Senate Banking Committee Chairman Alfonse M. D'Amato finally introduced his bill prohibiting automatic teller machine operators from imposing user fees.

"The Fair ATM Fees for Consumers Act of 1996" would protect consumers from "a thinly veiled attempt to artificially inflate profits," the New York Republican said on the Senate floor May 23.

Sen. D'Amato follows Reps. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., and Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., who introduced separate bills combating new user fees in April. Rep. Sanders' bill also would ban surcharges, whereas Rep. Schumer wants all ATM machines to disclose the total fees charged to a consumer.

The lawmakers were spurred to introduce the bills in April after Visa and MasterCard announced they would allow ATM operators on the Cirrus and Plus networks to impose surcharges.

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