WASHINGTON - Besieged with complaints from auction-rate securities clients, Raymond James Financial Inc. has taken the unusual step of sending them letters, saying it lacks the financing necessary to buy back their ARS.

The St. Petersburg, Fla.-based firm, which disclosed in financial statements that it is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the New York attorney general's office, and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation in connection with ARS sales, has not entered into any settlements or formally announced a voluntary buyback program.

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