Mississippi has joined a multi-state settlement with Raymond James over the company charging clients “unreasonable commissions” on trades that harmed main street investors.
The settlement, which was made by Raymond James without admitting or denying the allegations, includes $8.2 million in refunds to clients and $4.2 million in penalties and costs to states, according to Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson.
“We are committed to ensuring large brokerage firms protect all investors regardless of how big or small the transaction,” Watson said. “I’m thankful for our team and how hard they work to protect the hard-earned money of all Mississippians.”
The $12.4 million settlement comes after state securities regulators found that Raymond James & Associates and Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. nickel-and-dimed customers on over 270,000 equity transactions and trades nationwide over the last five years.
Raymond James will also be responsible for implementing updated supervisory policies and procedures that include:
- Compliance systems to prevent the imposition of unreasonable or unfair commissions
- Operational changes designed to ensure, regardless of the principal amount of a transaction, commissions will not exceed 5%, in the absence of a documented exception
- Systems that incorporate all equity transactions, regardless of the principal amount of the transaction, when identifying and reviewing potentially excessive commissions
Clients who were charged more than 5 percent commission on equity transactions from 2018-2023 will be eligible for the restitution offer plus interest. At this time, it’s unclear how much Mississippi-based clients will receive from Raymond James.