PITTSBURGH -- Mellon Bank Corp. said it filed a suit against Primerica Inc.. American Express Co., and their brokerage arms for allegedly violating Mellon's contract to buy Boston Co.

Mellon said that after it purchased Boston Co. from American Express' Shearson Lehman Brothers early this year, neither Shearson nor its affiliates were to provide custodial or administrative services to any mutual fund for which Shearson or any of its subsidiaries served as investment adviser, underwriter, or placement agent. Shearson and its subsidiaries were to recommend Boston Co. for custody and administrative services for all Shearson mutual funds, according to the suit filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

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