April 28, 1999
HOUSE APPROVES BILL TO PREVENT ATM SURCHARGES
Legislation proposed by state Rep. Robert Landino (D-Westbrook) that would protect consumers from excessive user fees at Automated Teller Machines was approved Wednesday by the General Assembly’s House of Representatives. Among those voting in favor of the bill was Rep. Minnie Gonzalez (D-Hartford).
The bill would prohibit banks and credit unions from imposing ATM fees on non-customers, eliminating the double charging that occurs between banks and consumers.
"This legislation is great for consumers and I support it 100-percent," Rep. Gonzalez said.
Currently if a non-customer uses an ATM, the bank can charge both the non-customer and the non-customer’s bank. The cost for both charges is ultimately paid for by the consumer. The proposed ban allows banks to charge only one fee.
"This bill protects consumers," Rep. Gonzalez said. "There is no reasonable argument for banks to double-charge consumers. Banks should only be compensated once for the use of their machines by non-customers."
The bill will now be considered for debate in the state Senate.
The bill supports both the current position of the commissioner of the state department of banking and his efforts to prevent double charging and litigation present and ongoing between State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, several banks and the federal government.
"The legislature needs to support the commissioner of the state department of banking and the efforts of the attorney general’s office to ensure that our agency can protect consumers from unfair practices," Rep. Gonzalez said.
Rep. Gonzalez serves the Frog Hollow, Parkview Avenue, Charter Oak Terrace and Behind the Rock sections of Hartford in the General Assembly.