Automated teller machine fees have raised hackles in Congress, and in New York State the Assembly's Committee on Banks has joined the fracas.
The committee, led by Assemblywoman Aurelia Greene, Democrat of the Bronx, will hold a hearing on ATM fees in Albany Wednesday. Another is scheduled next Friday in New York City.
The subject became controversial last month when Visa U.S.A. and MasterCard International dropped their bans on surcharging at their Plus and Cirrus national ATM networks. This allowed ATM owners to impose a surcharge on transactions.
"An in-depth look at the cost of ATM services to bank customers would provide a clearer picture of how ATM fees are established, whether current disclosure of ATM fees is sufficient, and why ATM fees vary so widely," Ms. Greene said in a press release.
An "examination of the current ATM fee structure is overdue," she said.
Ms. Greene's office said the hearings would address the effect that ATM owner fees have on New York consumers.
New York banks have not adopted surcharges, and many, including Citicorp and Chase Manhattan Corp., say they have no intention of doing so. Even so, New Yorkers traveling to states as nearby as New Jersey have had to pay surcharges.
Thomas Bennion, president of Southeast Switch Inc., owner of the Honor ATM network, said New York banks might be "nervous" about imposing surcharges due to the state's political climate. "They're prone to this type of legislation," he said.