Bank of America Corp. said Wednesday that it reached an agreement in principle to settle an investigation by Massachusetts into the Charlotte company’s sale of auction-rate securities.

The $1.74 trillion-asset company said it will take a $275 million pretax charge tied to the settlement with the Massachusetts Securities Division. B of A said it expects to cover about $4.5 billion in illiquid auction-rate securities held by about 5,500 investors. Last month the company agreed to buy back $43 million in securities held by government agencies in Massachusetts.

B of A said it will repurchase the securities from retail clients, businesses with account values up to $10 million, and charities with account values up to $25 million.

Bank of America said it had informed the Securities and Exchange Commission and the New York State Attorney General's Office of the agreement and that it "continues to cooperate fully" with ongoing investigations with those entities.

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