A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration panel has ordered SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Inc. to pay a total of $4.1 million to a former institutional salesman who alleged the company defamed him in a regulatory filing.

Lance B. Beck, a former broker in the Atlanta branch of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, accused the firm of including a "devastating" disclosure on his Form U5, which brokerages must file with regulators when a broker leaves, related to a $2.9 million auction-rate securities transaction. The Finra panel recommended that the language — which included the designation "permitted to resign" as a reason for Beck's termination and the phrase "failure to follow firm sales-practice policy" — be expunged.

A spokesman for SunTrust Banks Inc. declined to comment.

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