WASHINGTON - Raymond James Financial Inc. confirmed Thursday that it will apply for bank holding company status, following the course taken last week by the larger investment banks, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley.

The firm's management stressed that the move comes as part of a long-term strategy and does not indicate any immediate capital needs. The conversion "will have little impact" on the firm's operations and management structure, officials said in a financial statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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