Appearing before the Senate Banking Committee Tuesday, top executives from the two national automated teller machine networks defended their decision to let members levy surcharges.

By April 1996, when MasterCard's Cirrus System Inc. and the Visa U.S.A. Plus Network lifted their surcharge bans, 15 states already had barred the two networks from enforcing it, argued Cirrus president and chief executive G. Henry Mundt 3d.

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