Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks Inc. has settled a three-year-old suit against Merrill Lynch & Co. and Nomura Securities International Inc. over the bank’s purchase of $60 million in securities that plummeted more than $10 million in value.

At issue was SunTrust’s May 2003 purchase of securities issued by an affiliate of DVI Inc., a finance company that provided loans to health care providers to purchase or lease costly diagnostic medical equipment. Five months after SunTrust Banks invested $60 million in DVI XIX securities, Standard & Poor’s suspended its AAA investment rating after DVI filed for bankruptcy protection amid allegations of accounting improprieties.

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