In one of the final steps toward resolving a 10-year dispute over the collapse of Rhode Island’s banking system in the early 1990s, FleetBoston Financial Group agreed Tuesday to pay a state agency $15.5 million to settle a claim that it contributed to the crisis.

Fleet paid the money to the Depositors Economic Protection Corp., a quasi-governmental agency established by Rhode Island’s legislature in 1991 to help restore more than $1.2 billion of uninsured deposits to individuals there.

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