California banks won a clear victory this week in the first of a series of legislative votes that they hope will deregulate late and over-limit fees on credit card accounts.

The state Assembly's banking and finance committee voted 7 to 1 for a bill that would eliminate existing caps on the fees, which have been a major bone of contention among card issuers, consumer advocates, and lawyers who have filed class actions on behalf of allegedly overcharged cardholders.

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