The Securities and Exchange Commission sued Bank of America Corp. Tuesday, alleging that it violated federal proxy rules by failing to disclose mounting losses at Merrill Lynch & Co. before a 2008 shareholder vote on their merger.

The regulator said late Monday that it planned to filed a separate complaint against the Charlotte banking company after a federal judge in Manhattan rejected its bid that day to add the allegations to an existing lawsuit over disclosures before the January 2009 merger closing.

The new lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, alleged that the company failed to disclose "extraordinary financial losses" at Merrill Lynch before the shareholder vote by not updating its proxy statement before the vote.

"Their allegations are totally without merit," said Robert Stickler, a Bank of America spokesman.

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