advisors acknowledge cryptocurrencies can become a legitimate investment in the future.

By contrast, just under one-quarter of advisors believe that meme stocks should be considered a reliable and legitimate investment.

Opposite trends taking place in the US

Financial advisors in the US appear to be more open than their UK counterparts in recommending their clients gain exposure to cryptocurrencies, CNBC reported. According to a June 2021 survey from the Financial Planning Association and the Journal of Financial Planning, 14% of advisors are comfortable today in recommending cryptocurrencies to their clients.

Encouragingly, this number is expected to rise to 26% over the next 12 months. Put in context, just 1% of advisors recommended exposure to cryptocurrencies throughout 2019 and 2020.

One possible reason that would explain why US advisors are more open to cryptocurrencies is a supportive ecosystem. US advisors can take advantage of new certifications and education courses while broker-deals introduce new features to make it more convenient to give clients exposure to their preferred asset class.

“Clients are coming to advisors now knowing more than the advisors. The advisors are absolutely terrified, because you never want to look dumb in front of your client,” Tyrone Ross, a provider of cryptoasset management technology for financial advisors told CNBC.