The California Independent Bankers Association said it will encourage its members to join the No-Surcharge Alliance, led by $30 billion-asset Union Bank of California, a unit of Bank of Tokyo- Mitsubishi Ltd.

The alliance was formed in response to decisions by BankAmerica Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. to charge noncustomers $1.50 to use their automated teller machines. The two banks own about 7,000 ATMs, nearly half of the California total.

If the 200 banks represented by the California Independent Bankers Association participate, nearly 900 ATMs will be added to the 2,200 already in the No-Surcharge Alliance. Decals will identify the machines that don't surcharge.

Craig Hudson, executive director of the California association, said the move will ensure that "independent bank customers will remain with their community-based bank and still be able to access a broad choice of no- surcharge ATMs."

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