WASHINGTON, D.C. -- First Virginia Bank-Maryland said it settled a loan discrimination suit with a Howard University law professor who had accused the bank of racial bias. The unit of First Virginia Banks Inc. said it paid $210,000 to settle the suit brought by Professor Spencer M. Boyer, who said the bank denied him a $50,000 home equity loan because he is black.

The bank denied that it had discriminated against Professor Boyer, but said it settled the case in order to avoid continuing litigation.

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