The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has fined Florida-based Raymond James & Associates, Inc. (RJA) $8 million and Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. (RJFS) $9 million for failures in anti-money laundering (AML) compliance. According to the regulator, the fines are a result of an investigation which revealed that for several years, RJA and RJFS were unable to deliver a sufficiently robust AML compliance program.
A key finding of the investigation, Raymond James employed a patchwork of systems that didn’t allow for broad oversight by the compliance team.
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“Raymond James had significant systemic AML failures over an extended period of time, made even more egregious by the fact the firm was previously sanctioned in this area. The monitoring for suspicious transactions is an essential part of protecting our financial system and firms must allocate adequate resources to their AML compliance efforts. This case demonstrates that when there are broad-based failures within specific areas of responsibility, we will seek individual liability where appropriate.” Brad Bennett, FINRA’s Executive Vice President and Chief of Enforcement, said.
In addition to fines for the firms, Linda L. Busby, Former AML Officer was fined $25,000 and suspended for three months. Busby left Raymond James last year.
While Raymond James and Busby have both agreed to the sanctions in settlements with FINRA, but have not admitted nor denied the charges.
The Raymond James U.S. anti-money laundering program has "undergone significant resource, process and technology enhancements" aligned with the firm's growth strategy, Steve Hollister, a Raymond James spokesman, said in a statement.
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