Bank of America Corp. directors’ $20 million settlement of investor lawsuits over the purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co. is inadequate given the billions of dollars of harm the deal caused, objectors to the accord said.

The proposed settlement amounts to 4 percent of the board’s $500 million of insurance coverage and less than 1 percent of the more than $2.4 billion Bank of America officials agreed to pay in September to resolve other investors’ securities-fraud claims over the Merrill Lynch deal, lawyers for the shareholders said in federal court filings in New York.

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