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Raymond James & Associates: Regulatory Actions and Alleged Broker Misconduct

Raymond James & Associates (CRD #: 705) is both a brokerage firm and an investment advisory firm with headquarters in St. Petersburg, Florida. Investors should know that there are 207 disclosures on Raymond James & Associates’ records, including regulatory censures and fines.

Raymond James & Associates also does business under the following names:

  • Alex. Brown
  • Strategic Investment Management Services
  • Raymond James Consulting Services
  • Raymond James & Associates
  • Public Finance Investment Strategies Group
  • Investment Advisory Services
  • Institutional Fiduciary Solutions
  • Asset Management Services

Can I Sue Raymond James & Associates?

Yes, but you may have signed a document that precludes suing the brokerage firm in civil court. Investment contracts typically include a pre-dispute arbitration agreement that requires investors to pursue damages through “FINRA arbitration.” Instead of suing, you or your securities lawyer can file a complaint. Securities attorneys can help you recover your losses through mediation, or arbitration if mediation does not result in a fair settlement.

View from the street of the One World Trade Center

Raymond James & Associates Brokerage Account Fees

The firm imposes transaction fees when you buy or sell securities.

  • Commissions are small payments to the broker that come with each transaction.
  • Markups and markdowns are similar to commissions – they are often built-in to the price of a bond and may not be as easy to assess as commissions.
  • Ongoing fees associated with products like mutual funds. These are just one of the products that may charge ongoing fees.
  • Handling and processing fees for securities transactions.
  • Margin accounts come with interest payments, as well as the possibility of a margin call that may require you to liquidate other securities in your account.
  • You may also pay: Accountant maintenance fees, IRA custodial fees, processing fees, service fees, and account fees.

If you have questions about their advisory account fees, visit their Form CRS.

Always ask about how much you are paying in fees, whether you have a brokerage account or an advisory account.

Raymond James Conflicts of Interest

Under Regulation Best Interest, brokerage firms are required to disclose their conflicts of interest in a form called the Customer Relationship Summary (Form CRS). Raymond James & Associates’ Form CRS contains the following disclosures:

  • Certain products, like mutual funds, may offer the brokerage firm ongoing payments. The firm may therefore only make these types of products available.
  • Because the firm receives a payment every time you execute a securities transaction, they have an incentive to encourage you to trade more often.
  • Raymond James & Associates offers proprietary products, which pay the firm a management fee. The firm has an incentive to recommend these products to you over third-party products.
  • The firm pays brokers commissions for transitioning clients from a previous firm. Your broker has a financial incentive to encourage you to transition your funds from another institution.

Key Takeaways:

Raymond James’ Form CRS recommends that you ask your broker the following questions:


  • Ask your broker if they have a financial incentive to recommend a certain financial product.
  • Inquire if the fees and costs imposed by the firm will affect your investment.
  • Raymond James discloses that the firm and associated financial professionals have a disciplinary history. The Form CRS recommends that investors ask their brokers about their disciplinary history.

Regulatory Actions: SEC Settlements and FINRA Fines

Investors should review the recent regulatory fines on Raymond James & Associates’ record.

Elder Abuse Allegations

Raymond James & Associates allegedly failed to protect one of its clients from financial elder abuse. According to an SEC Complaint, a Raymond James representative misappropriated $901,500 from a 98-year-old man’s individual retirement account, with $148,000 misappropriated under Raymond James’ supervision. Then, the representative allegedly misappropriated $22,400 from another elderly customer by forging a wire transfer authorization letter.

The SEC claims that Raymond James supervisors should have caught this conversion of customer funds, noting that a supervisor had already noticed “extremely high” amounts of money being transferred by wire from an individual retirement account. The broker was also allegedly paying the wire expenses despite the fact that he did not earn significant commissions from the account, something the SEC indicates should have roused the supervisor’s suspicions.

Raymond James was censured by the SEC and ordered to pay a civil money penalty of $500,000.

Unit Investment Trusts (UITs) and an Alleged Failure to Supervise

On September 28, 2022, FINRA censured Raymond James & Associates and fined the firm $50,000 following allegations they failed to supervise brokers who abused commissions by recommending “short holds” of Unit Investment Trusts (UITs). UITs are meant to be held to their maturity dates. Selling them to re-invest in similar UITs can result in investors paying unnecessary sales charges, resulting in losses.

529 Plan Share Class Allegations

According to an Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent agreement, Raymond James & Associates consented to the findings that it had failed to enforce Written Supervisory Procedures (WSPs) regarding 529 plan share-class recommendations. Allegedly, Raymond James representatives failed to assess the investors’ ages–as well as when they planned to make withdrawals–when recommending share classes.

As a result of the AWC, Raymond James & Associates agreed to pay restitution of $4,489,553.70 to customers who incurred excessive fees.

Raymond James & Associates Broker Blogs

The following brokers are either registered with Raymond James or have registered with Raymond James in the past 10 years. If you have lost money with any of the following brokers, consider speaking with a securities attorney.