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Ex-Merrill executive sues BofA over departure

* BofA says McCann did not provide good reasons to resign

* McCann has been mentioned for a top job at UBS

NEW YORK, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Robert McCann, who led the wealth management business at Merrill Lynch & Co until early this year, sued Bank of America Corp BAC.N to force the largest U.S. bank to let him take a job at a rival.

In a lawsuit filed in New York state court, the 26-year Merrill veteran said he resigned from Bank of America with “good reason” in early January, just after the bank bought Merrill, entitling him to join another firm after six months of paid leave. He said his role was substantially diminished and his bonus reduced after the merger.

Bank of America declined to comment.

According to the filing, the bank said McCann did not provide good reason to resign and ended his contract without cause. McCann said the bank wants him to wait a year before taking a job at a rival.

Media reports said UBS AG UBSN.VX has been in talks to hire McCann to head its wealth management business in the Americas.

The case is McCann v. Bank of America Corp, New York State Supreme Court (Manhattan), No. 602628/2009. (Reporting by Juan Lagorio, additional reporting by Joe Rauch; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)