Raymond James Financial Services has been ordered to pay investors approximately
$300 million owed to them, after their funds were frozen during the shutdown
of the Auction Rate Securities (ARS) in 2008.
State securities regulators have worked together over the last three years
to ensure that all frozen funds were returned to investors, adding up
to the biggest return of funds to investors in history at $61 billion.
The settlement with Raymond James is the result of an investigation led
by the Florida Office of Financial Regulation and the Texas State Securities
Board. Investors started to file complaints with state regulators when
they could not access their funds through the firm, which had sold them
to investors as a safe, liquid asset.
"Today's settlement will provide much-needed relief to investors
who continue to suffer from the collapse of the auction rate securities
markets," said David Massey, NASAA President and North Carolina Deputy
Securities Administrator. "This settlement is the most recent example
of how states initiate a collaborative approach to a national problem.
We will continue to seek relief for investors who suffered from the collapse
of the ARS markets."