BoA faces SEC suit over bonus payouts

BANK of America (BoA) is to face a lawsuit from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over claims that it deceived investors about bonuses paid to Merrill Lynch employees when it took over the struggling bank last year.<br /><br />BoA promised shareholders at the time that no bonuses would be paid without their assent, but later gave its blessing to Merrill Lynch to dole out $5.8bn (&pound;3.4bn) to staff.<br /><br />The SEC said it would &ldquo;vigorously pursue&rdquo; its case, after a judge threw out a settlement which would have seen BoA pay a $33m fine.<br /><br />Meanwhile, BoA has moved to reduce its use of state aid, saying that it will pay $425m to cancel government guarantees against losses, mostly within Merrill.<br />