A group of Bank of America Corp. investors is urging shareholders to remove three directors, including Kenneth D. Lewis, B of A's chairman and chief executive.

Finger Interests Number One Ltd. said in a filing Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it wants to oust Lewis, lead director Temple Sloan and Jackie Ward, who chairs the asset-quality committee.

The group said in the filing that it owns 1.1 million shares, or about 0.02%, of the $2.5 trillion-asset B of A. It also wants the Charlotte company to split the roles of chairman and CEO.

Jerry Finger, a Houston investor who ran Charter Bancshares Inc. before it was sold in 1996 to NationsBank Corp., a predecessor to Bank of America, has been threatening for weeks to pressure B of A for changes. In the filing, his group took particular issue with the company's Jan. 1 purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc.

Two of the nation's biggest U.S. pension funds, meanwhile, are seeking to become the lead plaintiff in a class action against Bank of America. The California Public Employees' Retirement System and the California State Teachers Retirement System filed a joint motion to the District Court of the Southern District of New York to take the lead role in a series of lawsuits tied to the Merrill acquisition.

A Bank of America spokesman would not comment.

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