FINRA fined Raymond James & Associates, Inc. and Raymond James Financial Services a total of $17 million for widespread compliance failures related to anti-money laundering (AML) systems, issuing former AML Compliance Officer Linda L. Busby (CRD #2707733) an additional $25,000 fine and suspension.
The findings found that Raymond James experienced "significant growth" between 2006 and 2014, but lagged behind in their AML compliance systems' development, alleging that the firm failed to establish AML programs tailored to its business and that, as a result, Raymond James failed to detect or inadequately investigated numerous "red flags" of potentially suspicious activity.
The investigation uncovered that Raymond James failed to conduct required due diligence and periodic risk reviews for foreign financial properties, and named Busby as the person who failed to ensure that Raymond James conducted reviews.
FINRA notes that it previously fined Raymond James in 2012 for inadequate AML procedures and that, as a response, Raymond James agreed in a settlement to review its program and procedures so as to ensure compliance. With the $17 million fine, FINRA concluded that Raymond James failed to live up to its end of the settlement agreement.
Previously, a March 2016 study listed Raymond James as a firm that employed a high percentage of financial advisers with disciplinary BrokerCheck disclosures. The report indicated that 13.74% of all Raymond James financial advisers had at least one disciplinary/misconduct disclosure in their BrokerCheck file, compared to a 7% national average, and an eighth place finish amongst all firms in the study for greatest percentage of disciplined advisers (#1 was Oppenheimer & Co.'s with an adviser roster featuring a 19.6% disclosure rate).
If you have invested with Raymond James & Associates or with any broker, financial adviser or firm whose anti-money laundering or similar compliance procedures were violated, inadequate, or otherwise failed to detect and appropriately investigate red flags of suspicious activity, and such failures have proven harmful to your investments or interests, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.