Bloomberg News

Raymond James Will Pay $2 Million Over Finra Unfair Charge Claim

September 29, 2011

Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Raymond James Financial Inc. will pay more than $2 million to resolve Financial Industry Regulatory Authority claims that more than 15,500 brokerage clients were charged excessive commissions on securities trades.

Two units of St. Petersburg, Florida-based Raymond James used automated commission schedules from 2006 to 2010 that led to investors being overcharged by $1.69 million for trades of mostly low-priced securities, Finra said today in a statement. The firm didn’t properly weigh security type and transaction size in evaluating whether charges were appropriate, Finra said.

“Broker dealers must ensure that their automated systems set commission charges that are fair to investors,” Finra enforcement chief Brad Bennett said in a statement.

Raymond James, which agreed to resolve the claims without admitting or denying wrongdoing, will return the $1.69 million in overcharges and pay $425,000 in fines, Finra said.

“We are pleased to have resolved this matter with Finra,” Steve Hollister, a spokesman for Raymond James, said in an e- mailed statement. The company revised the automated commission schedule on July 1 of this year after being notified of Finra’s findings, he said.

The affected trades represent less than 0.1 percent of total equity trades executed by Raymond James during that time, and the average impact per affected account was about $110, Hollister said.

--Editors: Gregory Mott, Lawrence Roberts

To contact the reporter on this story: Joshua Gallu in Zurich at jgallu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lawrence Roberts at lroberts13@bloomberg.net


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